RIYADH: Two Thai pilgrims performing Hajj for the first time have expressed their delight at reaching Saudi Arabia after being prevented from doing so due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. When I saw the Kaaba for the first time, I couldn’t stop crying. If I am able to perform Hajj after this time, God willing, I wish to perform Umrah every year. To me, Hajj is everything,” Arong Samae said.
Samae, a businessman from Narathiwat Province in southern Thailand, is making the journey with his wife this year.
“I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for its enormous efforts that have allowed Muslims to return to the city of the Prophet (Madinah) and Makkah, and I pray to God Almighty to grant it more prosperity and progress,” Samae said.
The Narathiwat Province native flew directly from southern Thailand to Madinah Airport. He arrived in Saudi Arabia on June 11 and left on June 17 for Makkah.
“I’ve never had any problems; everything is well-organized and simple.” “From tip to finish, the Thai Hajj Company offers everything, and the Thai government also gives support and facilities at all phases,” Samae explained.
“The trip took about eight hours via chartered airplane, and I did not expect these facilities because I had read that the pilgrimage route is tedious and long, beginning with car transfers to the capital and then waiting for the flight for two or three days,” he explained.
Samae was taken aback by how quick and straightforward the process was: “Thank God, everything (was) uncomplicated… In less than 12 hours… “I was in Saudi Arabia, which I thank God for,” he stated.
“I prayed to God that I would one day arrive in Saudi Arabia.” “I also want to thank everyone who helps pilgrims, whether they are from Thailand or Saudi Arabia,” he stated.
He stated that he desired to conduct Hajj two years ago but was unable to do so because to COVID-19 constraints. He claimed that the pandemic had “changed everything” they wanted to do.
Mamu Kayah, 58, is a Thai native who is performing Hajj with his wife this year. He is a high school Arabic teacher from Yala in the country’s south.
“I am delighted to have this opportunity, and I thank God every day and night for it.” “And I am certain that every Muslim who has been to this clean place feels the same way I do,” Kayah remarked.