For the first time, Saudi women stand guard in Mecca during haj

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Inspired by her late father’s profession, Mona determined to hitch the navy and the first group of Saudi women troopers to work in Islam’s holiest websites, the place they’re serving to safe the haj annual pilgrimage.

Since April, dozens of feminine troopers have turn out to be a part of the safety providers that monitor pilgrims in Mecca and Medina, the start locations of Islam.

Dressed in a navy khaki uniform, with a hip-length jacket, unfastened trousers and a black beret over a veil overlaying her hair, Mona spends her shifts roaming in the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

“I am following the steps of my late father to complete his journey, standing here at the Grand mosque in Mecca, the holiest place. To serve the worshippers is a very noble and honourable task,” stated Mona, who declined to present her household title.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed by social and financial reforms as a part of plans to modernise the conservative Muslim kingdom and entice international funding below a diversification drive.

Under his reform plan, generally known as Vision 2030, the crown prince lifted a driving ban on women, allowed grownup women to journey with out permission from guardians and granted them extra management over household issues.

But the reform plan has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, together with on women’s rights activists.

Saudi Arabia has restricted the haj to its personal residents and residents for the second yr in a row, barring thousands and thousands of different pilgrims from overseas in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Samar, one other soldier watching pilgrims close to the Kaaba, a cube-shaped construction that Muslims imagine was constructed by Abraham, stated she was inspired by her household to hitch the navy, after psychology research.

“This is a huge accomplishment for us and it is the biggest pride to be in the service of religion, the country and the guests of God, the most merciful,” she stated.

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