More than 5,000 Muslims have left Jordan to take part in this year's pilgrimage to Mecca.
More than 5,000 Muslims have left Jordan to take part in this year's pilgrimage to Mecca. The annual pilgrimage, known as the Hajj, marks one of the most important events of the Islamic religious year.
SYNOPSIS: More than 100 buses had lined up outside Amman to transport the pilgrims.
Before they left, they were addressed by the Jordanian Minister of Islamic Affairs and Holy Places, Kamil Sharaf. He told the group that, during their pilgrimage, they could explain their case for a Palestinian homeland to other Muslims who would arrive in Mecca from all parts of the World. He said this would benefit Palestinians greatly.
The first group of pilgrims had come from the West and East Banks of Jordan, as well as from the Gaza Strip. Their journey would take several days.
This year an estimated 13,000 pilgrims will make the trip from Jordan to Mecca. All devout Muslims see it as their duty to make at least one pilgrimage to their holiest shrine, and many save for a lifetime to realise their dream.