Saudi Arabia: Millions to Mecca
Every year 2.2 million Muslims gather in Mecca to perform the Hajj, a mandatory pilgrimage and one of the five pillars of Islam. The city is accessible only to those who practice Islam, as all visitors must pass through two checkpoints to verify religious identity. Mecca is the holiest city for Muslims, the birthplace of Muhammad and the site of the first revelation of the Quran. In traveling to Mecca, Muslims from around the world express their solidarity and pay homage to God, their Allah.