Historic Achievement: Saudi’s Women Join Kaaba’s Kiswa Replacement Ceremony


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In a historic and symbolic move, Saudi women from the General Authority for the Care of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque participated in the ceremonial changing of the Kaaba’s Kiswa. This marks a significant milestone in the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Significance of the Kaaba Kiswa

The Kaaba’s Kiswa, the beautifully embroidered black cloth that covers the Kaaba, is of profound religious and cultural significance. It symbolizes the sanctity of the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam. The annual replacement of the Kiswa is a tradition that dates back centuries, carried out with great reverence and precision.

Role of Saudi Women

This year’s ceremony was particularly noteworthy due to the inclusion of Saudi women. This marks the first time women have been involved in this sacred tradition, reflecting the progressive changes occurring within the Kingdom. The women played vital roles in the ceremony, showcasing their skills and dedication.

The General Authority for the Care of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque

Source: X handle of The Holy Mosques

The General Authority for the Care of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque oversees the maintenance and administration of these holy sites. The inclusion of women in this prestigious ceremony highlights the evolving roles of women within the authority and the broader societal shifts in Saudi Arabia.

The King Abdulaziz Complex

The King Abdulaziz Complex, where the Kiswa is produced, is a hub of skilled craftsmanship. A team of 159 craftsmen, including women, carried out the annual custom of changing the Kaaba’s Kiswa. The complex employs about 200 craftsmen and administrators in various departments, ensuring the Kiswa is crafted with utmost precision.

The Ceremony

The ceremony of changing the Kaaba’s Kiswa involves removing the old cloth and carefully draping the new one over the Kaaba. This task is performed with meticulous care and reverence, symbolizing devotion and respect. The inclusion of women in this process signifies a significant step towards gender inclusivity.

Technological Advancements

The King Abdulaziz Complex houses the world’s largest sewing machine, a 16-meter-long marvel operated by a computer system. This advanced technology ensures the Kiswa is crafted with the highest quality and efficiency, blending tradition with modernity.

Impact on Society

The participation of Saudi women in the Kaaba’s Kiswa replacement ceremony is a powerful statement of their empowerment and recognition in Saudi society. It aligns with the goals of Vision 2030, which aims to create a more inclusive and progressive society.

The involvement of Saudi women in the Kaaba’s Kiswa replacement ceremony is a historic milestone, highlighting the Kingdom’s commitment to gender equality and modernization. This event honors sacred traditions while paving the way for a more inclusive future, resonating with cultural and social significance across the Muslim world.

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