Mon, 09 Oct 2000

'Umroh' delay

Before conscientious Muslims undertake any activity, especially important ones, they should say Insha Allah (God willing). Another good term might be: Man proposes and God disposes.

As such, Muslims accept the fact that things might not go according to plan. So I tried not to complain when the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia was difficult when it came to granting me a visa to perform my umroh (minor pilgrimage). But then, I thought, maybe it's God's plan that I do complain, positively of course.

I think the Saudi Embassy needs to get its act together very quickly. There have been many, many people who have had to cancel their umroh plans because of ineptness at the embassy.

Taking time off to perform umroh is, mostly, not a spur of the moment decision. Time off work has to be scheduled, children have to be organized, money arranged.

From what I heard from my travel agent, many people have been affected by the embassy's inefficiency.

If there are new people working at the embassy, perhaps they should be trained first in what is expected of them.

As it stands now, I don't know when I'll be able to arrange my trip again. And I guess that goes for a lot of other Muslims.

M. Zainal