Sensitive job of taking Arafat sermon to people around the world


Okaz/Saudi Gazette

ARAFAT – Engineer Abdul Rahim Karandis and his three-member team of Filipino technicians play a commendable role in taking the Arafat sermon to pilgrims gathered in the plain of Arafat and people around the world, who anxiously await to hear its content.

Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Karandis said he and his team takes more than a month to prepare for the transmission of Arafat sermon without any disruption. The operation room at Namira Mosque will not exceed more than 36 meters and it houses about 70 devices.

Karandis conducts several tests to make sure that the sound system at the mosque and speakers are in top form. A minor mistake will be noticed not only by pilgrims in Arafat but also Muslims around the world as well as top Saudi government officials.

“I used to stand on the podium to conduct mock speeches several times to ensure clarity of sound,” said Karandis who has been in charge of Arafat sermon transmission for the last eight years.

“My mission begins a month before Dul Hijja and during this period I check the sound system and microphones inside the Namira mosque, its cables, loud speakers inside and outside the mosque and the khateeb’s podium,” he explained.

Karandis is fully awareness of the highly sensitive job. “There is no place for mistake because the sermon, which is part of Haj events, should reach all over the Islamic world at the time it’s delivered. It’s transmitted live through satellite television channels,” he pointed out.

Sheikh Saad Al-Shathri, a member of the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars in the Kingdom delivered the Arafat sermon on Thursday. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman assigned him the task of delivering the sermon in place of Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh.

“I live on my nerves for a month as I am concerned about every small and big thing inside this room and I will not rest until the sermon’s transmission is completed without failure,” Karandis said.

He said this year the sermon was transmitted through 1,312 speakers with a power of 44,000 watts. About 120 speakers have been installed on the mosque’s six minarets and in its courtyards while 1,238 speakers are installed inside the mosque.

“I can see the khateeb standing on the podium to deliver the sermon from the television screen inside the room and we make sure he delivers it without any problem,” he said, adding that his department takes all precautions to carry out the transmission efficiently.

“We have arranged a reserve sound system with a power of 40,000 watts in case the existing system fails for any unforeseen reason,” he added.