AQR pilgrim city can host 6k underprivileged people: AQR official
According to him, accommodation of pilgrims is the most important concern for the Institute. “We are doing our best to provide best possible residence for the underprivileged people in Mashhad”.
He added: “Since the beginning of the pandemic and implementation of nationwide health protocols, our services have been very limited at pilgrim house, pilgrim city, and by-road complexes. All these services were offered by observing health protocols and we hope to be able to cover greater number of people following public vaccination in the country”.
Sepehrian went on to say: “The Institute’s plan is to prepare 20 thousand beds, while six thousand beds have been equipped for the first phase. We hope to reach ready-to-use beds to 12 thousand for the second phase”.
The Institute has been formed out of revenues of AQR’s endowments and it is a unique example in the world, he noted.
Mohammad Tavakkoli, Imam Reza (AS) Holy Shrine’s Deputy for Holy Sites, also said: “Thanks to the support programs of AQR, pilgrimage of first-time visitor is now possible. The pilgrim house and city were also built to offer accommodation services to the poor and the needy”.
Tavakkoli added: “Last year and during the outbreak of coronavirus, it was not possible for pilgrims to visit the holy city of Mashhad due to health restrictions. However, the Institute was able to host, through full compliance with health protocols, some groups of pilgrims three nights for free”.
Touching upon the importance of charities and benefactors’ role, the official revealed that the operating costs of the pilgrim house and the pilgrimage city is very high, so, “contributions by charities will enable the Institute to provide useful and valuable services”.