The first flight for this year’s holy journey to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is expected to leave the shores of Ghana today barring any last minute unforeseen technical hitches, a source close to the National Hajj Committee has told The aL-hAJJ.
Prospective pilgrims, according to the source will start trooping the Hajj village early this morning to go through the necessary process for the effective progress of the exercise.
This year, more than 5,428 Ghanaian pilgrims will join an estimated 3.8 million on the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in a religious journey that is viewed as one of the Muslim faith's greatest acts of worship.
In preparation for a successful trip to the Holy land, the Hajj Board, chaired by Alhaji Ibrahim Abdul Rauf Tanko, has assured prospective pilgrims that this year’s hajj will be better organized than last year’s which was largely hailed as the most successful organization of hajj in Ghana since 2006.
The number of pilgrims from Ghana is based on the Saudi Arabia quota system. Every Muslim country has a hajj quota of 1,000 pilgrims per million inhabitants and the biggest contingent of 200,000 pilgrims will come from Indonesia.
So, for Ghana that has 25.5 million inhabitants, it has been allotted 5,428 slots. Already, the Hajj Board has secured 12 flights from a Saudi Airline, NAS Air, to ferry prospective pilgrims to the Holy land from today, September 16, 2014 to September 30, 2014.
Each flight is expected to ferry 450 pilgrims to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and each pilgrim will be entitled to 56 kilos for his or her luggage.
Accommodation, according to the Hajj Committee, has also been secured for the would-be pilgrims in areas within the precinct of the Holy Mosque in Mecca and in Medina for the weak and the elderly while other pilgrims will be accommodated elsewhere.
Until 2013, the organisation of Hajj in Ghana had been botched with disappointment and poor organisation leading to several prospective pilgrims stranded in Accra and sometimes left in the open space and at the mercy of the weather.
But that has since changed and last year, almost all paid pilgrims were successfully airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia drawing commendations from President John Dramani Mahama and Muslims alike.
Source: The Al-hajj
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