Haj is canceled; anyone noticing the impact?

Puspawarna

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Since I returned to the US, my life has not been affected by Ramadan and Idul Fitr the way it was while living in Indonesia and Egypt (I miss that a little). But it still felt like HUGE news when the Saudis canceled the Haj this year because of the pandemic. How is everyone in Indonesia feeling about this?

I know the majority of our members aren't going to be directly affected, but nonetheless many people must have family members who are crestfallen, or are at least observing responses in the news and so forth.
 

Jaime C

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Not affecting anyone in our family. I don’t know of anyone in the immediate family who has even gone on Haj or similar.
 

Helpful Herbert

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I haven't heard it mentioned in the kampung, possibly they have more important things to worry about like their jobs. But those groups of hajj tourists huddled together sitting on the floors of airport terminals in matching t-shirts are probably the definition of the polar opposite of social distancing. I'd be surprised if it goes ahead next year either.
 

R Cameron

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I don't know anyone directly affected, but I have heard many people talk briefly about it. I noticed people treating the whole virus situation much more seriously when that news first broke, but it's hard to say if it still has any effect in promoting caution.
 

waarmstrong

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Will give the minions at Religious Affairs an extra year to steal more of the advance payment money.
 

Helpful Herbert

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On the contrary, I think the Saudi's are missing the money and it will go ahead, COVID or not.
Yes I'm sure they'll try. I read that Saudis have a very simple calculation for their investment in Indonesia. Step 1: invest in religious schools, preachers etc. Step 2: ensure the people are taught that they have to go on Hajj and Umroh (preferably more than once). Step 3: future Saudi cashflows from Indonesia from religious tourism should be a multiple of the initial investment in the country. There are no other investments in Indonesia which would give them such a return, so that's why they do very little other investment here (much to Jokowi's annoyance on the Saudi King's last trip!).
 

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