The Mauritians hadjis find themselves facing a housing problem in Madina. Upon arrival in the city in the morning of Saturday 17 September, several of them have found that the conditions were not met.
“Nous sommes arrivés à Madina après 12 heures de route,” insists a disgruntled pilgrim. In fact, we have been offered rooms where seven people were crowded inside. Others say they had to spend the night under the stars.
“Selon les règlements du hadj, une femme ne peut se retrouver dans la même chambre qu’un homme qui ne soit pas de sa famille,” says one of the interlocutors. This is why he asked for another room. To recall, we pulled the alarm on this issue before the departure of the pilgrims. A news that the Islamic Cultural Center (ICC) had denied…
Asked yesterday, the president of the ICC Anwar Subratty puts the blame onto the owner of the hotel. “Nous avions déjà discuté et finalisé le setting avec lui, selon les désirs de nos pèlerins, en prenant en compte les besoins de ces derniers. Mais en arrivant sur place, les organisateurs se sont rendu compte qu’il avait changé toute la mise en place,” he says.
Showkutally Soodhun has a different story to tell. According to him, the fault lies with pilgrims who wished to change rooms on arrival in Madina. The Minister of Housing and Lands admits he sought the help of Prince Salman Al Saud, the king’s nephew. And he has made up the straps. “Your People are tourists! This is Hajj!,” he launched. And next year everything should be better because the embassy will be operational.
Moreover, according to the minister Soodhun, a Mauritian was admitted to a hospital in Jeddah. Abdool Raffick Hakim, 63, a native of Pamplemousses, was the victim of a stroke.
800 hadjis have been examined by doctors of the Mauritian delegation for minor health concerns.