President Barrow received the National Hajj Commission representatives and the proprietor of Manazil Group from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Saleh Ahmed Banoon, on Friday, 1st August 2023, at State House in Banjul.
Mr Banoon, who hosted Gambian pilgrims in 2023, congratulated The Gambia under the leadership of President Barrow on its achievements of first and third positions in Africa and globally in the 2023 Hajj performance. The Saudi guest said he was motivated that though a small country, The Gambia attained such achievements.
He committed to funding a National Hajj Commission office complex to seventy thousand US Dollars ($70,000).
President Barrow commended the Hajj Commission and Thanked Mr Banoon for supporting Gambians in performing their religious rites during the Hajj successfully.
He urged Gambians to be proud of our achievements, recalling the awards The Gambia bagged during this year's hajj amongst big Muslims countries. The President further commended his Saudi guest for his spirit of volunteerism, saying, " It is great to have a volunteer to sponsor the construction of a headquarters for the Hajj Commission".
Commenting on the Government's support for pilgrims and the travel agents to access foreign exchange during the hajj, the President said as a leader, he has a responsibility to support Gambians.
The Amirul Hajj of The Gambia, Sheikh Ebrima Jarjue, President of SIC, Alhagie Essa Darboe, amongst other speakers, thanked President Barrow's government and Mr Banoon for their support and commended the pilgrims for a successful hajj in 2023.
Also in attendance were the new Minister for Lands, Honourable Ousman Sowe, and his Permanent Secretary, Saffie Sankareh.