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Minister of Endowments and Guidance: 21,000 Yemeni Hajj Pilgrims Admitted Successfully | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Many pilgrims clutching bottles of water or held umbrellas over their heads as they stand at Arafat. Reuters

Riyadh- Over 21,000 Yemeni Hajj pilgrims have been admitted into Saudi Arabia, crossing at the Al-Wadiah border checkpoint.

The swooping figure outnumbered all expectations after a clear easing of procedures and measures on behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Coup militants, waging war in Yemen against the nationally-elected government, have sought to foil all Yemeni Hajj pilgrims’ attempts to carry out this year’s rites, however were deeply struck with failure.

Yemen’s Minister of Endowments and Guidance Dr. Fouad bin Sheikh told Asharq Al-Awast newspaper that by Sep. 5 all Yemeni Hajj pilgrims would have successfully arrived to Saudi Arabia, ending a long wait at Al-Wadiah border checkpoint.

“Over 17,000 Hajj pilgrims were admitted yesterday (Sep.4), despite the massing crowds and the entailed procedure-concerned congestion- that was only expected given that aspiring visitors had arrived at border gates without keeping to the schedule we had set, fearing that they will not make it in time for this year’s Hajj,” said Sheikh.

The legitimate government had interfered, contacting the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aids. Things are going exceptionally great- and the expected number of visitors would have crossed according to schedule, added Sheikh.

Pilgrims waiting at Al-Wadiah border checkpoint are currently being hosted by King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aids along with other organizations, and things are running smoothly, said Sheikh.

The minister further added that this year’s Hajj pilgrims will be enjoying an exceptionally great experience which provides them a stay at five-star hotels and efficient medical and public services.

This year’s experience stands out after Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s administration have taken over the organizing procedures, said Sheikh. The Yemeni government had funded and provided an attending team of guides and medics.

According to set arrangements, Yemeni Hajj pilgrims will not be scattered across a large number of hotels, but will instead be received at 17 designated hostels, added Sheikh.