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Bulldozers poised to target Mecca birthplace of Muhammad

Saudi Arabia's royal family are planning to demolish a library sitting on the remains of Prophet Muhammad's birth home to make way for the imam's residence and a presidential palace. The Saudi royal family are adherents of Wahhabism, a radical branch of Islam; by their beliefs, they have destroyed many Islamic heritage sites as they consider the preservation of relics of Muhammad's life to be akin to idolatry.
posted by divabat on Feb 22, 2014 - 62 comments

"I felt like I'd been catapulted from one end of the universe to the other"

This weekend marks the time of the Hajj, a core pillar of Islam in which great tides of humanity venture to the ancient city of Mecca to honor God. Predating Mohammed's birth by centuries, the pilgrimage comprises several days of rites, from congregation like snow on Mount Arafat and the ritual stoning of Shaitan to the circling of the sacred Kaaba (the shrouded cubical monolith Muslims pray toward daily) and kissing the Black Stone (colored by the absorption of myriad sins, and believed by some to be a fallen meteorite). While the city has modernized to handle this largest of annual gatherings -- building highway-scale ramps, gaudy skyscrapers for the ultra-rich, and tent cities the size of Seattle -- it remains mysterious, as unbelievers are forbidden from entering its borders. Richard Francis Burton became famous for touring the city in disguise to write a rare travelogue, but contemporary viewers have a more immediate guide: Vice Magazine journalist Suroosh Alvi, who smuggled a minicam into the city to record The Mecca Diaries [alt], a 14-minute documentary of his own Hajj journey. Browse the manual to see what goes into a Hajj trip, or watch the YouTube livestream to see the Grand Mosque crowds in real time.
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 4, 2011 - 31 comments

Shooting the Optimum Spot

Corinne Vionnet sifted through online searches of the world's most recognizable tourist attractions in order to carefully layer 100's of photos of each on top of one anther until she created her desired result. Her site contains a few smaller ones which aren't available in the blog post, as well as some more information on the project. [more inside]
posted by gman on Feb 21, 2011 - 41 comments

Bygone Mecca

In 1885, Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje took rare sepia-tinted photographs and sound recordings of Mecca. The exhibition will be on display at The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai.
posted by gman on Nov 15, 2010 - 8 comments

"I Was Just So Overwhelmed by Its Sheer Immensity ... I Had to Pop Myself a Beer."

Greetings from the Twine Ball, wish you were here: "But you can't see out of the side of the car, because the windows are completely covered with the decals of all the places where we've already been: there's Elvis-O-Rama, the Tupperware Museum, the Boll Weevil Monument, and Cranberry World, the Shuffleboard Hall Of Fame, Poodle Dog Rock, and the Mecca of Albino Squirrels. We've been to ghost towns, theme parks, wax museums, and a place where you can drive through the middle of a tree ... " [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Jul 8, 2010 - 41 comments

Redesigning Mecca?

Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid have been lined up to take on one of the most high-profile projects on earth – the redevelopment of Mecca [more inside]
posted by puckish on Dec 4, 2008 - 52 comments

On "The Glassing of Mecca"

Answering the "Glass Mecca" Strategy. Regarding the comments by Rep. Tom Tancredo offering the nuclear terrorist attack response of "nuking Mecca.” …More inside
posted by Dunvegan on Jul 19, 2005 - 178 comments

Take a Virtual Hajj Tour (via beliefnet)

Take a Virtual Hajj Tour (via beliefnet)
Today is the day of Arafat or the day to perform one of the main rites towards Hajj (The Pilgrimage to Mecca). Around 2 Million muslims from all corners of the earth are gathered in Saudi Arabia.
posted by adnanbwp on Feb 21, 2002 - 3 comments

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