Medina, Saudi Arabia (ANTARA) - The first batch of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims landed at Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday morning local time to commence their Hajj pilgrimage.

Their arrival was welcomed by Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Abdul Aziz Ahmad, Indonesia's Hajj Consul Nasrullah Jasam, and the leader of Indonesian Hajj organizing officers (PPIH) in the Saudi airports working group, Abdillah.

Abdul Aziz Ahmad commended the smooth service that Indonesian Hajj pilgrims experienced during their arrival in Medina.

"The service here is excellent. Because the pilgrims arrived on the fast-track process, they need not to wait too long at the airport," the ambassador stated.

He also reminded Hajj pilgrims to maintain their physical health and conserve their energy while in Medina, as they will perform the main rituals of the Hajj in Mecca.

"Doing rituals is good, but do not force yourself since it could consume your physical energy. You should maintain it properly to prevent you from running out of energy during the peak of the Hajj," Ahmad remarked.

The first batch comprises 393 Indonesian pilgrims, including 79 elderly and 13 wheelchair-user pilgrims, originating from the Jakarta-Pondok Gede embarkation group.

Hajj officers assisted the arriving Indonesian pilgrims by guiding them to their buses, shading them with umbrellas, and helping those in wheelchairs.

The newly arrived pilgrims were then transported to their hotels in Medina City to prepare themselves for performing Hajj rituals.

At Abraj Tabah Hotel, one of the hotels allocated for Indonesian pilgrims, Hajj officers welcomed pilgrims by handing over flowers to them while reciting Salawat (prayers of veneration for Muhammad). The officers also presented warm drinks and dates for the pilgrims.

Some pilgrims shed a tear as they were overwhelmed by the feeling that they had arrived in Medina to start their Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.

The Hajj pilgrims will remain in Medina for nine days before continuing their pilgrimage to Mecca, where they will perform the main rituals of the Hajj.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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