Over 900 South Sudanese Muslims travel to Mecca



By Godfrey Olukya 19-10-2012

For the first time, Muslims from South Sudan have traveled directly from their capital Juba to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the holy pilgrimage.

Reports from South Sudan indicate that over 900 South Sudanese Muslims
went for pilgrimage to Mecca.

The first group of pilgrims left yesterday in a plane that left Juba airport in the morning. A worker at the airport, Norman Longwa said,’ They were very excited as they boarded the plane. They were chanting Allah Akhbar meaning God is great.’

They commended their government for facilitating their mission to the Islamic holy city. In the past, all Muslims who wanted to go to Mecca had to go through Khartoum but after attaining independence last year South Sudan Muslims started making arrangements meant to enable them fly from their country to Saudi Arabia.

South Sudan government helped to facilitate the travel of the pilgrims through the office of the President and the Bank of South Sudan.

Able pilgrims were reportedly asked to deposit their money in the Bank of South Sudan which in turn transmitted the amount directly to a correspondent bank in Saudi Arabia for their feeding and accommodation during the period of stay.

The pilgrims are expected to stay in Saudi Arabia for about two weeks and return to South Sudan. On return, the men will be with title of Hajj while the women will be with of Hajat.


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