For the second year in a row, Prince Abdulaziz, son of the late King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, known as Abu Turki in northern Syria, sponsored nearly 500 Syrian pilgrims wounded in the war. He covers their travel and accommodation expenses, as well as providing them with travel documents and permission to undertake Hajj.
“I lost my leg, but Allah compensated me by giving me the opportunity to visit His Holy House,” said Ismail al-Masri, a father of eight who lives in the Atmeh camp near the Syrian-Turkish border. In 2016, he lost his leg after being hit by a barrel bomb from an Assad regime plane in the village of Kafruma.
Al-Masri told Al Jazeera that going to Hajj was one of his dreams, a dream he never imagined due to his poor financial situation, especially after being hit and displaced from his village after the regime took control in early 2020. . But when he heard about his acceptance of the war-casualty grant for Hajj, he felt as if he had regained his life.
“Yesterday’s dream has become a reality today. I will stand on one leg near the Kaaba and thank Allah for His countless blessings. For the leg I lost, I pray to Allah to give me the best compensation in Paradise,” said Al-Masri.
Prince Abdulaziz has long kept his identity a secret and was known only as the philanthropist Abu Turki in northern Syria before he appeared and revealed his true identity to pilgrims whose expenses he sponsored during his visit to Syria last year.
“My acceptance of the Hajj grant is a gift from Allah to me, and I have accepted this gift and go with a great desire to worship Allah and visit the grave of our Prophet Muhammad,” said Hassan Ghazawi, a displaced person. Eastern Ghouta in the countryside of Damascus.
He currently resides in the town of Al-Bab in the countryside of Aleppo. In 2015, he lost both his legs in an Assad regime airstrike in the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta.
“I will pray to Allah on the Day of Resurrection [Mount] Arafat provides the means for every Muslim to perform Hajj rituals, especially for the people of northern Syria,” Ghazawi added.