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Tuesday 24th of May 2022
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Kenya Muslims Leave for Hajj

Kenya Muslims Leave for Hajj
--Kenya Muslims have begun the journey to Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Close to 200 pilgrims left for Mecca and Medina Tuesday while 35 others were said to have travelled last week. The leaders of the group Al Haj Mohamed Hajar and Sheikh Omar told the Nation that thousands of potential Muslims may not make it to the annual pilgrimage to Mecca owing to financial constraints. The Muslims were given 3,000 places by Saudi authorities who have been controlling the number of pilgrims over security and other logistical concerns but Mr Hajar said less than half the places have been taken up. “Many Muslims especially from North Eastern region cannot make it because they lost a lot of animals in the drought and cannot raise the finances to take them to Mecca,” he said. The global crisis has also seen airfares shoot up locking out many more interested pilgrims. The Kenyan team is also leaving against a backdrop of new requirements by Saudi authorities mainly because of the emergence of swine flu. Saudi authorities have banned certain people including the elderly and young children from pilgrimage to Mecca in an effort to contain the spread of the flu. The directive will mean people over the age of 65, under the age of 12 and those with chronic illnesses may not travel to Mecca. Fears are that children and the elderly would be particularly vulnerable to the disease in large crowds, typical of the Hajj. About three million pilgrims flock to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina for Hajj every year. Source: The East African
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