Every year 2 million people from all seven continents converge on Mecca (Makkah) and Madina in one of the largest gatherings in the world. Religion aside, being the Mecca of any multitude is an accomplishment of colossal standing. Mecca is one of the few holy places where millions of people speaking thousands of different languages and sharing different cultures gather together shoulder to shoulder in prayer around the Kaaba, visit the city, Mount Arafat and Prophet's mosque in a 5 day spiritual journey. Hajj or pilgrimage is one of the pillars of Islam. At least once in their lives, Muslims are obligated to perform the Hajj. Some people go to hajj multiple times others only once or occasionally. For many who do go, the ocean of pilgrims dressed in white covering the entire surrounding area of the Kaaba and Mt Arafat leaves many viewers speechless. For words can not fully capture the beauty of humanity's rich diversity of epic hajj. The annual hajj has been ongoing for some 1000 years.
Millions of Muslims in Mecca for Hajj RT
Pilgrims at Mt. Arafat
PS Saudi authorities have been changing the cityscape immediately surrounding the Kaaba building new high rise hotels and one of the tallest clock towers in the world. The square where the Kaaba sits will also be expanded to allow more pilgrims standing room. While many of praise Saudis for the new Dubai inspired buildings many have decried the lost of irreplaceable historical buildings and monuments connected to the very founding of Makkah, Prophet Mohammad and early Muslims. We are talking about historical buildings that have survived since the earliest days of Islam only to be bulldozed to make way for glistening buildings without cultural/historical soul and roots.