Hajj begins in Saudi Arabia Under Historic COVID Imposed Restrictions  

2020/07/30 14:20

Today's Vocabulary

1.observances (n) 
the act of obeying a law or following a religious custom


2.pilgrims (n) 
a person who makes a trip, often a long and difficult one, to a special place for religious reasons 

3. Hajj (n)
the religious trip to Mecca that all Muslim try  to make at least once in their life

4. quarantine (n)
a period of time during which an animal or person that might have a disease is kept  away from other people or animals  so that the disease cannot spread


5. scaled-back (phr. v)
 to make something smaller than it was or smaller than it was panned to be


6. packed (adj)
completely full


Hajj begins in Saudi Arabia Under Historic COVID Imposed Restrictions   

Islam’s holiest observances began Wednesday as a small group of pilgrims arrived in Mecca to begin the Hajj, which has been dramatically scaled-back due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

Instead of the two million-plus people from around the globe that normally make the required once-in-a-lifetime journey to Islam’s holiest site, Saudi Arabia has barred all international travelers from entering the kingdom to perform the Hajj, limiting the attendees to just 1,000 people made up of Saudi nationals and foreign residents who were pre-selected weeks ago. 

The pilgrims are between the ages of 20 and 50 and have been tested for COVID-19 before traveling to Mecca, where they were required to quarantine in their hotel rooms before the start of the Hajj.  They will also be required to enter quarantine for a week after the end of their five-day pilgrimage.   

The small band of pilgrims will observe social distancing as they walk counterclockwise around the cube-shaped Kaaba placed in the center of the Grand Mosque during the first ritual of the Hajj — a far different scene than usual, with the mosque packed with pilgrims standing shoulder-to-shoulder as they circle the Kaaba.   

Saudi Arabia has more than 270,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and nearly 2,800 deaths.   

Resource: https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/hajj-begins-saudi-arabia-under-historic-covid-imposed-restrictions

  1. What do you think it is like to be among hundreds of thousands of people, all with a common purpose?
  2. Would you like to go on a pilgrimage?
  3. What do you know about the Hajj?

"Don’t save Hajj for the old age! You don't know the date of your appointment with the angel of Death."

Dr Bilal Philips

"Among the lessons I learned on Hajj was that I needed to be mindful and keep the inner connection with God at all times and that self-improvement is definitely a never-ending struggle."

Kristiane Backer