Moslems from Morocco crowded Casablanca airport on Monday (January 18) at the start of their pilgrimage to Mecca, the birthplace of Mohammed.
SV Pilgrims arriving in transit building
SV Pilgrims collecting medical clearance cards
CU PAN Pilgrim, others showing passes to official (2 shots)
CU Women with passes (2 shots)
CU Pilgrims pass through immigration
SV Pilgrims walk from airport lounge to aircraft (2 shots)
LV ZOOM Pilgrims aboard aircraft
Initials AH/AW/VH/11113 AH/AW/VH/1138
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Background: Moslems from Morocco crowded Casablanca airport on Monday (January 18) at the start of their pilgrimage to Mecca, the birthplace of Mohammed. All pilgrims had to pass a stringent medical check before setting out on the pilgrimage, which this year has aroused fears that it might help spread the cholera epidemic in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Tens of thousands of pilgrims from Asia and Africa are expected in Mecca. And to meet the cholera threat, the Saudi Arabian Health Ministry has embarked upon a large-scale inoculation campaign of its own to co-incide with the Moslem pilgrimage season.
In Saudi Arabia, the campaign is being carried out in co-operation with the World Health Organisation.
The actual ceremonies at Mecca, which call for pilgrims from abroad to bathe on arrival -- often in the city reservoirs -- tend to complicate the health hazards.
Every Moslem is obliged to embark on the pilgrimage once in his life, providing he is financially or otherwise capable of undertaking it.