Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Two and a Half Million Muslims Hajj 2010 Getting Started

At least 2.5 million Muslims began the annual hajj this year, on Sunday, heading to a campsite near the holy city of Mecca to follow the journey made by Prophet Muhammad 14 centuries ago.

Traveling by foot, by public transport and private cars, the congregation was flowing through a mountain leading to a valley of Mina, about three miles outside the city of Mecca. The trip was the same as the Prophet himself did during his last pilgrimage.

Hajj, one of the biggest parades of religious devotion in the world lasted for five days. In the past worship that have been compromised by fires, hotel collapses, police clashes with protesters and deadly crush.

Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Saudi Arabia Abdulaziz said Wednesday that the kingdom can not rule out an attack by a regional group of Al Qaeda, despite the kingdom's security forces were ready to fight against such an operation.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Sunday denied they intend to attack Muslim pilgrims during Hajj.

Islam is now embraced by a quarter of world population and the Hajj is one of the obligations for Muslims are healthy and able to do so. Many people wait for years to get a visa in order to hajj.

"I can not explain my feelings here," said Mahboob Bangosh, a Canadian from Toronto pilgrims from Afghanistan.

To minimize the risk of overcrowding and to reduce congestion on the roads, the government first began to operate trains made in China that will stop at places of pilgrimage.

Railway projects worth 1.8 billion dollars had been down the road 18 kilometers in length and will carry 180,000 passengers this year, obviously Habib Zein Al Abideen, assistant minister for municipal and rural affairs.

"We will have a capacity of 72,000 passengers per hour next year. This year we operated 35 percent of capacity. Next year we can have 500,000 to 600,000 passengers," said Abideen.

Due to limited capacity, the train this year will only bring the people of Saudi Arabia or other Gulf states, and next year will be open to other citizens, he said.

"That would be a big improvement. The price of tickets is only meant symbolically," said Walid al-Mushawer, a Saudi pilgrims.

Saudi Arabia has been working hard to improve facilities in order to facilitate the flow of pilgrims to the hajj. In 2006, a total of 362 pilgrims jostled to death.


Post a Comment