Top 10 reasons why pilgrims get lost in Makkah
Old age, language problem, getting separated from group are some of the reasons why pilgrims get lost, according to officals
Old age, language problem, getting separated from group are some of the reasons why pilgrims get lost in the Grand Mosque and the central area around it.
Makkah Arabic daily has put together a list of the top ten reasons. Usually, pilgrims try to find those who speak their language or police officers to ask for direction to their hotel. This becomes a real problem when a pilgrim is unable to communicate with authorities or when he or she is unaware of the name or location of his or her hotel.
“You also need to take into account the age of pilgrims and their social and cultural backgrounds,” said supervisor of Turkish pilgrims Ahmad Halabi, who stressed that the Saudi Ministry of Haj pays special attention to lost pilgrims and make sure that they reach their destination.
He cited a number of reasons and factors why pilgrims get lost, which include old age. Elderly pilgrims find it difficult to remember the doors through which they entered the Grand Mosque. “The Grand Mosque is big and the streets and roads around it are confusing. Some insist on leaving their hotels alone and refuse to stay with the group. That’s when most of the accidents happen,” Halabi said.
“Some pilgrims refuse to carry wrist bands, which contain their names and location,” he said.
The Makkah Municipality is working to develop an indicative map of Makkah and major important sites in the city, he said.
1. Old age
2. Language problem
3. Unfamiliarity with maps
4. Not knowing the name and location of accommodation
5. Not knowing the name of the office for pilgrim affairs
6. Unfamiliarity with the name of the street or neighborhood
7. Not paying attention to nearby landmarks
8. Ditching the group
9. Removing the wrist band
10. Going to the Grand Mosque from one road and leaving from another.
This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Feb. 29, 2016.
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