Muslim pilgrims cast stones at pillars in the symbolic stoning of the devil, the last rite of the annual Hajj, in Mina near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, June 30, 2023. AP
As of Saturday, a total of 3,074 out of 5,250 NGO-sponsored pilgrims have already returned to Egypt, Abdel-Mawgoud said, adding that they are all in good health.
Each year, NGOs sponsor the Hajj journey for thousands of Egyptians who would not otherwise be able to afford the trip, which is a mandatory religious obligation for capable Muslims and one of the five pillars of Islam. The pilgrimage’s religious rites are completed over five days in Mecca other areas of western Saudi Arabia.
This year, 45,000 Egyptian pilgrims embarked on the Hajj journey, which concluded on 1 July.
The 2023 pilgrimage season in Mecca and Medina reportedly attracted over two million pilgrims.