Three Capetonians will have the honour of returning to the blessed cities of Islam after they were chosen as the winners in a creative competition hosted by Al Jeem Foundation. There was a sense of surprise and elation as the winners were announced at the foundation’s annual hajj reunion over the weekend.
In an endeavour to contribute to the much-needed preservation of the Cape’s history as a people in and of the sacred land, Al Jeem Foundation plans to champion the archiving of this unique hajj legacy that can be traced back to 1834.
On the backdrop of Hajj 1440 (2019), Al Jeem Foundation hosted a competition, open to all who undertook Hajj in 2019 with any of Al Jeem’s affiliated tour operators, titled: “Your Hajj Deserves an ‘Umrah”. Those eligible were requested to submit, either a photograph-based submission of 3 to 5 of their own photos which capture significant memories of their Hajj along with brief descriptions for each or a short descriptive essay. According to this year’s competition theme, entries were focused specifically on “My New Life from ‘Arafa Onwards”.
Thirty-five submissions were received and independently judged by the Labbayk team. Three individuals selected as the winning entries are being awarded an umrah trip each during the second half of the forthcoming Ramadan.
The primary aim of the competition was to encourage hujjaj to share their extraordinary experiences; adding to the rich hajj heritage of ‘the people of the South’. These submissions will now be published to inspire others to make a firm resolve to undertake Hajj, while adding to the plethora of documentation capturing Hajj experiences in different times and under differing conditions as snapshots of the South African Muslim Hajj experience throughout history.
The winners were:
Hajji Gulam Sawant – First Prize
Hajji Riedwhan Ganief – Second Prize
Hajja Shakira Ismail – Third Prize
“We hereby congratulate the winners and pray that Allah accepts their Hajj and their upcoming ‘Umrah. We also acknowledge and thank the companies, Al Jeem Al Anwar Express, Al Nur Tourism and Al Jazeera Tourism for sponsoring the prizes,” said Al Jeem Foundation.