Wednesday, 21 November 2007
By Adel Al-Malki and Kholood F. Al-Rhamah
MAKKAH - The General Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques is studying plans for the installation of sunshades in the Al-Tawaf area and the outer areas of the Holy Haram to protect the pilgrims from the sun's heat, especially in summer days. An official for the Presidency said that the project will include the areas located on the side of Ajyad and Sheab Ali.
Sources say that the project needs in-depth study by authorities and might have the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Haj Research conduct studies on the feasibility of the project.
"The project will be implemented after the completion of the studies and the budget is released. The installation of the sunshades will allow many of the visitors to perform prayers in the squares and special noon and morning prayers, thus, easing the congestion inside the mosque," said a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
With the development the world is going through, the increase in the number of Muslims, growth in people's income and the development in transportation, performing Haj and Umrah has become easier for both Saudis and expatriates.
And although there are no official statistics that show the number of pilgrims who suffer from sunstroke when visiting the the Ka'aba, thousands of worshippers have in fact become sick from the heat.