Why Pilgrims Are Dying on the Hajj

Hajj in the Time of Apps

A recent overhaul of Saudi Arabia's visa system has caused the rise of an international network of “Hajj racketeers.” When unauthorized pilgrims reach Mecca, stringent new security measures force them to undertake long, arduous treks on foot under the scorching desert sun to fulfill their religious duties.

For Pilgrims Traveling Unofficially, Performing the Hajj Can Be a Harrowing Journey

Smuggled Into Mecca

A trusted friend informed me of an opportunity to perform the Hajj, albeit informally. I had often heard the saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," but I never imagined that my journey to Mecca outside the official pilgrimage system would lead me to a nightmare.

The Seven Hanging Odes of Mecca

The Seven Hanging Odes of Mecca

Seven ancient Arabic odes are still unknown to the West despite having a bedrock status as “Beowulf” does in English: the mu’allaqat or hanging odes, so-called because they were allegedly stitched in gold and draped on the shrine of the Kaaba at Mecca as masterpieces.