Thai haj pilgrims find airport chaos a test of faith
(Photo:Anti-government protesters at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, 21 Nov 2008Kerek Wongsa)
David Fox of our Asia Desk in Singapore found this interesting faith story amid the protests at Bangkok’s international airport:
BANGKOK – Hundreds of Thai Muslims on a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca were spending a third night sleeping rough at Bangkok’s international airport on Thursday, victims of anti-government protests that have paralysed air travel.
Around 700 haj pilgrims, many elderly and frail but hoping to complete one of Islam’s most important pillars of faith before they die, prepared to camp out for a third night in the terminal building at Suvarnabhumi airport.
“Some of them have saved all their lives for this,” said Muhammed Yusouf, a haj tour guide accompanying the pilgrims, many of whom would be travelling by plane for the first time.
“If they miss this opportunity, they might not get a second chance.”