Mughamer Al Sadia along with daughter heading to perform Hajj. Image Credit: Courtesy: Sabq

Cairo: At 86, Mughamer Al Sadia, a Moroccan woman, has finally realized her long-cherished dream.

After several unsuccessful attempts over the past years, she has recently been selected to go on the holy journey to Saudi Arabia to perform next month’s Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage in and around the city of Mecca.

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Hajj is one of Islam’s five obligatory duties. Muslims who can physically and financially afford Hajj must perform it at least once in their lifetime. Mughamer’s joy has doubled as her son and daughter have also been chosen to attend this year’s Hajj.

They are among Moroccan pilgrims benefiting from a Saudi Hajj-associated package of facilities at the Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca, Morocco.

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Lauding the scheme known as the “Mecca Road” Initiative, her son Abdul Razeq was quoted by the Saudi news portal Sabq as saying, “The pilgrims’ entry procedures are finalized in a few minutes at the initiative’s hall at the Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca amid a warm welcome from its personnel.”

This year, the facilities are offered at 11 airports in seven countries: Morocco, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Cote d’Ivoire.

In 2018, the Saudi Interior Ministry relaunched the “Mecca Road” initiative, which began on a trial basis in 2017.

The initiative aims to offer seamless transport services to pilgrims from these countries en route to Saudi Arabia. The facilities include the issuance of electronic visas at home, finalizing passport procedures, and tagging and sorting luggage at the departure airports.

Upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, those pilgrims head directly to their residences in Mecca and Medina, while their luggage is delivered directly to their accommodations.