The Ministry of Awqaf in the Syrian government announced its agreement with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj to assume control of the Hajj and Umrah affairs for the year 2024. This marks the official transfer of the issue from the Syrian opposition after more than a decade.
In a statement, the Syrian Minister of Awqaf, Mohammed Abdul Sattar al-Sayed, held a meeting with the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan, in Jeddah. They mutually decided that the Hajj and Umrah activities for the current year will be coordinated from Damascus, under the supervision of the Syrian Ministry of Awqaf.
The statement further outlined that joint preparatory committees between the two ministries will convene to discuss and plan all necessary logistical procedures. The objective is to ensure the smooth service of Syrian pilgrims, providing them with all required facilities.
Earlier, the Supreme Hajj Committee of the Syrian opposition stated that it was actively engaging with Saudi authorities to enhance the experience for pilgrims and Umrah performers in 2024. However, figures aligned with the Syrian regime shared a video on social media purportedly showing the Syrian regime’s Hajj director, Hassan Nasrallah, signing the return of the Hajj issue to the Syrian regime alongside an official from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj.
A source close to the Syrian Coalition, as reported by Al-Modon, confirmed that Saudi Arabia is in the process of handing over the Hajj issue to the Syrian regime in 2024. The source clarified that Nasrallah’s signature in the video circulated through a media protocol with the company Ikram al-Deif, serves as a media prelude to the official signing of the Hajj issue between the Syrian Minister of Awqaf and the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah.
According to the source, the matter extends beyond normalization and encompasses Riyadh’s preference for entrusting the issue to “institutions and the state” that it finds suitable for dealing with bureaucratic aspects and other considerations. The source argued that the coalition did not meet the standards of a state in handling such matters, prompting Saudi Arabia to withdraw the issue from the opposition.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.