Maldivian on 35th pilgrimage: Saudi Gazette

Ismail Abdul Latheef, head of the local Athama Hajj Group, has been performing the Hajj for the past 35 years, the Saudi Gazette reported on Saturday.

Abdul Latheef is presently in Mecca in charge of 200 Maldivian pilgrims with the Athama Hajj Group.

Latheef, currently in his 50s, told the Saudi online news outlet that he first performed the Hajj pilgrimage when he was a child.

“He came along with his father who was working for a Tawafa establishment in the Maldives. His father sponsored many a family to go to Makkah and perform one of the most important rituals in Islam,” the website reported, adding that Latheef “acquired solid experience in the field and became the manager of his father’s establishment.”

“Every time I see the Grand Mosque, I can’t help but cry tears of joy. Makkah is one of the most breathtaking cities on the globe. Its holiness makes every stone-hearted person melt in awe.” Latheef told the Saudi Gazette.