By Moutaz Ali
Tripoli, 15 May 2014:
The Haj and Umrah committee of the . . .[restrict]Ministry of Islamic Affairs has won its battle with the Ministry of Finance to help cover some expenses for low-income Libyans going on the Haj this year. This support came after the cabinet approved a request from the Ministry of Finance to lend the money to the Haj committee.
“The amount approved is almost LD 33 million,” an official from the Haj and Umrah committee told Libya Herald .
The cabinet approved the Ministry of Finance giving 25 percent of the total cost of Haj expenses for Libyans who qualify because of the economic circumstances. The cabinet set up a committee comprising representatives from the ministries of Tourism, Islamic affairs, Finance, Transport and Local Government to oversee the allocation of the funds.
Though a lottery to choose who will go on the Haj was held last month, it is still not known how many Libyans will be allowed by Saudi Arabia to perform the Haj. Saudi Arabia operates a policy of allowing one pilgrim per thousand of the population from Muslim countries. When asked about the number of Libyans to go on the Haj this year, the official from the Libyan committee told this newspaper: “The list of 8,000 [individuals] we requested from the Haj Affairs Ministry of Saudi Arabia was approved, but we have asked for an increase and we still waiting for their reply.”
This year the Haj falls between 1 and 6 October. [/restrict]