Jakarta, MINA – As 20 Indonesian hajj pilgrims were Invited by King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz this year, including a boarding school teacher, police officers, journalists and leaders of Indonesian Muslim Organizations.
Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Indonesia, Essam bin Abed Al-Thaqafi invited 20 Indonesian hajj pilgrims at his residence in Menteng, Central Jakarta on Sunday before their departure.
Al-Thaqafi said the king’s invitation was an annual tradition given to Muslims around the world. In Indonesia, guests are chosen to represent various parts of society and territory of Indonesian regions.
“Indonesia has the largest quota of pilgrims this year with 231,000 pilgrims,” Al-Thaqafi said in his remarks.
Among the Indonesian hajj pilgrims chosen is Jakarta Police Traffic Director, Yusuf Sobir Kasnawi, who was invited with his wife and nine staff.
“Thank Lord, I never thought, I would get this invitation. So far, I have only done my job to ensure that traffic runs smoothly whenever there are foreign guests or delegations, including from Saudi Arabia, this is indeed a gift from Lord, “Yusuf told Arabnews.
In addition, Faiz Djafar Baradja, a 30-year-old teacher from Markaz Iqro Islamic Boarding School in Solo, Central Java, is also among the king’s guests.
“An acquaintance called me one night and asked me to submit my passport and other documents. I did not know that it was for this purpose and I am truly grateful for this blessing. This is my first time going to Hajj, “Faiz said.
Other special worshipers on the king’s guest list include the Treasurer of Muhammadiyah Muslim Organization and Secretary General of Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Anwar Abbas, Deputy Director of Vital Object Security (Pam Obvit) of Jakarta Police, Erik Ferdinand, and chief editor of national media Detik, Alfito Deannova Gintings.
This year is the second year for journalists to be included in the list of pilgrims invited by King Salman.
Al-Thaqafi also said Uhi, a 95-year-old grandfather from West Java whose video discussed the desire to pilgrimage, was finally dispatched to the Holy Land earlier this week with his three children and two grandchildren.
However, Uhi and his family were not included in the list of 20 guests of the king. They are special guests because they are not only guests of King Salman but also guests of Crown Prince and Saudis.
The 20 royal invitations will get special treatment in terms of accommodation, transportation and everything related to the pilgrimage. Al-Thaqafi said there was a possibility that the special invitees would be able to meet directly with King Salman in Mina. (T/Sj/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)