916 Sierra Leoneans Arrive in Saudi For 2013 Hajj

By Alhaji M.B. Jalloh, Press Attache, Saudi Arabia : 

The season for Muslims to undertake the pilgrimage (Hajj) here in
Mecca, one of the five pillars of Islam, is here again. And Muslims
from Sierra Leone have not been left out of this all-important
religious obligation.

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The first  batch of 503 pilgrims led by Alhaji Salieu Mansaray of the
Sierra Leone Hajj Mission arrived at the Hajj Terminal of King Abdul
Aziz International Airport, Jeddah on Saturday, 5th October, 2013.

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The second batch of 413 led by Social Welfare Minister and Chairman
for 2013 Sierra Leone Hajj Affairs, Moijue Kaikai and Alhaji Sheka
Mansaray, Special Assistant to H.E the President on Social Affairs
arrived at the same airport the following day.

This latest batch brings the total number of pilgrims that have now
arrived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 2013 Hajj to 916. The
pilgrims arrived aboard National Air Services (NAS), a  renowned Saudi
Arabia domestic and international airline.

On arrival, they were received by officials the Sierra Leone Mission
in Riyadh and some of their nationals. unlke previous years, this
year, the pilgrims successfully went through both medical and
immigration checks without any hitches.

It could be recalled that a four-man advanced team of members of the
Sierra Leone Hajj Affairs led by Alhaji M.S. Kargbo, Deputy Chairman
for this year's Sierra Leone Hajj team and Special Assistant to H.E
the President on Political Affairs arrived Wednesday, 2nd October. The
team was here to serve as an advance supervisory team to ensure smooth
pilgrimage for the  Sierra Leone pilgrims.

The five-day pilgrimage is one of the pillars of Islam and is expected
of able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime. This year's
Hajj, expected to fall from 13- 18 October this year, combines piety
and passion.

The event sees pilgrims walk from Mecca to Mina to the Plain of Arafat
to stand near the Mount of Mercy and ask the Almighty Allah for
forgiveness. Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has been
hailed locally and internationally for the unflinching support he has
been giving Sierra Leone pilgrims since he came to power in September

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