The barren town of Arafat in Saudi Arabia became a sea of humanity on Wednesday (29 November) when a million Moslems united in prayer there during their annual Islamic pilgrimage.
AERIAL VIEW Mosque at Arafat
SV Pilgrims praying outside mosque on hands and knees (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR Mosque pilgrims bowing during prayer (4 shots)
SV INTERIOR ??? through streets towards Mount ??? (4 shots)
SV AND GV Pilgrims walking up to top of Mount M??? (2 shots)
AERIAL VIEW ??? Mercy and Arafat tent ???
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Background: The barren town of Arafat in Saudi Arabia became a sea of humanity on Wednesday (29 November) when a million Moslems united in prayer there during their annual Islamic pilgrimage.
SYNOPSIS: The pilgrims trekked 20 kilometres (13 miles) from Mecca to begin the four-day journey of the Hajj or pilgrimage. Moslems from all over the world prayed together at the Arafat Mosque. They wore the seamless two-piece white towels, donned by rich and poor alike. Arafat is the first stop on the journey which ends back in Mecca.
At noon the pilgrims took part in the traditional Dhuhr prayers and in the afternoon the Assr prayers and heard a sermon from the imam. They spent the rest of the day in private prayers.
At sunset the pilgrims started another march, this time from Arafat to Muna about 30 kilometres (approx 20 miles) away. On their way they prayed at Mount Mercy, on the outskirts of Arafat. According to official statistics, this year there are nearly 720,000 foreign pilgrims doing the Hajj. This is some 170,000 less than last year. But counting the Saudi Arabians, more than a million pilgrims are still taking part.
Developments to meet the demands of pilgrims has done much to transform the face of Arafat and Muna. New roads, bridges and flyovers have been built to facilitate the flow of traffic. The city of 200,000 tents which springs up every year causes its own problems. Thousands of pilgrims lose their tents during prayers but the equivalent of a lost property centre does its best to cope with the problem.