44k Egyptian pilgrims arrive in Saudi
The Holy House in Mecca. Youm7 archive.

CAIRO: A total of 44,659 Egyptian pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia thus far, executive director of the Egyptian pilgrimage mission Sayed Maher told Youm7 Sunday.

Of the lot-chosen pilgrims in the annual government subsidized trips to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, 16,908 have arrived. Pilgrims in the subsidized hajj program organized by the Ministry of Solidarity have amounted to 9,905 as of Monday.

Around 70,000 Egyptian pilgrims are traveling to Mecca to perform the ritual; 19,000 are lot chosen, a government procedure that offers the cheapest means to go for pilgrimage, 10,000 are supported by the Ministry of Social Solidarity and 40,000 are travelling via tourism companies, according to Makkah newspaper.

The number of Egyptian pilgrims decreased this year, as requested by the Saudi government, citing development projects carried out in Mecca.

Pilgrimage to Mecca is one of Islam’s five pillars, and is obligatory for Muslims who can afford the trip financially and physically.

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