This year will always be remembered by all the pilgrims and their families in particular. The visit to the Holy land is a matter of great prestige and brings utmost pride to the Muslims as they perform the obligatory duty, all to please Allah. With the immense number of casualties, everyone seems to be diverted towards all the other changes that surrounded the tented city of Mina this year. If you visit the holy site of Mina every year, you would always note the crisscross and prominent bridges and flyovers that are filled and aligned by colorful flags from all around the world. These flags give a warm welcoming feeling to those who step in Mina to perform Hajj, satisfying them that even when they are miles and miles away from home there is still a part here while they perform the obligatory.
This year, however, everything seems to be out of the usual and extremely unusual as well. The flags from all around the globe were taken down this year which went on unnoticed by only those who visited Mina for the very first time. It did matter to many of the pilgrims as they said the flags helped them find their way while their stay at Mina. It must have been a very warm and patriotic feeling as they saw their home flag dancing with the wind while they roamed about the bridge. The flags were seen by people far and wide and made the entire landscape very beautiful and pleasant to see. It is true to admit that the flags told a unique story to all the photographers and journalists who visited the Kingdom.
What was upsetting for the Hajj delegates this year, was that they couldn’t report to their home country how their flag was hung alongside the bridges and flyovers. It was supposed to be carefully noted and examined before coming to the verdict that maybe some of the flags were missing, but a long walk through the King Abdul Aziz Street, which opens the main artery that leads straight into Mina all the way from Makkah’s Aziziah district, proved there was not even a single flag. However, there was a Pakistani Flag which was tied not very high by some pilgrims.
What really happened this year was that there was a ban imposed. This was confirmed by authorities and diplomats at the Hajj Missions of South Asian countries. It was also said that some pilgrims stated that the flags did not meet with the rights and rituals of Hajj and so the clause was imposed nearly 3 years ago, but this year they emphasized it and took a steady action to see it being implemented.
All what can now is hoped for that perhaps next year the flags will be continued and the pilgrims will not only beautify the view in the city of Mina, but also give the pilgrims the satisfaction that they’re still close to home.
Source: Arab News
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