The first caravan of pilgrims from the West Bank in occupied Palestine left Amman in Jordan today in 47 buses, headed for the 1421 Hajj. Similar caravans will be leaving, transporting a total number of around 15,000. This is in addition to the 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims being hosted at the expense of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz. Also, the first batch of pilgrims from Iraq, 1,363 in number, arrived on Friday at Arar in the Northern Borders Province. Current statistics show the total number of pilgrims arriving from overseas as 557,559, 562,240 by air, 8,876 by land and 6,443 by sea.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Housing and Public Works has implemented this year a number of new projects at Arafat and Mina that aim at enabling pilgrims to perform their rituals in ease and comfort. These include the final phase of the installation of fire-proof tents, which are now ready to accommodate 1.6 million pilgrims. In addition, Minister of Pilgrimage Iyad Madani announced today that a new pilgrimage headquarters is planned for Makkah, to include a data center, a specialized library, and a museum on the history of the Hajj.