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Arab World: Tweeting the Hajj Experience

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Religion

Among the 1.8 million [1] Muslims on pilgrimage, or Hajj [2], to the holy city of Mecca are a few stealing moments to send 140-character messages to the world. Here are snippets from the conversation on the Twittersphere.

The Hajj, which should be performed by every Muslim with the means to do so at least once in a lifetime, culminates with Eid Al Adha tomorrow (Tuesday).

Twitter users from across the region share their experience in the following tweets.

Bahraini Hassan Zainal writes [3]:

Taking a break before starting another round of prayers.People are
enjoying the moments despite the difficulties.Bahraini people are

And he advices [4]:

A lot of old people r here as well & we as young people keep
complaining about how difficult Haj is.Go while you are young.Lifetime

Khalid Al Mutari, from Saudi Arabia, shares a series of tweets with photographs illustrating his pilgrimage.

Here [5] he shows us tickets for Mecca Metro, a $2 billion new train service [6], which ferries pilgrims to different holy sites.

Mecca Metro tickets

The train service, which is reserved for Saudis and other Gulf nationals this year, came under fire by pilgrims from other countries, who were not allowed to use the service. The Gulf Cooperation Council [7] is made up of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

From Qatar, Shabina asks [8]:

What about the little ppl at Hajj? RT @omarc [9] The Mecca Metro launches today for Saudis & Gulf nationals http://bit.ly/d4YaVP [10]

mmbilal, also from Doha, Qatar, is on a mission. She is there to cover the Hajj for Al Jazeera English. She tweets [11]:

Just landed in jeddah – hassle free – to cover #hajj2010 [12] for @ajenglish [13]! Slight hiccup in doha involving exit permits, but all is well now.

She also shares photographs in her tweets. This photograph [14] is described as follows:

Women pilgrims

since most ppl stay 2 far from Kaaba to come to evry prayer, thousands camp outside the mosque and nxt door mall #hajj [15] http://img.mu/XBbWNK [16]

And the caption [17] for the following photograph reads:

The Holy Kaaba

view of the kaaba and masjid al haram from the al jazeera arabic studio at #hajj [15] http://img.mu/er75DC [18]

Another tweep on Hajj is Egyptian Mohamed, who shares his observations here. [19]  In this [20]tweet he spots a young boy with other worldly concerns:

6-year old in e7raam outfit walking around the tent and trying to find a plug to recharge his PSP. #loveit [21] #hajj [15] #arafat [22]

And here he mocks [23] social networking site Foursquare [24] fans:

Hey @foursquare [25], i just made it to a meetup with 3 million buddies. That's gotta deserve an awesome new badge! #hajj [15] #arafat [22] #eidmubarak [26]!

And finally Tareq Fares, from the UAE, shares this photograph [27] from Mount Arafat [28]:

Pilgrims at Mount Arafat

For more Hajj tweets, check out #Hajj here [29].