Iranian pilgrims begin rituals in 2022 hajj
Nearly 40,000 Iranian pilgrims have embarked on the Hajj pilgrimage after a two-year interval due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many more have been waiting for years to visit the holy place.
Our correspondent Mahdi Abbasian has a report from Mecca.
After two years of waiting for the Hajj, Caravans of pilgrims have converged on Mecca to perform Hajj rituals. Nearly 40,000 Iranian pilgrims are among the 850,000 foreign pilgrims who have visited Saudi Arabia for the 2022 Hajj.
Many of them have been waiting for years for their turn.
Figures show some 5.8 million Iranians are on a waiting list for traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. Most of them for over a decade.
And this year, restrictions imposed by Saudi Arabia dashed the hopes of many Iranians.
For instance, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah barred pilgrims under the age of 65 from participating in the Hajj.
Also, pilgrims must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have a negative coronavirus test before leaving for the kingdom.
Those who have had the chance to be next to the Holy Kabaah however haven’t forgotten others.
Right now I'm standing in the middle of the holiest place on the planet for Muslims, the Grand Mosque, which sits next to the Holy Kaaba.
And now I intend to perform Tawaf, one of the principal rites of the pilgrimage that includes circling the Holy Kabba seven times in an anti-clockwise direction.