The more than two million Muslims Performing Hajj on Sunday in Saudi Arabia. Hajj is the world’s largest annual gatherings. Every Muslim is required to complete the hajj at least once in their lifetime if they have the means to do so. This year, the Saudis have launched a “smart hajj” initiative for pilgrims. Most of Pilgrims from abroad including large contingents from Egypt, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Most of the pilgrims began moving on Sunday from Mecca to the nearby Mina valley where they will spend the night in fire-resistant tents. On Monday, pilgrims will climb nearby Mount Arafat for the climax of the hajj, praying and reading the Quran. After sunset, pilgrims head to Muzdalifah, half-way between Arafat and Mina, where they stay at least until midnight. They gather pebbles to perform the symbolic stoning of the devil on the eve of the Eid al-Adha feast.
This year’s pilgrimage comes with the oil-flush kingdom witnessing unprecedented change, including an end to a ban on women driving. While rights campaigners have welcomed the reforms, they have also expressed alarm about a crackdown on dissent.
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