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Hundreds to storm Lungi as 497 Pilgrims Arrive Tomorrow

Hundreds to storm Lungi as 497 Pilgrims Arrive Tomorrow

The second batch of 497 Sierra Leonean pilgrims are expected to depart the King Abdul Aziz International Airport Jeddah Friday, 11th December, 2009 at about 3: 00 A.M  Saudi Arabian local time, on board a special chartered Royal Air Maroc flight, Hajj officials say.

President of the 2009 Hajj Mission, Sheik Ahmed Tejan Sillah and Sheik Abubakar Conteh of the Steering Committee, told the Information Bureau of the Sierra Leone Embassy last night at the Holy city of Mecca that: “We are expecting to arrive at the Freetown International Airport, Lungi at about 7:00 A.M Sierra Leone time, if there are no changes in the flight schedule.”

Sheik Sillah and Sheik Conteh added that: “We praise and thank the Almighty Allah who brought us safely and helped us perform the Hajj successfully. And we are now praying for a safe trip to Sierra Leone.”

They arrived at the Prince Mohamed Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport, Medina in the early hours of Thursday, 12th November, 2009 on board Royal Air Maroc, No. AT 1800.

On arrival, they were warmly received by His Excellency, Ambassador Wusu B. Munu, other Diplomatic and local Staff of the Embassy and a good number of Sierra Leonean nationals resident in different parts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including the Sierra Leone Students Union in Medinah led by Dr. Ahmad Ramadan Jalloh and Sheik Ibrahim Bah.

Meanwhile, the medical team accompanying the pilgrims, led by the Senior Medical Officer at the Sierra Leone Ports Authority, Dr. Abdulai Jalloh, recently said that: “The pilgrims are in good shape. We have so far not identified any pilgrim having symptoms of swine flu. We only have cases of minor cold, joint pains, cough, and exhaustion.”

It could be recalled that the first batch of pilgrims led by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Haja Zainab Hawa Bangura, left here Thursday, 3rd December, 2209. They were here under the auspices of the Saudi Royal Protocol Department.

In a related development, five pilgrims who were also here under the auspices of the Muslim World League are expected to leave here today, Thursday, 10th December 2009, while the last batch of 17 pilgrims are expected to leave here on Thursday, 17 December, 2009.

Shortly before sending this report, Chairman of the Hajj Organising Committee, Alhaji Y.D. Kamara, told this writer in a telephone interview from Freetown that, thousands of Sierra Leoneans across the country were planning a massive welcome for the pilgrims at the airport.

By Alhaji Jalloh, Information Attaché, Sierra Leone Embassy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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