1998 News Story

More than 1.5 million pilgrims at Friday prayer

More than one and half a million pilgrims, both citizens and expatriates, today performed the Friday noon prayer in ease and peace at the Holy Mosque in Makkah. This ease is due to the services being rendered by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz.

There are drinking fountains scattered around both inside and outside the haram (holy mosque), and in addition, ten thousand containers of cold potable water from the holy Zamzam well have been distributed. More than 2,000 personnel are employed to provide assistance to visitors, to show them the way, help those who need it, prevent violations and keep order and cleanliness. Traffic police, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers have been enlisted to control traffic to and from the Holy Mosque, and all vehicular traffic in the area is suspended for two hours before and after the times of prayer. Transportation has been provided around the clock by the Saudi Arabian Public Transportation Company (SAPTCO), and incoming bus schedules have been intensified from all directions. There are five clinics inside the Holy Mosque itself, and full health care is provided to the guests of God in the government hospitals in Makkah.

Pilgrims have expressed their satisfaction with the services, which are evidence of the awareness of the Saudi leadership of the responsibility and guardianship awarded it by God towards Islam's most sacred places.