The second batch of 18 Sierra Leonean pilgrims arrived at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah for this year’s Muslim pilgrimage, Monday, November 18, 2009. They arrived on board Royal Air Maroc (RAM) at about 7: 35 P.M Saudi Arabian time and were warmly received by First Secretaries of the Sierra Leone Embassy, Mr. Eric Bobson Gamanga, Sheik Sidiah Sillah and other Sierra Leoneans resident in Jeddah.
The pilgrims including, 14 women and 4 men were led by a member of the Sierra Leone Hajj Mission, Alhaji Gibril Kamara who doubles as Chairman of SHAM International, Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown. Shortly after arrival, Alhaji Gibril says it was a “smooth trip for the second batch.” This latest batch of pilgrims is part of two groups, SHAM International and Guidance Islamic Movement of Campbell Street in Freetown who were unable to perform last year’s pilgrimage due to unavoidable circumstances. According to Alhaji Gibril, their trip was made possible this year due to the timely intervention of the President, Vice President, and other patriotic Sierra Leoneans.
“On behalf of the group, I would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to His Excellency, the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, His Excellency, Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Sidique Sumana, the Minister of Social Welfare, Dr. Soccoh Alex Kabia, State House officials and all those who were actively involved towards the success of our trip to the Holy land,” Alhaji Kamara says outside Terminal 7 while thanking the Sierra Leone Embassy for the warm reception accorded them.
After undergoing all airport formalities, the 18 pilgrims were driven in a special pilgrimage bus to their well furnished apartments on Mansour Street in down town Mecca, 80 kilometers from Jeddah. It could be recalled that the first batch of 497 pilgrims arrived at the Prince Mohamed Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport, Medinah Thursday, 12th November, 2009. This brings the total number of pilgrims who have so far arrived to 515.The Information Bureau of the Sierra Leone Embassy will keep the public informed of future arrivals.
Alhaji M.B. Jalloh
Information Attaché/ Public Affairs Unit
Sierra Leone Embassy,
Riyadh – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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