Published on March 1, 2014
A PROPOSAL FOR BARE FEET ZONE AROUND AL HARAM AREA By HBR 1.3.2014 ®
OBJECTIVE • To solve the problem of where to put our shoes / sandals (rather than carrying them in a bag) or avoid losing them when going to and from Masjidil Haram (Al Haram) to perform our prayers and other rituals like tawaf especially during the peak seasons of Haj and Ramadhan
INTRO • Al Haram is Islam’s holiest mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia where many (millions) pilgrims visit as part of their Umrah / Haj rituals • For example in 2013: “Almost two million people have so far arrived at the site in Saudi Arabia for the rites, which reach a peak on Monday - and another million are expected.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2452754/Hajj-pilgrimage-More-2million-Muslims-arrive-Mecca.html
AL HARAM http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2452754/Hajj-pilgrimage-More-2million-Muslims-arrive-Mecca.html
EXPERIENCES OF OTHER PILGRIMS • “I note that my sandals were not in the particular place where I had stored them.” http://oldstock.blogspot.com/2011/11/stories-from-makkah.html • “I lost my shoes on my second day at Mecca. It is mind-boggling because our shoes were altogether inside one bag but only mine were taken.” http://w4w4d33.blogspot.com/2012/03/makkah-al-mukarramah-holy-city.html
EXPERIENCES OF OTHER PILGRIMS • “… especially considering the amount of times my brother lost his shoes.” http://digitalniqabi.wordpress.com/2007/12/20/gotta- protect-the-shoes/ • “When we emerged from the mosque our shoes were gone. Not stolen, I was certain of that but there were so many shoes and so many gates and surely everyone was exhausted like us and just grabbed something to wear.” http://open.salon.com/blog/amber_nasrulla/2013/10/14/i_lost_my_shoes_in_mecca
THE PROPOSAL • To recommend a bare feet zone from the nearby hotels around Al Haram (like when we are at our own homes) especially during peak • To ensure hygiene, there will be specified places to wash feet as well as the available ablution areas • The bare feet zone will be tiled in white marble (as in pic above) plus special non-slip mats in the specified places
LIMITATIONS OF PROPOSAL • The hourly/daily cleaning costs involved around the bare feet zone • Those pilgrims who needs to wear shoes for medical reasons (perhaps to wear non-slip socks as an alternative) • Those pilgrims who have just arrived, from their bus to hotel, among many other things
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