Bahrain Haj operators seek deadline extension

October 14, 2010

Haj operators have urged the Bahraini authorities to extend an October 18 deadline for the registration of would-be pilgrims.

The date is too close and does not allow operators to finalise their lists of people who have expressed the wish to perform haj (pilgrimage) this year, the operators said.

“The authorities should give us open dates that can stretch until three days before the start of the pilgrimage,” Ibrahim Al Sitri, an operator, said.

Bahrain has adopted a strict policy with haj operators following complaints of abuses and sub-standard services.

The justice and Islamic ministry issued a list of officially registered operators serving Bahrainis and non-Bahrainis and warned that it would not look into any complaint from anyone who went or wanted to go to Makkah with an unlicensed operator.

Dozens of Bahrainis were abandoned and lost their luggage last year when the bus carrying them took back roads to reach Makkah and avoid police checkpoints. Investigations revealed that the operator did not have the proper documents.

The authorities have also warned operators to provide adequate services, including proper accommodation and food, after they discovered that some operators neglected those who signed up with them.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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