One would assume that Mecca is a city of religious purity and traditionalism. However, a visit to the holy city a couple of years ago led me to the astonishing realization that the troops of globalization have reached not only the Saudi Kingdom, but the cradle of Islam as well.
The black silk was cold and soft. The protruding layers of thread that spelt out "Allah" in neat Arabic curls absorbed the tears and prayers sprayed at the cloth's delicate font, while still reflecting the flood of light that shone from looming construction cranes and endless spurts of cell phone flashes.
The toll keeps rising from the Sept. 24 disaster outside Mecca as individual countries identify bodies and work to determine the whereabouts of hundreds of pilgrims still missing.
Saudi Arabia needs a total paradigm change and analysis of the entirety of its Hajj operations and oversight, including all engineered and administrative control mechanisms.
What is truly needed likely cannot be fixed with just a few minor tweaks, but will require a fundamental re-think on what constitutes a successful Hajj.
"Mecca deserves to be seen by the whole world."
There are even helipads for guests arriving in style.
The complaint says Minhas lied when he told customers headed to the Hajj pilgrimage that package deals included visas. Prosecutors
In the end, my conversion came while I was praying. The date was July 21, 2001. I was in a hotel room in Washington DC, where
Mecca visitors have plenty of other things to worry about, from gentrification to terror threats, but for some the selfie
What is Eid al-Adha? The Eid of the sacrifice takes place on the 10th day of Dhul Al-Hijjah, beginning in 2014 on the evening
Many opposed the developments, however, saying they undermined the holy site's rich history and blaming the Saudi government
Telling the hajj story in long form is always difficult -- three times out of three for me, at least. You're not reporting a daily story but integrating yourself in the ongoing experience of individuals. You've got to be there when they wake up and watch them end their day.