Bosnian walks over 5,500 km on pilgrimage to Mecca
Sarajevo: Bosnian Muslim Senad Hadzic's spiritual journey to perform the Haj took him 10 months as walked 5,650 km before reaching Mecca in Saudi Arabia, Bosnian media reported.
“There was not a day which was easy. Every day was difficult,” Hadzic, 47, who reached Saudi Arabia several days ago, told journalists.
Hadzic left on foot the town of Banovici, in the northeast of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in December carrying approximately 200 euros (some $260) and a backpack weighing about 20 kg.
During his 314 day walking journey to the Muslim holy city in southwestern Saudi Arabia he crossed Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Jordan as well as war-torn Syria.
Difficulties emerged in the beginning of his pilgrimage, when in December he had to suffer frosts of -35 degrees Celsius while crossing Bulgaria.
Hadzic said the most difficult stretch of his journey was in Syria, where an ongoing bloody conflict since last year between the ruling authorities and opposition have claimed, according to UN estimates, between 20,000 and 30,000 lives.
He said problems started on the Syrian border. After that, Hadzic had to repeatedly negotiate either with government troops or with rebels as he was crossing the country.
“One of the Syrian soldiers asked me to pray for him in Mecca if I manage to survive,” Hadzic said.