Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

Participants in Hajj Research Forum Ask Towafa Foundations to Adhere to International Quality Standards  

At the conclusion of the 17th Hajj Research Forum, the participants discussed several work papers in the 8th session headed by UQU President Dr. Bakri bin M'atooq Assas in which Dr. Ramzi bin Ahmed Al-Zahrani, Dr. Ibrahim bin Ali Al-Khalidi, and Dr. Khalid bin Saad Al-Qahtani from the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj and Umrah Research submitted a work paper titled "Role of Understanding Content of Social Media in Improving Performance during Hajj Season: a case study of Twitter  during Hajj season of the year 1436 H".  In their paper, they referred to the importance of evaluating impressions of the pilgrims and workers in the Hajj season depending on the content of social media such as Twitter branding it as a rich source to conduct several analytical studies on multiple and different phenomena.    


The said that they have depended on spatial and temporal elements in classifying content of the data, setting up dictionary to deal with content of the tweets and defining nature of the expressed impressions. 


In another paper titled: "Kingdom Efforts in Crowd Management during Hajj Season", the researcher Mohamed bin Bilal Al-Zahrani an affiliate of the Public Security revealed that he has achieved a model demonstrating the Kingdom's experience in crowd management and outlining its experience using a scientific methodology. He referred to the outstanding success achieved in this regard and the integration of the Kingdom's government and services agencies in a single work depending on a single vision and strategy to guarantee maximum security and safety in the Hajj season as a great religious ritual.      

He explained that crowd management is both science and art collecting theories and principles of motion science, transport in addition to skills of planners and operators of crowd management and witnessing continuous development. In the recent time, he said concern has been increased to providing training programs, technical and administrative consultancies in these fields and many books have been published in the field of crowd focusing on theories and  experiences. 

Within the same vein, Dr. Hanadi Mohamed Buhairi from UQU Deanship of Scientific Research reviewed in her paper titled: "Self-evaluation of Towafa foundations according to European Excellence Standards EFQM", the experience of Towafa foundations in dealing with pilgrims. She referred to the importance of adopting European standards to evaluate services provided by these foundations during Hajj season to boost their efficiency in line with the international quality standards using RADAR methodology, so as for these foundations to be committed to the highest quality levels. 


She added that European excellence standards EFQM were initiated in 2010 and focused on the importance of setting up self-evaluation of the establishment using nine standards divided into two groups the first of which is standards of means including; leadership, workers, partnerships, resources and operations, whereas the second one  is the standards of results including; results of dealers, workers, community and main businesses. 


For his part, the researcher Marwan Yousif Kaaki from the Social Services Department in the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu said in his paper titled: "Volunteering work and Services provided for Pilgrims, Umrah Doers and Visitors", that the absence of clear job for the volunteer, method of his work, level of his appreciation to his work and the pressure he found from different charity organizations led to a gap between his desire and undertaking his volunteering work such gap has led to a decrease in  numbers of volunteers . 


He explained that existence of specialized centers paying attention to the volunteers and directing their capacities is a very important issue given that the volunteer is one of the backbones to completing government work. He added that turning a blind eye to the volunteer will affect his desire to repeat his volunteering experience.


He went on to say that greatness of volunteering work increases when the volunteer is directed to serve pilgrims and visitors of the Grand and Prophet Mosques, as such a thing is also considered high national value and civilizational behavior from the volunteer person towards his nation 

In a similar fashion, the researcher Dr. Hashim bin Hamza Noor from the Office of Volunteering Work for Hajj and Umrah in Madinah shed light in his paper titled: " the Experience of the Volunteering Work for Hajj and Umrah in Madinah in coordinating and organizing volunteering work in Madinah" on the Office experience in coordinating  exerted volunteering efforts, contributing to educating and qualifying human cadres specialized in the fields of volunteering work, providing  government, special and charity agencies with qualified volunteers besides securing financial and physical resources for the volunteering programs and activities during Hajj and Umrah.