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Hajj pilgrims still waiting for lost luggage

Jan. 3, 2011 4:07 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2011 12:52 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Over 4,000 pilgrims from Gaza say luggage lost by airport handlers at some point during their return from performing the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, has remained lost since November 2010.

Some luggage is being held in Cairo airport , and other baggage is still in Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Airport. On Monday, pilgrims appealed to the Palestinian embassy in Egypt to follow up on the issue, saying their suitcases contain gifts for family members.

Head of the union of Hajj companies in Gaza Awad Abu Mathkour said only one of three cargo companies has received any luggage. The company recovered the belongings of 600 pilgrims, leaving 4,200 still waiting for their baggage.

Alaa Al-Kurd, owner of a cargo company, said more than 8,000 packages had not been shipped yet. He explained that Egyptian authorities insisted that all luggage be transferred by air from Cairo and Jeddah airports.

He said cargo companies paid $1 per day on each package held at Cairo airport.

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