It has become clear that Qataris would not be able to perform the Haj for the second consecutive year on account of the unacceptable hurdles created by the authorities concerned in Saudi Arabia, local Arabic daily Arrayah reported Friday.
The chances for operating Haj trips through local companies have almost completely evaporated as the season is approaching its end and the Saudi authorities are still insisting on politicising the religious rituals, owners of a number of companies specialising in Haj trips told the daily.
Given the situation, they said that it is difficult to prepare the necessary logistics such as travel, accommodation, transportation, food and healthcare within the short remaining time for the season to conclude.
In addition, there is no guarantee for the safety and security of Qatari Haj pilgrims, especially after the hate campaigns launched by the Saudi media, in particular the social media.
The Saudi embassy in Doha is closed, which means there is no point of communication and Qataris are not allowed by the Saudi authorities to travel directly from Qatar to Makkah, either by air or land.
Juma al-Kuwari, a seasoned operator in the business, recalled that such a situation has never happened before in spite of the ups and downs in GCC relationships. He stressed that Haj operators have already lost all hopes of running any pilgrimage trips from Qatar this year.
Hamad al-Shahwani, owner of a Haj trips company, pointed out that even individual Qataris would have to avoid Haj this year due to fears on their safety and wellbeing there as there will be no official representation for them in addition to the hate campaign against them in the Saudi media, Arrayah added.
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