KABEER YOUSUF –
MUSCAT, JULY 27 –
The first flight carrying the Omani Haj delegation to the holy land is leaving today morning, according to the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs.
This will be followed by another flight after two days and more flights in the coming days.
“The first flight carrying the official Haj delegation will leave on Sunday and this will be followed by another flight on Wednesday and more in the coming days,” Abdul Aziz al Ghafri, Deputy Head of Oman Haj Mission, told the Observer.
The official delegation consists of members from various ministries, Royal Oman Police (ROP), Defence, Oman Scouts and Guides, staff of other administrative departments, technicians and representatives of various service providers.
This year, 14,000 Haj aspirants including 250 Arab and 250 non-Arab pilgrims who have registered on the ministry’s portal are given opportunity to fulfil the fifth tenet of Islam, which is offering Haj.
This number also includes people with chronic diseases, cancer, disabled, bedridden, wasiyya (performing Haj on behalf of someone else, as he/she desired), elderly, first timers and the like.
“We received nearly 21,000 applications through our online facility from across the country. These include applications from 86 elder and disabled, patients with cancer, one family member each from 447 deceased people who left their dream of performing haj unfulfilled, to carry out the rituals of Haj (Wasiyya)”, Al Ghafri added. The online registration of this year’s Haj began on March 12, 2019 and ended on March 22. The ministry approved 85 companies to transport Arab pilgrims and three companies to transport non-Arab pilgrims to the holy land.
The ministry has earlier urged all pilgrims to ensure that they get the same quality of services from the contractors as agreed upon in the contracts, and to report any failure on their part to the ministry’s representatives whose services will be available throughout.