This year, Uganda was allowed 810 slots and the last group will leave on Sunday. Qahtani also gave each of the pilgrims a copy of the holy Koran.
Ugandan Pilgrims at Entebbe Airport ready for their journey to Mecca on Thursday. Photos by Ashraf Kasirye
The Saudi Ambassador to Uganda Dr. Abdullah Fahad Al Qahtani has flagged off 400 Ugandan pilgrims to Mecca for pilgrimage to fulfill the fifth pillar of the Islamic religion.
It was the first of its kind for the ambassador to travel to Entebbe Airport to send off the pilgrims.
At about 3:30pm on Thursday, Qahtani was ushered at by Ugandan ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr Yahaya Ssemudu.
Addressing the pilgrims, Qahtani asked them to pray for the country and president Yoweri Museveni to continue rule the country in an equitable manner.
"I implore you to put your president in prayers to continue ruling the country in a fair and equitable manner. Do not also forget to pray for your country and your fellow colleagues to get capacity to perform Hajj," Qahtani said.
This year, Uganda was allowed 810 slots and the last group will leave on Sunday. Qahtani also gave each of the pilgrims a copy of the holy Koran to guide them while doing the Haj rituals.
Among those that were flag off, 30 pilgrims were sponsored by the King of Saudi Dr Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Ssemuddu asked the pilgrims to focus on the Hajj rites in order to benefit from their Journey.
"We are happy that you have qualified to visit Allah's house this year. I urge you to focus on the purpose of the trip in order to benefit from it," Ssemudu said.
He also assured the pilgrims of safety and warm environment to enable them fulfill the fifth pillar of the Islamic religion without any interference.
At about 10: am, pilgrims had already camped at Entebbe airport in company of their relatives. Because of fatigue, some of them were seen sleeping and other dozing until 5: pm when they were ordered to line up for checking in. They boarded the plane at about 11: pm on Thursday.