He read of the swallows that fly in and out of the little cafe at Smyrna where the Hadjis
sit counting their amber beads and the turbaned merchants smoke their long tasselled pipes and talk gravely to each other; he read of the Obelisk in the Place de la Concorde that weeps tears of granite in its lonely sunless exile and longs to be back by the hot, lotus-covered Nile, where there are Sphinxes, and rose-red ibises, and white vultures with gilded claws, and crocodiles with small beryl eyes that crawl over the green steaming mud; he began to brood over those verses which, drawing music from kiss-stained marble, tell of that curious statue that Gautier compares to a contralto voice, the "monstre charmant" that couches in the porphyry-room of the Louvre.
Men call him Hadji, and he is thenceforward a great personage.
In order to confine the dignity of Hadji to gentlemen of patrician blood and possessions, the Emperor decreed that no man should make the pilgrimage save bloated aristocrats who were worth a hundred dollars in specie.
In all our conjectures we were wide of the truth; so from that time forward our sole occupation was watching and gazing at the window where the cross had appeared to us, as if it were our pole-star; but at least fifteen days passed without our seeing either it or the hand, or any other sign and though meanwhile we endeavoured with the utmost pains to ascertain who it was that lived in the house, and whether there were any Christian renegade in it, nobody could ever tell us anything more than that he who lived there was a rich Moor of high position, Hadji Morato by name, formerly alcaide of La Pata, an office of high dignity among them.
That very night our renegade returned and said he had learned that the Moor we had been told of lived in that house, that his name was Hadji Morato, that he was enormously rich, that he had one only daughter the heiress of all his wealth, and that it was the general opinion throughout the city that she was the most beautiful woman in Barbary, and that several of the viceroys who came there had sought her for a wife, but that she had been always unwilling to marry; and he had learned, moreover, that she had a Christian slave who was now dead; all which agreed with the contents of the paper.
A cet effet, la ministre de la Solidarite nationale, de la famille et de la condition de la femme a presidee jeudi dernier, une ceremonie de depart des hadjis
. Ils etaient 120 personnes (36 femmes et 84 hommes), ages entre 60 et 70 et issus de plusieurs wilayas du pays.
Les premiers groupes de hadjis
sont arrives, a l'aube de ce mardi a Medine, pour accomplir les rites du Hadj."Toutes les mesures necessaires ont ete prises pour reserver le meilleur accueil aux hadjis
" dans les Lieux Saints, a indique, a l'APS, le chef du centre de Medine, Ahmed Slimani.
L'incendie qui s'est declare dans le bus transportant les hadjis
algeriens de Medine a Mekka, hier matin, n'a fait aucune victime a l'exception d'un blesse leger dont l'etat de sante ne suscite aucune inquietude, selon un communique du ministere des Affaires etrangeres (MAE).
Elle est chargee de la prise en charge des doleances des hadjis
transmises a la commission via la page faceboock du ministere, mail et telephone ou par l'intermediaire des proches et familles des pelerins.
Le premier groupe constitue de 260 hadjis
, parmi les quelque 32.000 Algeriens qui accompliront cette annee les rites du hadj, s'envolera aujourd'hui a destination des Lieux Saints de l'Islam.