Hajj pilgrims have expressed their satisfaction with the overall arrangement of the government to carry them to Saudi Arabia for performing the holy Islamic ritual.
They said apart from a very few issues, everything at Hajj Camp in Ashkona of Dhaka are running smoothly and they are getting all necessary services after arriving there to catch their flights.
“Now I can take rest and complete all the procedures before starting my journey to Saudi Arabia InshAllah. It was my lifelong dream to perform the Hajj. When my father went to perform hajj, he had mixed experiences. Therefore, I was afraid of my pre-hajj days. But the things have improved a lot,” he said.
Mohammed Zahurul Haque, another pilgrim, said he hasnot faced any problem except standing in a long queue for completing immigration.
“Standing in a long queue for immigration seems tough for aged pilgrims. Other than it, everything was up to the mark. I haven’t faced any problem. I am satisfied with the services from the Hajj camp officials,” he said.
Haque, who came from Rajshahi, also said there are several desks at the services of hajjis. Whenever they are asking for any information or help, officials working there are cooperating with them.
Faizur Rahman of Mymensingh used to go to Saudi Arabia with Hajj pilgrims since 2013.
Some pilgrims said though their flight is confirmed, many of them have not yet received their visas and tickets. But the Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) leaders said all pilgrims will get visa and tickets in time.
“Sometimes pilgrims get confused due to late in approving their visas and confirming tickets. These two things are inter related and therefore, we cannot confirm ticket without visa. But I want to assure them that this is not a big issue and each of the pilgrims will be able to go to perform Hajj InshAllah, ” HAAB president M Shahadat Hossain Taslim told the Daily Sun.
Hajj information booth has been set up at the entrance of the Hajj camp. Hajj pilgrims and Moallems were researching various issues related to Hajj there.
Camp officials were responding to the queries of pilgrims there. There was a large separate room next door where officials were briefing the pilgrims and Moallems on their next procedure.
Director of Hajj Office Saiful Islam said they are addressing every single issue and serving pilgrims with utmost dedication.
“There is no problem left. All the flights are leaving on time. Pilgrims are ready and visas are being procured,” he said.
According to Hajj office and Hajj portal, a total of 38,029 Bangladeshi pilgrims have reached Saudi Arabia till Tuesday midnight. Of them, 6,219 have gone under government management and 31,810 under private management.
Some 1,613 automatic prescriptions have been issued to the Bangladeshi pilgrims so far but none of them have faced any major health issue.
A total of 66,236 visas have been issued so far.
The government has instructed the Hajj agencies to complete visa procedure of pilgrims within next three days.
An emergency notice issued by the Ministry of Religious Affairs on Wednesday said though visa procedure of all pilgrims under government management has been completed, 49 percent pilgrims under private management are yet to get visa.
As per the agreement signed between the governments of Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia on January 9, a total of 1,27,198 people from Bangladesh will be able to perform hajj this year.
The 2023 edition of Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, will be held on the 9th day of Zillhajj or June 27, depending on moon sighting.