As 537 Sierra Leoneans complete 2009 Hajj… 23 Pilgrims to Arrive Today
The last batch of 23 Sierra Leonean pilgrims departed the Hajj Terminal of the King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Thursday, 17th December 2009 at about 4:00 a.m.Â Saudi Arabian local time. (Photo: Leader of the group Alhaji Gibrill in the midst of 1st Secretaries Eric Gamanga and Sidia Sillah at the airport)
Head of the group, Alhaji Gibril Kamara, told the Information Bureau of the Sierra Leone Embassy shortly before boarding Royal Air Maroc at Gate 13 of the airport that: “According to our flight schedule, we are expecting to arrive at the Freetown International Airport, Lungi in the early hours of Friday, 18th December, 2009.”
He added that: “And we are to spend over 10 hours in transit at the Mohamed Five International Airport, Casablanca.”
In a brief interview with most of the pilgrims, this is what they had to say: “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 added: “We are also grateful our President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for his timely intervention in making our trip possible through Allah’s will. We prayed for him at all the holy places and we shall always remember him in our prayers. ”
This final batch of pilgrims is part of two groups, SHAM International and Guidance Islamic Movement of Siaka Stevens Street and Campbell Street respectively, who were unable to perform last year’s pilgrimage due to unavoidable circumstances. .
It could be recalled that the first batch of 12 pilgrims left on Thursday, 3rd December, 2009 and was led by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Haja Zainab Hawa Bangura. They were here under the auspices of the Saudi Royal Protocol Department.
Five who came under the auspices of the Muslim World League left Thursday, 10th December 2009, while 497 left Friday, 11th December, 2009.
This last batch of pilgrims brings the total number so far from Sierra Leone for the year of 2009 to 537.Alhaji Jalloh, Information AttachÃ©, Sierra Leone Embassy, Riyadh reports from Jeddah Intl. Airport
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