Egyptian pilgrims start heading to Saudi Arabia Saturday for Hajj

Ahram Online , Saturday 10 Jun 2023

The first batch of Egyptian pilgrims is heading on Saturday to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj (greater pilgrimage), read a statement by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, noting that as many as 45,000 Egyptian pilgrims are expected to perform Hajj this year.

A group of Egyptian pilgrims. File photo
A group of Egyptian pilgrims. File photo


National flag carrier EgyptAir is scheduled to operate four flights on Saturday to Medina to transport 1076 pilgrims, noted the statement.

The airline will transfer approximately 35,000 pilgrims this year to the kingdom on board 150 flights, with an average of 78 flights to Jeddah and 72 to Medina.

The pilgrims include 11,000 lottery winners; 5,300 from social solidarity, organizations and associations; and 5,000 individuals travelling at their own expense. 

An airlift will also transfer 7,400 pilgrims from Bamako, Mali, on 24 flights and 3,000 pilgrims from Palestine on 10 flights.

Hajj trips are expected to end on 22 June, with return trips scheduled on 2-13 July.

All capable Muslims are required to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, once in their lifetime.

The Hajj consists of religious rites completed over five days in Islam's holiest city, Mecca, and surrounding areas of western Saudi Arabia.

In 2022, nearly 900,000 pilgrims, including some 780,000 from abroad, were welcomed to Islam's holiest cities of Mecca and Medina.

Around 35,000 Egyptians reportedly travelled to Mecca to perform the Hajj last year.

Egyptians willing to perform Hajj should be fully vaccinated against coronavirus and take a meningitis vaccine shot.

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