A virtual Hajj experience for So Cal Muslims

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Screenings of "Journey to Mecca: In the footsteps of Ibn Battuta" hosted by IslamiCity will be showing at the California Science Center IMAX on December 10 & 11, 2011.

Today, one can go to Mecca in a few hours from anyplace in the world. In the past, most Muslims had to fulfill strict conditions in order to make the journey. In effect, they had to be prepared for death.

This IMAX film capsulates the eighteen month journey it took Ibn Battuta to travel from Morocco to Mecca, the beginning of the travel adventures of his life from 1325-1326.

IMAX, is a leading entertainment technology that specializes in creating immersive motion pictures. This immersive movie experience is capable of taking viewers up close and personal to places they may never have an opportunity to visit — from the highest mountain of the world to the deepest part of the sea and to the outer boundaries of space. Recreating the ancient journey of Hajj which continues till today as the longest running congregation of humans annually on planet earth, is definitely a unique experience for the medium.

The film is produced by SK Films and  Cosmic Picture in association with National Geographic. Jonathan Barker the CEO of SK Films who produced this film is one of Canada’s most experienced film and television industry executives and a world leader in producing and distributing Giant Screen 3D and 2D films. Mr. Barker has been responsible for the production and distribution of some of the most successful 3D films of all time, including Bugs! and Into the Deep.

In the IMAX presentation of Journey to Mecca: In the footsteps of Ibn Battuta, viewers will have the opportunity to follow the travels of Ibn Battuta, the famous traveler whose journeys are documented in the Rihla of Ibn Battuta. Originally setting out only to complete the Hajj (the Pilgrimage to the Kaaba in Mecca), Ibn Battuta did not return home until 29 years later. Among the places he visited are West Africa, Spain, India, and China, and many places in between, spanning some 75,000 miles — three times more than Marco Polo.

For people who have never been to Mecca, this is virtually the closest they can get to the Kaaba without actually going there in person. The film will be a special educational experience for people who have had the opportunity to go on the pilgrimage in the past or will be making the pilgrimage in the future.

Viewers will get a rare glimpse into Islamic civilization of that period as they “travel” along with Ibn Battuta, with sweeping recreated scenes of the famous Damascus Hajj caravan, culminating in breathtaking footage of the Kaaba and the Hajj as it is today.

People of all Abrahamic faiths will get a unique insight into the history of Hajj that celebrates our common bond.

Journey to Mecca: In the footsteps of Ibn Battuta