1960's: The Hajj to Mecca

Category: Featured, Life & Society, Videos Topics: Hajj, History, Makkah (Mecca) Channel: Short Film
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White-clothed Muslim pilgrims descend from an aircraft with Arab livery.  Arab men drag supplies from the hold of the plane.  A sign says Jedda Airport in English and Arabic.  In the airport terminal crowds of people sit or wander about.  At the port too a big liner is disgorging lots of pilgrims.  Old people disembark as bearers behind carry luggage. 

A road jammed with cars and lorries is the route to Mecca, 70 kilometres from Jedda.  From a car window, a busy city with modern towers passes by.  Mecca comes into view, a large place jammed with many modern buildings of five or six storeys interspersed among the old.  The camera tracks to show the extent of the place (500,000 inhabitants) then drops to the Great Mosque at the heart of Mecca. 

This has a vast central square surrounded by colonnaded buildings.  Close in on the great black stone block called the Kaaba at the centre of the courtyard.  In the town great numbers of people come and go.  Outside an enormous number of white tents house the population which has suddenly tripled at the time of pilgrimage or Haj.  Track across a seemingly never-ending camp of tents under the hills.  

Pilgrims walk in line, some carrying umbrellas.  They throw stones in symbolic re-enactment of Abraham resisting Satan. In the courtyard of the Great Mosque, crowds throng around the Ka'aba.  They must circle it seven times.  Then they venerate the black stone which Islam says that the Angel Gabriel gave to Abraham.  As they touch it, they must raise their arms and cry "God is Great!"  A huge crowd of people flows around the Kaaba like a gentle river.


  Category: Featured, Life & Society, Videos
  Topics: Hajj, History, Makkah (Mecca)  Channel: Short Film

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