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KAZAN, October 12 (Itar-Tass) — The first group of 98 Hajj pilgrims from Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan has left for Mecca, the press service of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Tatarstan told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“For believers from Tatarstan Saudi Arabia issued a quota for 2,000 pilgrims, of them 1,200 are provided services by the interregional pilgrimage centre Idel Hajj,” the centre’s spokesperson, Syumbel Walidi, said.
The time-tested route changed this year. Over the unstable political situation in Syria and Jordan bus trips through these countries’ territories were cancelled. Therefore pilgrims have to use planes.
The flights are carried out from Kazan with a transfer in Istanbul through Medina and Mecca. All Hajj pilgrims are provided accommodation in hotels, pilgrims’ houses and tents.
The price of the Hajj pilgrimage ranges from 95,000 to 155,000 roubles (around $3,000-5,000) depending on services included.
All pilgrims underwent a two-month training on the Muslim rites, security measures and hygiene and were vaccinated against meningitis, flu and dysentery.
Pilgrims are divided into 50 member-groups with guides who have a good command of the Tatar, Arabic and English languages. They are accompanied by skilful medical personnel.
The Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam. It occurs in the month of Dhul Hijjah which is the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is the journey that all Muslims, who are physically able, must undertake at least once in their lives.