Non-Muslims are not allowed in the holy city of Makkah (Mecca). And photography or video making is discouraged.
So sadly, outside of Muslims, no one gets to experience the beauty of Makkah. I wish there was a way around it but I understand and respect Saudi’s attempt to keep the site holy and restricted to pilgrims for one purpose only.
But, no worries, I managed to make a video of people walking around Kaaba which is the black structure you see in the middle. It is the sacred site for Muslims. As part of your Umraah (mini version of the holy pilgrimage), you are supposed to walk around the Kaaba 7 times.
I shot these two videos around 4 am in the morning. The crowd you observe here is ’bout 9 times less then what you typically see during the normal hours of the day.
And this one is the fast-forward GIF version:
With these, I bring my Jeddah diaries to an end. I bid thee farewell!!! And hope (again) whoever desires to, may they embark on their own spiritual journey one day when the time is right and the soul is prepared.
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
Whoever quoted this must have visited the city of Makkah.
The holy city received over 6 million visitors last year during Umraah (mini holy pilgrimage) season and close to 20 million visitors in the holy month of Ramadan (which lasts for 30 days).
Can you imagine finding spirituality amidst millions? I can’t! But you may. In your own way. In your own time.
I don’t believe God intended for me to find a solitude retreat at Makkah. That I can find in the corner of my bedroom on a prayer rug. He wanted me to know amidst the inevitable chaos we call life, I hold the power to find and create my own peace. For God is Everywhere you need Him to be.
Pour your heart out
On the journey there…
Gate into the City of Makkah
More than a million cars were parked in designated parking slots last year during the month of Ramadan (source)
The Clock Tower
Last year, the Makkah municipality received an average of 2,555 tons of waste mainly from the Haram and central Makkah region each day of the month of Ramadan (source)
The Holy Water
We stayed at Hotel Dar-al-Ghafran located in this tower – thumbs up!
and when the crowd takes over…
To Al Safa and Al Marwah
One last look…
These pictures were taken at the end of our Umraah. And Kaaba was photographed the day after a few hours before Fajr (dawn).
I hope any who wishes to, embarks on their own spiritual journey one day wherever it may take them and bring back with them a greater and renewed sense of responsibility to oneself and humanity. Spirituality is empty if it fails to teach you humility.