By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 9 May 2016:
Lotteries to decide who among the several hundred thousand Libyans who applied to the Haj . . .[restrict]and Umrah Association to go on Haj this year have been taking place across the country, producing both joy for the winners and bitter disappointment for the losers.
Normally the number of Libyans allowed to have Haj visas is six thousand. This is based on the 1987 decision by the then Islamic Conference to limit numbers to a thousand per million population in Muslim countries. In Libya’s case, the figure is based on an estimated six million population. However, because of construction works at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Saudi authorities further restricted overall numbers by some ten percent three years ago. In Libya’s case this meant just 5,600 people being allowed to go on Haj. The restrictions have again continued this year.
In the greater Tripoli area where over 95,000 people applied to the Haj committee, so far just over a thousand names have been selected.
The Tripoli draw covered not only the 13 greater Tripoli municipality areas but also Sirte and Aziziya. According to Sirte local council, currently based in the capital, 46 people were chosen from the 1,116 who applied. The latter figure was low compared to elsewhere, almost certainly because people from Sirte have other immediate issues to deal with.
In the wider Gharian area, 102 names were selected. Sebha saw 52 while in Jadu, where 1,094 people applied, just 13 were chosen.
“This is the third time I have applied and again I failed,” said one disappointed elderly Benghazi woman after discovering that she had not been selected and asking for help to obtain a Haj visa. It was her dream to go on the pilgrimage, she added, saying that she would give all she had to do so.
Haj this year is between 9 and 14 September. [/restrict]