Zaheer Khan, Missionary and Naib Afsar Jalsa Salana UK
With Jalsa Salana UK 2023 around the corner, preparations are in full swing, and the 28-construction period at Hadeeqatul Mahdi officially started on 11 July 2023.
The management meetings for Jalsa Salana UK started in January 2023. This Jalsa will be the first post-Covid Jalsa Salana UK that is free from the capacity restrictions that the pandemic brought with it. The last Jalsa UK to be held without pandemic restrictions was in 2019. Though the capacity restrictions have been lifted, all guests will be required to wear face masks within the main marquee.
Instructions from Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa
We received instructions from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, to prepare for an attendance of 50,000 attendees and to make arrangements accordingly. Keeping this in mind, the main marquees for both the men’s and women’s sides have been increased this year; the women’s main marquee has been increased by 40 metres in length, allowing a larger number of attendees, and the men’s side has increased by 5 metres, taking it to maximum capacity. The main marquee sizes are as follows:
Men’s main marquee: 50m (W) x 145m (L)
Ladies’ main marquee: 50m (W) x 140m (L)
The main marquees have air conditioning systems in place to ensure the temperature is cool and comfortable, and the accommodation marquees will be equipped with heaters to ensure Jalsa guests are able to rest without discomfort.
This year, more than 50 marquee companies were contacted for quotes, and 20 companies have been used for various marquees. The amount and sizes of marquees have also increased compared to the last full-fledged Jalsa in 2019.
New meat processing facility
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa also instructed us to install a new meat processing facility at the Jalsa site where all the slaughtered meat bought from local, regional, and national suppliers would be cut and prepared by Ahmadi volunteers for the Jalsa Salana kitchen. Accordingly, a new and well-equipped meat processing facility has been established, accompanied by a 40-foot chiller to store the meat.
The benefit of having a meat processing facility is that a lot of costs will be cut and savings made. Along with this, the meat for the guests will be fresher, and we have also made conditions to the suppliers that they must provide us with the highest quality meat.
New lunch and dinner arrangements
A new takeaway service will be available this year from the car park. Those guests who wish to take their dinner home can do so from the car park food service point, without the need to queue up in the main dinner marquee. The dinner will be ready in takeaway containers to be picked up; therefore, all guests are instructed not to bring any containers of their own. All containers will be provided at the takeaway service point. Along with the aloo gosht and daal menus, a pasta dish will be added for those wanting it. 40 new burners have also been added in a separate place to the main kitchen to aid any extra needs.
New ‘Exhibitions Road’
All the historical and educational exhibitions have come together under one roof this year. A dedicated marquee has been set up in which guests will be able to view the various exhibitions on display. Other exhibitions will also be in the same area.
The Lajna will have special timings for viewing the exhibitions – the first will be on Saturday, 29 July following the address of Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa and remain until 15 minutes before maghrib prayers. The second viewing time for Lajna will be on Sunday 30 July from after Zuhr prayers up until the final session.
To reduce traffic around the Jalsa site, some roads have been widened and expanded, and new roads have also been laid. A new two-way traffic system will ease the traffic conditions at Hadeeqatul Mahdi.
A blessing of Khilafat
Last year, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa instructed the installation of a water drainage system at the Jalsa site to prevent water logging, which had caused significant disruption for vehicles in the past.
This year, during the 28-day construction period at Hadeeqatul Mahdi, the area experienced heavy rainfall, leading to the formation of large water puddles. However, unlike previous years, when the water would persist on the surface, the newly installed drainage system efficiently cleared the puddles within two days. As a result, the construction work continued smoothly without significant hindrance.
This is another blessing of Khilafat, which we have witnessed as the drainage system was installed according to Huzoor’s instructions, and now we are witnessing its benefits.
According to Huzoor’s instructions, the drainage system has been covered with rocks rather than mud, to ensure the water properly drains downwards.
The inspection by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa of the Jalsa Salana site will take place one week prior to the Jalsa Salana, on Sunday, 23 July. InshaAllah. We are expecting 8,000 volunteers to be in attendance.
An “Event Management Centre (EMC)” has been created this year, which is required by law and has been established to address all emergencies, etc.
The Jalsa store is being loaded with various supplies, including foodstuff, sanitary supplies, water and much more.
EE signal boosters have been installed for better internet and phone signal connectivity. Fibre optic cables have also been laid for the various departments.
As of 20 July, Khuddam have started waqf-e-arzi in Hadeeqatul Mahdi and according to reports from Sadr Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya UK, more than 100 Khuddam from 21 regions have come forward to volunteer.
Arrangements have also been made to ensure that newly-arrived Ahmadis who do not have the means available to travel to Hadeeqatul Mahdi for the Jalsa, are given lifts to the site.
The overall parking capacity of the site has been increased now due to improved ground conditions, with the addition of the drainage system.
12-15,000 duty badges have been issued along with car passes. Members can obtain their car passes from their local sadran.
The roti (flatbread) plant has been started and will be ready soon.
The water has undergone safety tests, and water reserves are ready.
Out of the 1200 metres of metal tracks laid around the Jalsa Site, 70% has been completed.
80% of the hired cabin toilets have been set up, 40% of the showers have been installed, and 80% of the cabins have arrived.
The various departments that are working at the moment on the sites include Site, Kitchen, Electricity, Communication, Mehman Nawazi (food service), Maintenance, Water Supply, Khidmat-e-Khalq and more.