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Global - June 19, 2023

30 years on, Saudi Man offers free ride to Hajj pilgrims


Volunteer transports the faithful on long journey from a border town to Mecca

For more than 30 years, a Saudi man has used his private car to transport pilgrims free of charge from a border town to the holy city of Mecca.

Ayed Al Jarhadi said he has volunteered over three decades to provide the rides for the faithful from the Saudi northern border of Arar to reach Mecca, home to Islam’s holiest site, to perform annual Hajj pilgrimage.

“I transport the old people and women for free in pursuit of Allah’s contentment,” he told Al Arabiya TV.

Some Saudis volunteer to annually offer various services and care to the pilgrims, commonly referred to as “guests of the Almighty”.

One of them is Fahd Al Hamli, who has for years hosted hundreds of Hajj pilgrims in his farm house in the Majmaah governorate in central Saudi Arabia where he would present them with food and the famed Saudi coffee.

“This is in line with the tradition of the kingdom, Arab and Saudi hospitality,” he told Al Arabiya TV last week.

Al Hamli was featured in a video hosting a delegation of Russians after their arrival in the kingdom in preparation for this month’s Hajj.

It was not clear for how long the host has kept the tradition.

Hajj, one of Islam’s five obligatory duties, is due in the final week of June this year.

Muslims, who can physically and financially afford Hajj, have to perform it at least once in a lifetime.


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