RESIDENTS URGED TO AVOID GRAND MOSQUE IN MAKKAH FOR EID PRAYERS IN VIEW OF UMRAH RUSH
JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has declared that Monday, July 28, 2014, will be the first day of Eid al-Fitr, according to a Royal Court statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency. Meanwhile Civil Defense authorities issued an advisory via SMS to the Kingdom’s residents on Saturday urging them to avoid going to the Haram Masjid (Grand Mosque) in Makkah at this time and give way to Umrah pilgrims.
With construction work still going on, Islam’s holiest mosque was a scene of congestion on Saturday and Sunday with the influx of pilgrims who have come from abroad for Umrah.
The advisory reiterates that Eid prayers can be performed at any mosque.
Jeddah, Makkah and Taif are expected to receive huge number of visitors from all over the Kingdom during the Eid festivities.
The rains which fell on Makkah on Saturday also caused disruptions and worsened congestion.
The Jeddah Municipality has made arrangements for Eid prayers in 279 locations across the city and suburbs.
“We have geared up 221 mosques and 58 temporary prayer yards, known as ‘musallahs,’ in the city for Eid prayers” said Sami Al-Ghamdi of the Jeddah Municipality.
He said that 953 cleaning personnel are being assigned at these sites.
He also said that the Jeddah Municipality has drawn up a plan to conduct a series of entertainment programs that will last for six days, including on the first day of Eid, as part of social responsibility initiatives.
Jeddah’s residents and visitors are expected to line up at the Red Sea waterfront area in Jeddah, where coast guards have cautioned beach goers not to allow their children to swim in the water, said Col. Najih Al-Juhani, Makkah coast guard spokesman.
He said that additional teams are being mobilized for search and rescue operations across coastal lines in the region.
Eid festival celebrations have been planned on a large scale by the Makkah Municipality.
Eid will be celebrated in four different locations over the four days as part of its social responsibility initiatives, said Mohammed Taha Faqi of the Makkah Municipality.
“Glittering fireworks will be displayed during the Eid festival and cultural programs and comedy events will be conducted,” he said.
Eid arrangements have also been made in cities between Makkah and Riyadh.
Taif’s municipality, meanwhile, has announced that the city’s parks are ready to welcome visitors.–Arab News