Saturday, April 11, 2009

.: Scarlet labyrinth :.

Uncovering the identity.

Previous post; Crossing Borders dealt with the Malaysian hujjaj's travel pack along with the things obtained throughout the Hajj journey. As promised, here is a continuation of the article in aiding readers to distinguish a Malaysian hujjaj with another.

Typically, all Malaysian hujjaj will have these items with them. We were advised, not to mention also required to have these with us at all times. Even in the hotel.

Left to right::

  1. Steel bangle with the bearer's name, identification number inscribed on one side and the alternate side has the bearer's country and Hajj authority contact number.
  2. Travel sling bag - For each place that we go to; Medina, Muzdalifah, Arafah, Mina and Mecca we were given labels to stick on the sling bag and our ID tag; markings primarily for quick identification. Labels consist of i.e. name, flight number, serial number, passport number, camp number, hotel name, room number, bus number information.
  3. ID tag - In case you're wondering why my ID tag is blank, it's because we have another ID tag which I'm unable to publish here cos' it has my photo in it. That, plus the details of my Hajj account number and medical history [allergies, blood type etc.]
  4. Medical record book - Malaysia has its own medical facilities in Mecca; Aziziah Hospital and Syisyah Medical Centre thus, patients that have chronic ailments are often sent there instead of the Saudi hospitals. However, each KT or group has their own medical team. The book serves as a concise medical record book comprising details of appointments, medicine prescribed, comments etc. Extremely beneficial for those referred to a Saudi hospital or is required to obtain medication from the pharmacies. Soon after my Muzdalifah experience, I had 6 recorded clinical appointments, consuming 24 different types of medication in a span of 21 days, therefore I became adept in the medical terms and reading the doctors' hand writings. *an accidental case of cursive meets awfully ugly scrawls*
In spite of having these items as a precautionary exercise, there were cases of missing people then, though things weren't blown out of proportion. Alhamdulillah, the cases reported were handled well. The things proved to be effective in assisting the authorities to resolve it efficiently.

How to spot a Malaysian hujjaj if they don't bring any of these things with them?

Fairly easier to recognize the women because the majority will wear the white telekung [our prayer clothes] with ماليزيا sewn. On the other hand, the men sometimes wear the Baju Melayu top, or some kind of head gear [kopiah, songkok]. Some people create their own identification i.e. wearing different colored telekung, sew ribbons or flowers, or just put each other on an invisible leash. There are absolutely no problems in figuring out the Malaysian Hajj authorities as they are required to wear a blue colored jacket with the words "Tabung Haji"; literally means 'Hajj Savings' written at the back so we can spot them miles away. They're almost always nearby, scouring the areas in search of lost Malaysian hujjaj. I was approached by quite a number of them, commonly asking me "Do you know your way back?", "Don't you think you have strayed far enough?', and "Where are you going?". If you still encounter problems, try asking the vendors. They are exceptionally good in spotting Malaysians.

A bunch of other stuff that I retrieved from my Hajj travels chest.

Left to right:: A pamphlet from a Saudi medical centre, an empty bottle of zamzam water given by the Zamazemah United Office *garbage to you may be perceived as a treasure to me; given the opportunity, yes, I can be sentimentally unsound*, Hajj Graphical Chronological Events Guide, maps of Medina and Mecca, Panduan Kesihatan Jemaah Haji [Hujjaj Health Guide], a book collected at Jabal Rahmah, stoning of the Jamarats schedule, a compendium obtained at the departure gates of King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah and the flashlights given by my uncle to use in Muzdalifah.

Journal entries.
9.33am Malaysian Time
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