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11,500 Hajj pilgrims to leave for Mecca from Wednesday

7, 000 Jordanians, 4, 500 Palestinian pilgrims scheduled to leave in three groups — Awqaf Ministry

By Ahmed Bani Mustafa - Aug 10,2017 - Last updated at Aug 10,2017

Turkish Hajj pilgrims pray ahead of their departure to Saudi Arabia at Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport in Izmir, Turkey, on Thursday (Anadolu Agency photo)

AMMAN (JT) — Some 11, 500 pilgrims are scheduled to start leaving Jordan to perform Hajj (the greater Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca) as of Wednesday, August 16, an official source said.

The pilgrim number includes 7,000 Jordanians and around 4,500 Palestinians, Anas Sweileh, head of the Awqaf Ministry’s media department, told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

Sweileh added that the ministry has completed all arrangements for the pilgrimage, adding that the pilgrims will travel to Saudi Arabia in three groups.

The first group will leave on August 16, the second on the 18th and the third, which will be the largest group, will leave on the 19th of the same month. 

He noted that Awqaf Minister Wael Arabiyat will attend a ceremony on August 19 to see off the pilgrims at the pilgrim station in Maan, 220km south of Amman, which will be inaugurated during the event.

In order to ensure the safety of the pilgrims during their journey, the ministry has taken several measure related to transportation, Sweileh said.

The measures include the issuance of permits by the Hajj and umra committee, the Land Transport Regulatory Commission, and the Driver and Vehicle Licence Department, in addition to a mandatory check on all buses, the official added.

So far, 170 buses have been granted permits to carry pilgrims to the holy cities, according to Sweileh.

The ministry called on pilgrims to obtain a copy of the contract they signed with Hajj travel agencies to be used in case of any violation, Sweileh said, stressing that the ministry will take the necessary legal measures against any company that does not commit to its contracts.

According to the ministry’s website, there are 156 travel agencies accredited to organise Hajj and umra (the lesser Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca) trips.

Some 210 guides were made available to answer pilgrims’ questions on the rituals and jurisprudence of Hajj, the official said, adding that a joint committee has been formed by the ministry and the General Iftaa Department to answer questions.

At Mecca and Medina, inspectors sent by the ministry will check on the quality of the accommodation rented out by the Hajj agencies, and verify that housing is in accordance with the agreed conditions of the contracts.

Inspectors will also be in charge of checking on air conditioners, water tanks and electricity generators at the Arafa camp, according to the ministry.

For Muslims, Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam. It occurs in the month of Dhul Hijjah which is the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar “Hijri”. 

 

In Islam, Hajj is the journey that all sane Muslim adults must undertake at least once in their lives, if they can afford it and are physically able.  

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