PetroSaudi International, a Saudi oil exploration and production company, last Monday came to the aid of some three hundred and twenty (320) stranded hajj pilgrims.
The company, following the intervention of Vice President John Mahama, which enabled the pilgrims to receive their visas to travel to the holy land, offered to transport the pilgrims to Jeddah.
Mr. Mahama had to intervene to get the Saudi authorities to further increase Ghana’s allocation for the 2011 hajj, and for the Saudi embassy to issue the extra persons with visas.
The Chief Executive and Co-Founder of PetroSaudi, Tarek Essam Ahmad Obaid, says the offer to make available a Saudi Arabian Boeing 747 to transport the 320 passengers demonstrates PetroSaudi’s continued commitment to Ghana.
“In the spirit of the friendly and expanding ties between Ghana and Saudi Arabia, PetroSaudi International is honored to lease a Boeing 747 to transport hundreds of stranded Ghanaian Pilgrims to perform Hajj”, a statement from PetroSaudi quoted Mr. Obaid as saying.
“The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz were instrumental in giving their respective directives to facilitate and provide all the necessary support to all Muslim nations to diligently fulfill the delicate mission of assisting all pilgrims on their holy journey,” he added.
The statement also noted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is known as the “Humanitarian Kingdom” for having established one of the world’s largest foreign aid programs.
“As the cradle of Islam it is no surprise that the Saudi Arabian government would demonstrate such kindness and generosity to fellow Muslims in a friendly country.”
The airlifting of the final 320 pilgrims brings to 4,300, the number of Ghanaians taking part in this year’s holy pilgrimage.
PetroSaudi International is a privately owned oil exploration and production company founded in 2005, with offices in Saudi Arabia, England, and Switzerland.