#Article (Archive)

Need for hitch-free hajj

Nov 25, 2010, 11:02 AM

All those who watched GRTS on Tuesday may have heard the first batch of pilgrims narrate their ordeals while in Mecca.

This is unfortunate on the side of the National Hajj Commission, Gambia International Airlines and all other authorities responsible for this year’s Hajj.

Some pilgrims complained about mobility, while for some this year’s Hajj was a total failure in some respects.

If the pilgrims found it difficult to find someone to talk to, be it the Hajj guides, GIA officials or members of the Hajj Commission, as they complained, it was a very sad and, definitely, unfortunate situation.

Indeed, if all what the pilgrims said is true, then one can conclude that the problem has to do with poor management on the side of the authorities concerned.

We are fully aware of the fact that it is not easy to manage a group of people, especially in the midst of millions, and on an occasion like the annual Hajj.

Yes, the Hajj is a tough journey, where one is bound to expect some challenges, but those that are in the nature of administrative lapses, like providing flags of the Gambia for the Hajj guides to carry, could have been avoided.

The issue of providing a flag for the guides to raise in leading the pilgrims is a very vital one, and we do not know why, this year, the authorities failed to provide flags. 

Meanwhile, in order to ensure a hitch-free Hajj, some people have been making suggestions, such as the government should reconsider decentralising Hajj operations.

Perhaps this should be given serious thought, so that once again things can improve.

In any case, whatever institutions and airline agency assigned to take care of next year’s Hajj should learn lessons from this year’s experience and past years’ so as to manage the Hajj better.

"Come forward as servants of Islam, organise the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody".

Muhammad Ali Jinnah