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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Back after the Hajj, Muslims reminisce (2)

By Li Yao (China Daily)

08:46, December 05, 2011

The total number of annual pilgrims has been less than 14,000 in recent years, and China will consider expanding the flight capacity to accommodate more applicants, with increasing experience and upgraded services for logistical, medical and safety needs, said Hong Changyou, vice-president of China's Islamic Association.

Wang Xiuzhen, 46, went to Mecca with her sisters, Wang Meizhen, 48, and Wang Hong, 42. The three sisters are Han Chinese from Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, who were converted to Islam in 2006 in Dubai after they had run a business there for five years.

They felt lucky to be selected among the seven pilgrims from Zhejiang, and even luckier to all go together.

"The journey was physically demanding. Many Hajjs are elderly people in their 60s and 70s. Due to the hot dry climate, almost everybody fell sick, but people held on to their belief and completed the duty," Wang Xiuzhen said.

"People of different colors and nationalities gathered and prayed together. We were no different from one another and belong to one larger family," Wang Meizhen said.

Feeling purified and rid of many worries after the Hajj, the three sisters said they would bring their good spirits back to their daily lives and convert others to understanding Islam and becoming religious.

Liu Desheng, 61, from Tianjin municipality, shed some tears as he recalled the past 40 days in Mecca.

"I can never stay long enough in the holy city. The days passed so quickly. It was stunning to see millions of people going there and praying together," Liu said.

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