104-year-old Hajj pilgrim is Saudi king’s guest

A 104-year-old woman Hajj pilgrim from Indonesia is now the guest of Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud along with two of her neighbours.

The king gave instructions to include Mariah Marghani Mohammad in the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Programme to provide her with full care, according to the official news agency of Saudi Arabia.

Mariah’s two neighbours who had vowed to look after her throughout their stay in Saudi Arabia have also been included in the VIP list to ensure that she is comfortable and at ease.

In a brief statement, she expressed her “profound gratitude to King Salman for his generous hospitality and special care and attention” she has been receiving.

Mariah, the oldest among the 221,000 Indonesian would-be pilgrims this year, was welcomed with great fanfare upon her arrival in Saudi Arabia, Gulf News reports.

On Monday, the Minister of Culture and Information Awad Bin Saleh Al Awad decided to include her in the list of guests hosted by the ministry to ensure high levels of comfort and special care.

Mariah initially declined the offer, saying that she wanted to stay with her neighbours, a couple who had promised to look after her and to help her throughout the Hajj rituals in and near Makkah and until their return home in Indonesia.

She said that she could not move away from them following their generous dedication to assist her and their commendable attitudes in treating her like their own mother.

The minister, noting her gratitude, ordered that the couple would also be included in the guest programme and ensure that the three neighbours stayed together.

Mohammad Hery Saripudin, Indonesia’s Consul General in Jeddah, last week said that Mariah was in good health and that she would be able to perform the rituals.

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