Two hundred relatives and survivors from the Christchurch mosque shootings are travelling to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage as guests of King Salman.
The Saudi ambassador to New Zealand on Friday said farewell to the pilgrims at the Al Noor mosque, one of two mosques where a gunman killed 51 people in March.
Aya al-Umari’s 35-year-old brother Hussein was among those killed.
She said it is an honour that King Salman is sponsoring the trips, a fact reinforced in her visa documents stating she is travelling as a guest of the custodian of the two holy mosques.
Ms al-Umari said she feels like her brother will be accompanying her and will constantly be in her prayers when she travels to Mecca next month.