Photo essay: Pilgrims start hajj in Saudi ArabiaLoading
  • APTOPIX Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    About 2 million Muslims from around the world prayed at a desert hill in Saudi Arabia on Monday, joined in their faith and desire to purify their souls at the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage. In this photo, Muslim pilgrims touch a marker at the top of a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2014. The following is a gallery of images from Mount Arafat by AP Photographer Amr Nabil.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • APTOPIX Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Prayers on and around the Mount Arafat are a climactic emotional and spiritual moment in the hajj. The faithful believe that on this day the gates of heaven are open, prayers are answered and past sins are forgiven. Among the crowds of pilgrims Monday, men and women wept as they stretched their hands out in prayer and supplication. In this photo, pilgrims pray on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. Joined by their faith and a desire to purify their souls, more than 2 million Muslims from nearly 200 countries gathered around a hill in Saudi Arabia on Monday marked by a small white pillar.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    A Nigerian Muslim pilgrim smiles as he receives an umbrella distributed by a mobile network company during the hajj, or pilgrimage, in Arafat near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.The prayers at Arafat, outside the holy city of Mecca, are part of the elaborate and physically demanding purification rites of hajj. Hajj is a central pillar of Islam and all able-bodied Muslims are required to perform it once in their lives. While following a route Muhammad once walked, the rites are believed to ultimately trace the footsteps of the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail, or Abraham and Ishmael as they are named in the Bible.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    A Muslim pilgrim chants on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, during the hajj, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. Men dress in seamless white terrycloth garments meant to symbolize the equality of mankind and a return to God.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Arabia Hajj Photo Essay
    A Muslim pilgrim reads verses from Islam's holy book the Quran on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy. Women are tasked to look inward rather than on their appearances by giving up perfume, makeup and fitted outfits for long, loose clothing and a headscarf that covers the hair.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Tunisian Muslim pilgrims pray on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. Around sunset, the pilgrims on hajj leave Mount Arafat and head eight kilometers (five miles) to Muzdalifa, a desert plain where they collect pebbles. Those pebbles will be used in a symbolic stoning of the devil that begins on Tuesday, marking the start of the three-day Eid al-Adha feast, celebrated around the Muslim world.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Muslim pilgrims touch a marker at the top of a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2014. The trek to the site is itself the answer to a lifetime of prayers for many Muslims. Hajj is a central pillar of Islam and the pilgrimage is one that all able-bodied Muslims are required to perform once in their lives.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    An Indonesian Muslim pilgrim poses for a picture on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Muslim pilgrims pray on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj
    The prayers at Arafat, outside the holy city of Mecca, are part of the elaborate and physically demanding purification rites of hajj. Hajj is a central pillar of Islam and all able-bodied Muslims are required to perform it once in their lives. While following a route Muhammad once walked, the rites are believed to ultimately trace the footsteps of the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail, or Abraham and Ishmael as they are named in the Bible.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Algerian Muslim pilgrims take pictures on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, on the Plain of Arafat near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. The hajj, a central pillar of Islam and one that able-bodied Muslims must make once in their lives, is a four-day spiritual cleansing based on centuries of interpretation of the traditions of Prophet Muhammad
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Muslim pilgrims prays at sunrise on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. Countless Muslims have continued that same journey as part of an elaborate and physically demanding set of purification rites known as hajj. Muslims believe the rituals, which start in Mecca and culminate in Mount Arafat, also trace the footsteps of the prophets Abraham and Ishmael.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • APTOPIX Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Egyptian Muslim pilgrim Mansour Attallah Ali, cries as he prays at sunrise on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, as part of the hajj, or pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2014. It is on Mount Arafat, marked by a white pillar, where Islam's Prophet Muhammad is believed to have delivered his last sermon to tens of thousands of followers some 1,400 years ago, calling on Muslims to unite.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Muslim pilgrims raise their hands to receive umbrellas in front of a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, on the Plain of Arafat near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Yemeni Muslim pilgrims wear medical masks as they walk in Arafat, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. This year some pilgrims and security personnel are wearing masks as a precaution against the Middle East respiratory syndrome, which has stricken nearly 100 people, most of them in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. The Saudi health minister, Abdullah al-Rabiah, said late Saturday that no cases of the coronavirus infection have been detected among pilgrims.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Muslim pilgrims pray on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Muslim pilgrims pray on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. For many pilgrims, the hajj is an answer to a lifetime of prayers — particularly for the poor, who often save for years for the chance to make the journey. The rites emphasize equality before God, whether rich or poor. Men dress in seamless white terrycloth garments symbolizing simplicity. Women wear long, loose clothing and a headscarf, forgoing perfume and makeup
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Muslim pilgrims touch a marker on the top of a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, on the near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Muslim pilgrims pray on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. It may be the first and only time many of the pilgrims taking part in hajj ever board a plane or travel abroad. Most come from African, South Asian and Middle Eastern countries where poverty runs high. They have saved for years for this moment, when men are indistinguishable by their wealth or affiliations.
    Amr Nabil | AP
  • Mideast Saudi Hajj Photo Essay
    Muslim pilgrims pray on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.
    Amr Nabil | AP
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