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812 PILGRIMS FOR MECCA……. Koroma and others boost Hajj

The Sierra Leone Hajj Delegation will depart the shores of Sierra Leone on 6th September, 2016 to return on the 14th &16th October, 2016 after observing this year’s Hajj. The exercise, since the announcement by the Hajj Committee that Sierra Leone will participate in this year’s Hajj has been very hectic and exciting. It could be recall that for two consecutive years, during the turbulent period of Ebola Sierra Leone was excluded from the list of Countries that are participating in the annual event. This year, the slur has been erased when the government made frantic effort to restore the dignity of Muslims in the country and made it possible to re-start the process again. Not every Muslims believed that it would be possible again for the country to re-start the process after two years.

But dedicated Muslim advocates and lobbyists in the APC Government, and considering the fact that it has been a tradition for Muslims to take part in the annual event pushed the Government to what it has been obliged to do over the years. With an economy that is far stretched, the Government however searched its kitty and has rendered financial assistance to a number of Muslims that were unable to meet the cost.

The Leader and Head of the Hajj Delegation in Sierra Leone, Alhaji Sheka Kamara in collaboration with members of his team reportedly lobbied every corner to have a substantial number of Muslims sent for this year’s Hajj. President Koroma, as usual came to their rescue when he voluntarily made some outstanding financial donation to make it possible for a large number of interested Muslims to perform this year’s Hajj Ceremony. Although, President Koroma has reportedly made a substantial input, the Committee is however expecting donations from friendly organizations as the event is performed only once a year, which is very important to every Muslims. In addition to individual payments made by Muslims that can afford the cost, President Koroma’s humanitarian financial rescue has topped the list of pilgrims to 812, which if not for him; the number of pilgrims this year to the Holy Land of Mecca would have been ridiculous and a mockery to the Country.

Also aided the process was the Prince of Kuwait through the combined efforts of Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Alhaji Siray Alpha Timbo and Ambassador Kargbo. The Prince of Kuwait reportedly donated the sum of US$59,714 to the Hajj Committee, which presentation was done few hours to this publication.

The 812 pilgrims are expected to be flown by NAS Airline and two crafts have been provided for the trip. The first flight will fly with a total of 500 pilgrims whilst the second with a total of 312. The second flight will fly with officials of the Committee, who had earlier made the necessary arrangement on behalf of the Sierra Leone’s pilgrims to the Holy Land of Mecca. Also in the team is Sheik Alie Kallay, who has always been very useful and instrumental in the process for considerable period of time. Sheik Alie Kallay was a student in one of the renowned Universities in Saudi Arabia and has lived in that country for considerable period of time. His experience and knowledge of the terrain has always made him indispensable to the process.

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