Community honors Bowie couple who died on pilgrimage to Mecca

The couple was described as a pillar of the Muslim community in Prince George's County

NBC Universal, Inc.

A community came together to honor the lives of Alhaji Alieu Dausy and Haja Isatu Wurie, a couple from Bowie, Maryland who died on their Hajj to Mecca amid extreme heat.

Hundreds of people attended a memorial service Sunday night to show their family love and support.

“It shows there’s strength in numbers and strength in our faith to keep going,” Saida Wurie, the couple's daughter, said.

The family says the couple was forced to walk several miles during the pilgrimage even though they had originally paid for transportation.

The couple, among more than 1,000 pilgrims, died in June due to the severe heat, with temperatures soaring over 120 degrees.

Last week, the couple’s three children visited where their parents were buried in Saudi Arabia and picked up their belongings.

“It’s really all the closure that we’re going to get at this point since they were already buried by the time that we got there," their daughter said. "It was definitely, I guess, a little bit of closure that we can get.”

Dausy and Wurie worked for Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks’ U.S. Senate campaign. Wurie was also a member of the county’s African Diaspora Advisory Board.

A family friend said the most important thing is letting the family know they're not alone.

“It’s our duty now to comfort their three kids that are going through much pain right now," he said. "It’s very, very tough for them, but we are with them as a family to comfort them.”

Saida Wurie said she is thankful for the outpouring of love and is now focusing on keeping her parents' legacy of sacrifice and devotion alive.

"There have been a few foundations that have already been created, so that's definitely how we're going to keep their name out there and keep giving back and donating and giving to charity to keep their legacy going," she said.

While the grief for this family is still real, they said they take comfort in knowing they have the unwavering support of so many people in the Muslim community and beyond.

Contact Us