EMBASSY OF UZBEKISTAN TO THE UNITED STATES
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NEWS AND EVENTS
December 14, 2006
Uzbekistan sends first group of Muslims to pilgrimage
The first group of Muslims of Uzbekistan left on 14 December for Medina (Saudi Arabia) to make pilgrimage ? hajj (a ceremony of pilgrimage) by special flights of Uzbekiston Havo Yollari (Uzbekistan Airways), the Board of Muslims of Uzbekistan said.

The Board noted that totally 5,000 Muslims of Uzbekistan will make a pilgrimage this year in Saudi Arabia. This figure is up by 1,000 than the last year.

\"To date the working group has completed all organizational work dealt with reception of pilgrims from the republic to Saudi Arabia. The registration of exit documents and the collection of financial assets are completed; entry visas are received, pilgrims have passed medical check up and vaccination. Ozbekiston Havo Yullari (Uzbekistan Airways) conducts charter flights [from Uzbekistan to Saudi Arabia] on 14-23 December; the return flights will be conducted [from Jiddah] from 4 to 12 January 2007, as scheduled\", a representative of the Board of Muslims of the said.

?ommenting the cost of performinh hajj, the representative of the Board said that last year each Uzbek pilgrim paid US$2,100 for all complex of services, including flight by aircraft, hotel, meals, sacrifice expenses and so on.

He also noted that the Board of Muslims of Uzbekistan will pay the trip of 20 pilgrims with a view to encourage individuals with high civic position among representatives of local self-government agencies, small and medium-size business, who actively participated in society\'s life and charitable actions.


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