HomeHajjBangladesh gets 127,000 hajj slots, signs MoU

Bangladesh gets 127,000 hajj slots, signs MoU

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The Republic of Bangladesh has been allocated 127,000 hajj slots for this year pilgrimage exercise in Saudi Arabia.

The South Asian country got more than double the number last year and a little more that what was allocated to her before the covid-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh’s Religious Affairs Minister Faridul Haque Khan signed the MoU in a ceremony well attended in Jeddah in the presence of the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.
Bangladesh had received a quota of 60,000 pilgrims in 2022, when the Kingdom limited the pilgrimage to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Before the pandemic, Bangladesh was allowed to send around 120,000 pilgrims.
Haque Khan said: “An agreement has been signed between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia which will allow 127,198 Bangladeshi pilgrims to perform the Hajj this year,” Shahadat Hossain Taslim, president of the Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh who was a member of the official delegation, in an interview with newsmen also said: “Good news is that there will be no age limit for the pilgrims in this year which means anyone aged 65 or above will be allowed to travel to the Kingdom to perform the Hajj.”

Saudi authorities had set an age limit during the 2022 Hajj season, requiring pilgrims to be younger than 65 and fully vaccinated to perform the pilgrimage.

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As the Kingdom appears set to revoke the age limit this year, prospective pilgrims from Bangladesh have welcomed the move.

“I have been waiting to perform the Hajj since 2020 but failed to do so due to COVID-19 restrictions,” Ashraful Alam, a 67-year-old farmer from the northern city of Rajshahi, told Arab News.

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“Since there will be no age limit in this year, I hope Allah will grant me the opportunity to perform Hajj pilgrimage traveling to the sacred land of Makkah.”

Mohammed Kibria, a 63-year-old businessman from the southern city of Barishal, said: “I am very happy to know that the quota for Bangladeshi pilgrims this year will not be limited,” he told Arab News.

READ ALSO: Hajj 2023: Tour Operator commends NAHCON on early preparations *Advises commission on specific areas *Warns against internal, external forces

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“I intend to perform the Hajj this year along with my wife and two sons. I hope to start the pilgrimage preparations soon.”

Kibria added that he was looking forward to taking part in the Makkah Route initiative, a streamlined service launched in 2019 dedicated to Hajj pilgrims and aimed at easing their immigration process to enter Saudi Arabia.

Bangladesh was among five Muslim-majority countries — including Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Morocco — where Saudi Arabia operated its Makkah Route initiative last year.

“Makkah Route initiative will be a big blessing for the Bangladeshi pilgrims as all the immigration formalities will be completed in Dhaka before flying to the Kingdom. There will be no more hours-long queue,” Kibria said.

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