Centenarian Indonesian becomes official Haj guest

Makkah: Crowning the dream of a centenarian Indonesian woman to perform Haj, Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, invited Maria Marghani, who turned 104 this year, to complete the rituals as one of the ministry’s guests.

Marghani’s neighbors � another lady and her husband – who earlier accepted sponsoring and taking care of her during their group journey to Haj areas and back home, were also covered by Awwad’s generosity, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The story started in Indonesia when the aging would-be pilgrim politely declined the minister’s offer citing her neighbors’ previous pledge to accompany her during Haj and that it would be difficult for her to accept Awwad’s offer and abandon them like that, since they have engulfed her with their kindness, prompting Al-Awwad to order inviting the three as guests of the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information.

SPA reporters spotted a wide smile and difficult-to-describe feelings of happiness of one of the most elderly pilgrims this year as she, and her two companions, were bestowed warm welcome and generous hospitality by Saudi officers of immigration and Haj-related authorities at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International airport.

Interviewed by the Saudi TV, Mirghani expressed profound gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, thanking the minister for his humanitarian help which reflects the keenness of the kingdom’s leadership and people to provide the utmost means of comfort and easiness for all guests of Allah.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

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