Female plumbers, electricians to fix glitches in pilgrim camps


Saudi Gazette

— A number of women are being trained to fix electricity and plumbing malfunctions at Haj camps for females.

Marwan Shaban, acting chairman of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the head of the National Committee for Haj and Umrah, said this was a pioneering initiative that aims at qualifying female specialists to deal with electricity malfunctions and water supply problems during the pilgrimage.

The main goal of the training was to reduce the need to bring male technicians to fix malfunctions in Haj camps for women.

Shaban said he did not expect so many women to participate in this kind of work. “However, our female participants have proved that Saudi women are capable of doing any job,” he added.

Shaban also said the initiative was necessary because there was a need for qualified female technicians every Haj season to serve the pilgrims while respecting their privacy.

The training program was offered by the Haj and Umrah Committee under the supervision of the Makkah Chamber.

Shaban said they would expand the program next year by signing contracts with specialized vocational training institutes.

Mansour Abu Khanjar, a member of the Haj and Umrah Committee, said the program was crucial especially in peak days of Haj.

“Each year technical malfunction issues tend to occur in camps for female pilgrims and we wait for a long time until we can allow a male technician to go in and fix the failure,” he said.

This program, he pointed out, aims at training females and equip them to fix technical issues. The participants will be given lessons on how to fix the technical glitches in addition to field training on electricity and plumbing systems.

Abu Khanjar said officials at different sectors were keen to develop different services to help the pilgrims perform their rituals in ease and comfort.