MAKKAH: Clad in our Tabung Haji (TH) red shirts, media personnel are often approached by elderly pilgrims for help.
It is our duty here in the Holy Land to extend our services beyond news reporting.
The elderly remind us of our parents. The worried look on their faces easily pull us away from our pressing deadline and we try our best to help them in any way we can.
When I put on the TH red shirt, pilgrims often approached me and asked about various matters, including the services available at the Abraj Al-Janadriah Hotel.
One of the queries was the location of the pharmacy and another was the direction to the Pos Malaysia counter.
These are some of the facilities made available to Malaysian pilgrims, who will gather here to perform the fifth pillar of Islam.
Maktab 77 manager Mohd Nasir Mohd Yusof said other services for pilgrims included a clinic and a 24-hour emergency unit.
“They can use the healthcare facilities for free.”
The clinic is on the third floor of the Abraj Al-Janadriah Hotel. It has started to receive patients since the arrival of the early batches of Malaysian pilgrims on Tuesday.
Nasir said among the common cases referred to the clinic were coughs, flu, skin rashes and leg pain.
He said TH also put together an itinerary for ceramah (talks) and ziarah (tours) for pilgrims that covered religious sites around the city.
He said the itinerary covered the period starting from the day pilgrims arrived in Makkah to the day they left the Holy Land.
On food, Nasir said pilgrims would be provided with warm meals.
“Pre-packed meals will be kept inside the food warmer located on every floor,” he said, adding that meals for lunch and dinner would be sent to the maktab (a cluster of pilgrims) according to the fixed schedule.
He reminded Malaysian pilgrims not to keep their lunch for dinner or their dinner for breakfast.
“We are afraid the food may turn bad, especially when it is not stored properly.”