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Kurdistan

Flight ban restricts Muslims in Kurdistan performing Umrah

By Rudaw 13/2/2018
Muslims from the Kurdistan Region prepare for Umrah. File photo: Mariwan Naqshbandi
Muslims from the Kurdistan Region prepare for Umrah. File photo: Mariwan Naqshbandi

by Aso Sarawi

 

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — In recent years, the Kurdistan Region’s international airports flew people to directly Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, but no one has gone since the September 29 flight ban.

“No one from the Kurdistan Region has made the Umrah journey yet, whereas the Umrah season started a few months ago. And this is because of the ban on international flights at the Kurdistan Region airports,” Nabaz Ismael Kamal, the spokesperson for the KRG’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, told Rudaw.

In the past, people intending to perform Umrah had to pay $100 in fees, of which $50 would go to the Iraqi government if the journey was made through Baghdad.

“The ministry of religious affairs has made an attempt to resume Umrah journeys through the Kurdistan Region airports. Relevant aviation companies have completed their preparations, and we are waiting for a response from [Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-] Abadi to resume the Umrah journeys,” he added.

According to KRG data, 63,000 people from the Kurdistan Region performed Umrah in 2013. This figure dropped to over 40,000 in 2014. It fell to 30,000 in 2015 because of the financial crisis.

In 2016, the figure dropped to nearly 15,000, but the number of people rose to more than 17,000 in 2017.

The Umrah season begins two months after Hajj ends.

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delshad | 13/2/2018
stupid kurdish people,each our parents spend 1000 doller to get tgere to go around a empty house(gods house) and saudi use the same money to bring isis here and kill us with .what an idiots we kurds will never learn .
ari | 13/2/2018
We have to thank them for all their wonderful religion and people has done for us.
COMMUNIST | 13/2/2018
unfortunatly wasted money, they should donate these money to rojava and Afrin Kobane instead of wasting it on who knows what in who knows where. what is more holy and sacred than supporting your own people in need?
Firat | 13/2/2018
And trolls sitting in the west waste their money for parties and alcohol judging others. We should first ban cigarettes and alcohol in KRG biggest waste of money every day and very unhealthy.
Zayn | 13/2/2018
Religion always comes first and only Allah can help us Kurds from suffering and hardship. Through joy and happiness or hardships, we should always know Allah has a purpose and reason.
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