Local man in Saudi ordeal

2015-09-26 09:00
Bodies lie covered after the stampede in Mila, Saudi Arabia, which killed more than 700 pilgrims.

Bodies lie covered after the stampede in Mila, Saudi Arabia, which killed more than 700 pilgrims. (Khidmatul Awaam Pilgrim Services (KAPS) )

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Pietermaritzburg - An Islamic teacher from Cedara is reportedly missing after the horrific stampede in Mila, Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Moulana Hassan Murchie of the Madrassa An-Noor for the Blind confirmed that a teacher at the school, Sheikh Hussain Hasan Hashi (43), has not contacted anyone since the stampede.

“We are very worried because no one seems to know where he is,” said Murchie.

He said Hashi last contacted South Africa on Wednesday evening to say that he was okay and safe in Mecca. However, there has been no communication since the stampede on Thursday morning.

“We are hoping that he found safety in another camp in the area. We have contacted all our people in Saudi Arabia to check the camps and embassy for him in the meantime,” added Murchie.

He said Hashi was a Somalian national who left his family in his homeland to teach blind pupils in Cedara.

It is believed that Hashi received a Mujamila visa, a special visa from Saudi Arabia to visit the holy land due to his community work in South Africa. Hashi arrived in Saudi Arabia last week and was accommodated by the volunteer based organisation, Khidmatul Awaam Pilgrim Services (Kaps). “According to our people in Mila, he [Hashi] was last seen yesterday [Thursday] morning making his way to the pilgrim site. As far as we know, he hasn’t returned since,” said founding member of Kaps, Mohamed Saeed.

Saeed thanked the local community for their support and condolences. “We were deeply humbled and touched by the numerous telephone calls, prayers and words of support and encouragement. Thank you to everyone,” added Saeed

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  hajj stampede

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