Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mina now a Ghost City, awaits next year’s pilgrims

During the month of Zul-Hajj, thousands of Muslims visit the land of the House of Allah in order to perform pilgrimage and fulfill the commandments of Allah as part of the five pillars of Islam that are obligatory for all Muslims who can afford the expenses of Hajj. This year again, this month proved to be a source of satisfaction and awakened a sense of security in the hearts of Muslims from all around the globe who visited the cities of Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah.

One of the most important parts of Hajj is the stoning of the devil that is a very important ritual for all the Muslims performing the pilgrimage. The stoning takes place in the city of Mina which tents nearly 2 million pilgrims for a total of 144 hours. With the completion of Hajj, the 160,000 tents set up in the city of Mina were dismantled and will be assembled again next year in the same month. At the last day of Tashriq, nearly 500,000 pilgrims departed for Makkah from Mina with a lot of tears in their eyes.

Within such a short span of time, the pilgrims grew much attached to the land and it killed them inside out to depart. Despite all the casualties that occurred at Mina this year, it will still be extremely important to nearly all of the pilgrims. The city that housed so many pilgrims for 5 days is now empty and barren. All the life has been sucked out of it which now makes it a ghost city in itself. Work began by 13,000 workers immediately after the pilgrims departed back for Makkah and Medinah, cleaning after the residues and leftovers. The workers try to clean up as soon as possible in order to keep the city clean for the next year.

It’s been estimated that nearly 600,000 pilgrims have assembled themselves in Medinah while 70,000 have already left the Kingdom for their respective countries. There were nearly 210 flights that took off carrying these70,000 passengers. Later on Saudi Airlines operated 66 flights to various countries carrying 20,000 pilgrims and later another 144 flights carrying 50,000 more passengers. The airports have been incredibly busy and also very crowded. To accommodate all of these pilgrims, 14 of the Haj terminals are converted to departure facilities immediately.

Resources prove that the terminal can hold up to 90,000 pilgrims and 312 flights altogether. In order for this terminal to function fully and operate without any difficulties, 7,000 people are employed for security and passports Department who know how to do their job in a very short time. With all of these routines carrying in and about, all the pilgrims who return home with tears of joy try to describe the feeling of performing Hajj to their family, but fail since the feeling is spiritual and cannot be described in words. For all those who have completed Hajj this year, will try to experience the same feeling again and will try their best to visit the Kingdom again in the future.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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