Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Sudanese Pilgrims Yearn for Safe Homeland

Saudi security efforts aimed to organize pilgrims and ensure their safety (Photo: Adnan Mahdali)
Saudi security efforts aimed to organize pilgrims and ensure their safety (Photo: Adnan Mahdali)
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Sudanese Pilgrims Yearn for Safe Homeland

Saudi security efforts aimed to organize pilgrims and ensure their safety (Photo: Adnan Mahdali)
Saudi security efforts aimed to organize pilgrims and ensure their safety (Photo: Adnan Mahdali)

With hearts heavy from the turmoil back home, where ongoing conflict has led to worsening security and economic conditions, Sudanese pilgrims departed from Saudi Arabia after completing Hajj rituals.

Taking different routes to the holy sites in the Kingdom, the journey of Sudanese pilgrims began at N'Djamena International Airport in Chad and Port Osman Digna in Sudan.

Crossing through barren deserts and remote wilderness, they traveled with silent tears in their eyes and faces weighed down by sorrow. Their hopes choked with longing for a homeland of peace and security.

From El Geneina in West Darfur, Sudan, Mohammed Issa Adam began a tough and exhausting pilgrimage journey with a group from the Sudanese Hajj mission.

Their trip spanned several days and involved various modes of transport: donkey carts, four-wheel-drive vehicles, and buses.

They traveled to Chad’s capital, flew to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, and finally landed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Adam, 46, described to Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt how Sudanese pilgrims departed for the Kingdom through Chad due to security concerns.

“Leaving from El Geneina in western Sudan, instead of the usual route eastward to Port Sudan, was unexpected,” he said.

“Despite road closures and security challenges, the determination of Ahmed Serr El-Khatim, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Hajj and Umrah, ensured pilgrims could complete their rites,” he added.

“We packed and traveled west by truck to the border, about 30 kilometers away.”

“After completing entry procedures and paying fees, we traveled in groups with donkey carts to Adre, then switched to four-wheel-drive vehicles for another leg. Buses awaited us on our journey to N'Djamena, Chad’s capital, where we arrived after a challenging trip,” Adam continued.

“From there, we flew out via its airport to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah,” he noted.

Adam, speaking with a heavy heart and halting words, expressed concern over Sudan’s security situation and said: “Security instability undermines civil life, crucial for all Sudanese. As pilgrims, we see Sudan’s safety as our collective responsibility.”

Reflecting on the pilgrimage, Adam said: “From stepping onto Saudi soil to completing Hajj rites, we were warmly welcomed and graciously hosted, easing our journey’s fatigue and hardships.”

“Arriving at Jeddah Airport, procedures were swift, welcoming us with warmth and efficiency.”

“Hajj was performed smoothly without major issues; everything was accessible, with excellent services. At Arafat, we prayed for Sudan’s well-being, hoping for peace to restore it to its former glory.”

Adam also praised this year’s Hajj regulations: “The campaign for ensuring that pilgrims have permits was well-implemented.”

“We noticed strict enforcement from the moment we arrived at the airport. We received identification bracelets, accommodation cards, and ritual cards, all closely monitored.”

“The campaign greatly eased pilgrims’ movements during rituals, ensuring their comfort with excellent services and efficient organization.”

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Al-Sadiq Al-Hilou, coordinator for the pilgrims’ campaigns in the states of East and West Darfur, reported that the number of Sudanese pilgrims who performed Hajj this year reached 8,533.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Saudi Leadership Congratulate Kiribati President on Independence Day

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. (SPA)
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Saudi Leadership Congratulate Kiribati President on Independence Day

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. (SPA)

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King Salman wished the president continued good health and happiness and the government and people of Kiribati steady progress and prosperity.
For his part, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud also sent a cable of congratulations to President Maamau, wishing him continued good health and happiness and the government and people of Kiribati steady progress and prosperity.