‘Conditions were not very good but people were generally satisfied’
The results of the Hajj were summed up in the course of the video conference Moscow-Kazan-Simferopol
The Hajj for Russian pilgrims turned out to be almost the cheapest one. The majority of Russian pilgrims were able to visit Mecca due to the 'econom' programmes. However, according to the representatives of the clergy, sometimes accommodation conditions for pilgrims were not the best. But in Tatarstan, where the pilgrims were also sent under the budget programs, they did not sleep on mattresses in dormitories — they were accommodated in hotels. This was told at the press-conference in a mode of videoconference Moscow-Kazan-Simferopol in IA Tatar-inform.
'The cheapest Hajj'
16 200 pilgrims from Russia have carried out Hajj this year. The total quota was 16 400 people — the remaining places was intended for the organizers. The pilgrims from 60 regions of the country participated in the Russian Hajj-mission. So, the Deputy Chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia Rushan Abbyasov told about the last Hajj in numbers. He noted that despite high heat all the pilgrims returned home alive and healthy.
Abbyasov thanked the operators who provided tours of the 'super-economy' category. It is due to these budget proposals they managed to fill the quota — the economic situation in the country greatly reduced the possibilities of pilgrims.
'As for the technical issues, I would like to note that the Hajj of Russian Muslims by the cost was the cheapest in the Arab countries. The figure that was announced — 1800-1900 dollars — it is the cheapest. <...> It is clear that there may be some technical terms and the accommodation was not acceptable, not good. But, in general, our people are satisfied,' said Abbyasov.
During the conversation, they remembered the event that happened a year ago, when the tower crane fell on the pilgrims. 111 Iranians were killed. As it turned out, officially not a single Iranian pilgrim has carried out Hajj this year. Tehran also said that Saudi Arabia is unable to cope with the organization of pilgrimage.
Newborn Mecca Medina and a Tatarstan subbotnik
However, there have been several pleasant and memorable situations. Rushan khazrat called funny the moment when a family from Dagestan had a daughter delivered this day. She was named Mecca Medina.
Tatarstan pilgrims organized several memorable initiatives. In particular, they organized a subbotnik – a voluntary Saturday work day. They removed litter around the hotel Al Burhan Pearl. Among the participants, there were the chairman of MSB RT Kamil Samigullin and the president of the International Association of Islamic business (MAIB) Marat Kabaev.
About how the Crimeans lost a pilgrim
Crimean speakers tried to emphasize that after Crimea has become part of Russia, there are much more possibilities of Hajj for pilgrims.
According to the Deputy Chairman of the MSB of Crimea and Sevastopol Aider Ismailov, this year there has been a record-breaking number of pilgrims from Crimea — 365. The departure from the Crimea is complicated by the fact that there is no straight flight. The pilgrims flew from Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don. There Crimean pilgrims were transported by buses.
Also, there have been some difficulties. As a member of Hajj in 2016 Edem Lumanov from Simferopol told, the Crimean delegation for two days was looking for an old man, who was lost in the crowd and didn't know how to get to the hotel. But, fortunately, the story had a good ending: the pilgrims from Crimea, who regularly visited Kaaba to pray, saw him and returned to the hotel.
Everything went smoothly
In Tatarstan, everything went more smoothly — no one got lost and everyone returned home safely. But, like all other Russians, the Tatars citizens began to save more. In 2016, Tatarstan quota for Hajj was only 1200 people. This is less than in 2015 (then the quota was 1500 people). However, this quota failed, although the pilgrims, despite the savings, there were more pilgrims than last year. According to the Deputy of Chairman of MSB RT Rustam Butrov, 900 Tatarstan citizens carried out pilgrimage in 2016 (in 2015 — 750). 523 of the pilgrims chose the economy option, 377 — the standard one. A month earlier, the pilgrims began to study how to behave during the Hajj. A group of 15 physicians of different specializations were allocated to the pilgrims.
'For the first time we have achieved that none of our pilgrims did not live in so-called homes of the pilgrims. All our pilgrims lived in hotels. Even for the economy level we have achieved such result,' said Rustam khazrat.
He explained that pilgrims house is a kind of hostel, where in one room can accommodate up to 15 — 20 people. At the same time, people may even be offered to sleep on mattresses on the floor.
According to Rustam Butrova, the cheapest program started from 120 thousand rubles. Many people chose this option. Even if the program did not include meals, they tried to provide Tatarstan Hajji with food.
New mosques in Crimea and Moscow
However, the journalists were interested not only in the results of Hajj. The Moscow citizens enquired about how the construction of new mosques is going. In response Rushan Abbyasov reminded that a year ago it was planned the opening of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, and they are discussing the construction of one more mosque, however, they will probably will be located separately from the center of the city.
As for Crimea, now there is the laying of foundation of the Cathedral Mosque is taking place.