A 104-year-old Indonesian woman is among two million Muslims to have arrived in Saudi Arabia from across the globe for the Hajj pilgrimage.
“Alhamdulillah [praise be to God], I am going to Mecca. Alhamdulillah, I am going to Hajj,” said Ibu Mariah Marghani Muhammad shortly after landing in Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport.
The woman, who was wearing a white head-to-toe Islamic dress, had performed Umrah when she was 90 years old, said a statement released by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information.
Officials at the Indonesian Consulate said that Ibu Mariah was in “good health and will be able to perform her Hajj rituals without any problems,” reported the statement.
“Saudi Arabia warmly welcomes Ibu Mariah. The Hajj is the spiritual highlight in the life of every Muslim,” said a spokesman for the ministry. “At the age of 104, it is remarkable for Ibu Mariah to be here. We wish her well.”
She is among the wwo million Muslims from across the globe converging on Makkah for the annual pilgrimage.
Economic experts have said Hajj and Umrah revenues are poised to exceed $150 billion by 2022 in light of the expected mergers of economic blocs and groupings to meet the growing demand on Hajj and Umrah economics in terms of transport, commercial stores and expansion in small, medium enterprises (SMEs), Arab News reported.
Muhsin Al-Sharif, a member of the Committee of Real Estate and Investment, said Hajj revenues will feed the national economy and, therefore, an integrated plan should be worked out to control revenues and financial resources in a manner that will serve Vision 2030.
This will also serve the national economy and create a mega market not only for seasonal jobs, but also for sustainable jobs which form the nerve of Hajj and Umrah economics, he said.
He said the announced plan to host 30 million pilgrims and Umrah performers by 2030 is a real mirror of plans to bring markets in Makkah and Madinah out of disorganization and put them into well-organized economic frameworks serving changing economic mechanisms that attract high returns estimated at billions of dollars annually.