New binding rules for pilgrimage to Mecca: ‘totally unexpected’

Nouvelles règles contraignantes concernant le pèlerinage à La Mecque: "Totalement inattendu"

From July 7-12, Muslims around the world will visit Islam’s holiest site in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They will perform ‘Hajj’ there, which is a pilgrimage blocked for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But for many Muslims traveling this year will not be possible. Saudi authorities have actually decided to limit the number of pilgrims this summer. A registration and lottery system was implemented, which left thousands of Muslims suspicious.

“This is completely unexpected. I quickly registered on the platform, even though the prices are higher through a travel agency. Also, flights are not included. With these prices, my son can’t come in advance “, Explains Ali to our colleagues morgan,

The one who had been waiting for this yatra after years of savings, now nothing is certain about the feasibility of his pilgrimage. Last week, the Saudi government announced that pilgrims from Europe, the US and Australia could book their journey only on a platform managed by Saudi authorities.

They were no less than 2.5 million in 2019, they will be no more than a million this summer. Apart from this, the Saudi government has also imposed other conditions. Travelers must also be under 65 years of age and fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

For Belgium, there are about 1,400 places for Belgian Muslims, almost half the normal number. A draw will have to determine who is among the lucky ones. “I’m constantly refreshing my mailbox and calling my friends and family. We had to go with a whole group, but it’s not sure if we’d all be able to go and we’d be in the same group. all questions”Ali tells Morgan.

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