I live in district Saraya, Mecca. I am a Pakistani, female 38 years old. People call me Ummu. I have been in Mecca since 1999 working as a housekeeper for an Arabic family, about 1 km from Baitullah.

The situation now in surrounding Baitullah is so different than before COVID-19. People stay in their homes. No sholat/praying in the mosque. Joajad (Police) always observe if there are people in mosques, markets, or any public areas. I do not know the Mustasfa (Hospital) situation. I got information from some of my friends. People are afraid of police here because the police will use a plastic stick to hit people who are found outside. However, people who buy medicine in sudaliyah (apotic) are allowed.

In the traditional market, the trader just puts their consumer goods on the table without keeping them. The buyer just takes what they want to buy and puts the money for the price. People here trust each other. It is why in Mecca, the jail is almost empty.

Going back to the situation in Mecca since COVID-19 came; people’s life seems to have no problem with food. Raysi (head of district) supports people by distributing free food: meat, wheat, and sugar. The last regulation from the Arabic Government was people are allowed to travel to Al-Atheer District and a Damman District but the activities are just allowed from 09.00 AM until 5.00 PM. I do not know how many people are infected with COVID-19 here in my place.


Editor’s note: See NPR’s article, “Migrants Are Among The Worst Hit By COVID-19 In Saudi Arabia And Gulf Countries