First batch of Hajj pilgrims leave for Saudi Arabia

The first batch of 266 Ghanaian Muslim pilgrims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia left Accra on Friday.

The pilgrims were those who were stranded last year although they had paid for the annual pilgrimage.

Alhaji Gariba, Executive Member of the Hajj Agents Association said lessons learnt from past Hajj preparations would facilitate the process to make sure that this year’s trip goes on smoothly.

He said issues of passport documentation, visa acquisition and other migration processes have been handled professionally this time around.

Alhaji Gariba said accommodation and sanitation matters at the Hajj village in Accra, which is closer to the El- Wak stadium, have been superb.

Fourteen Egypt Air flights are expected to fly about 4,300 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia starting from October, 14 to November 4.

There will be double flights on October 17 and October 20.

Seidu Ali Bayanyinah, Deputy Superintendent of the Ghana Immigration Service, who was overseeing checks-in at the village, said so far he has not recorded the issuance of fake travelling documents and prohibited materials among the pilgrims.

Some of the pilgrims who spoke with the Ghana News Agency said they were satisfied with the preparations made so far.

The first flight took off for Saudi Arabia around 2000 hours.

Source: GNA

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