By ARAB NEWS
Published: Nov 26, 2010 00:23 Updated: Nov 26, 2010 17:37
RIYADH: The Kenyan grandmother of US President Barack Obama who was on Haj pilgrimage to Makkah has said that she prayed for the American leader to convert to Islam, a newspaper said on Thursday.
“I prayed for my grandson Barack to convert to Islam,” said Haja Sarah Omar, 88, in an interview with Al-Watan daily held in Jeddah after she had performed Haj.
The paper said that Haja Omar was in Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage along with her son, Obama’s uncle Saeed Hussein Obama, and four of her grandchildren as guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
Haja Omar told the newspaper that she could only discuss Haj matters and would not comment on Obama’s politics.
“I was very much delighted as I recollected what my teacher at the primary school used to tell us about Makkah and Madinah while we were children,” Haja Omar, who hails from Koglilu village in western Kenya said.
However, when asked about her expectations about Obama winning a second term to the White House, Haja chuckled with a side glance at her son Saeed Obama and grandchildren, “Allah alone knows, it is a matter of the unknown future.”
The grandmother also prayed for the quick relief of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, adding that he is a kind king.
Prince Mamdouh hosted a dinner in honor of the Haja, her sons and grandchildren at his palace in Jeddah on Wednesday.
Faisal Ambuya, one of Obama’ cousins, who embraced Islam at the hands of the Haja said, “My grandmother is very much interested in calling non-Muslims to Islam and I learned about Islam from her.”
“When I will return to my village I will tell the villagers about the strength of Islam,” she said.
Obama’s uncle Saeed said he never thought he would be able to perform Haj this year. “I am very much delighted because I could perform the pilgrimage. I thank Allah and then King Abdullah for hosting us in the Haj.”
Musa Ismail, son of Obama’s maternal aunt, who acted as both spokesman and translator for the family, said he was a student at the Madinah Islamic University and felt that spiritually he belonged to Saudi Arabia.
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