Impressed by her late father’s profession, Mona determined to affix the navy and the primary group of Saudi girls troopers to work in Islam’s holiest websites, the place they’re serving to safe the haj annual pilgrimage.
Since April, dozens of feminine troopers have turn out to be a part of the safety companies that monitor pilgrims in Mecca and Medina, the beginning locations of Islam.
Wearing a navy khaki uniform, with a hip-length jacket, free trousers and a black beret over a veil protecting her hair, Mona spends her shifts roaming within the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
“I’m following the steps of my late father to finish his journey, standing right here on the Grand mosque in Mecca, the holiest place. To serve the worshippers is a really noble and honourable process,” stated Mona, who declined to present her household identify.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed by means of social and financial reforms as a part of plans to modernise the conservative Muslim kingdom and entice overseas funding below a diversification drive.
Underneath his reform plan, often known as Imaginative and prescient 2030, the crown prince lifted a driving ban on girls, allowed grownup girls to journey with out permission from guardians and granted them extra management over household issues.
However the reform plan has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, together with on girls’s rights activists.
Saudi Arabia has restricted the haj to its personal residents and residents for the second yr in a row, barring thousands and thousands of different pilgrims from overseas in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Samar, one other soldier watching pilgrims close to the Kaaba, a cube-shaped construction that Muslims imagine was constructed by Abraham, stated she was inspired by her household to affix the navy, after psychology research.
“It is a enormous accomplishment for us and it’s the greatest satisfaction to be within the service of faith, the nation and the friends of God, probably the most merciful,” she stated.