A pilgrim, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday (June 8) that they had been stuck in Saud Arabia for 21 days.
“They tell us that our plane has a fault while a plane was prepared yesterday,” the pilgrim said, referring to another plane that took off from Saudi Arabia for the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
The pilgrim called on the Kurdish authorities to help them return from Saudi Arabia.
“Another problem is the poor condition of services because there are people with us who are sick, and some of the pilgrims don’t have money now,” he said.
“Some of the companies carrying out Umrah affairs are cheating. They sold flight tickets to the pilgrims who were with us to return them. They paid more than $100,” he added.
There are hundreds of companies given permission by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) carrying out Umrah affairs in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Pilgrims pay more than $700 to the companies to provide them with visa, flight tickets, accommodation, and transport during the Umrah trip.
The Saudi Gazette cited the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah as saying on Friday that as many as 7,307,356 foreign pilgrims had by then performed Umrah during the current Umrah season.
A total of 7,626,161 Umrah visas have been issued as of Thursday, according to the ministry. Up to 271,290 Iraqis visited Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.
Umrah is a pilgrimage to Makkah performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to Hajj that must be performed in the month of Dhul Hajja in the lunar Hijri calendar.
Source: NRT Digital Media