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October 25, 2012

Hajj Pilgrims Reflect on Regional Conflicts

by VOA News

Thousands of Muslim have been arriving in the Saudi city of Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

As the sun rose over Mount Arafat, a sea of pilgrims began converging on the region.

Adnan Terkawi, from Syria, had thoughts for peace throughout the Middle East.

"I supplicate to God for calm in all Arab and Muslim countries, and in Syria in particular. I hope that Syria will return to normal as a safe and secure country," he confided.

Other pilgrims were basking in the significance of the Hajj, which is one of the pillars of Islam and is considered the ultimate act of worship for Muslims.

Sahar Hanafi, from Egypt, has been planning this trip for years.

"I have been hoping to come [to Hajj] for five years," she said. "I cry when I see the pilgrims on television. At long last I'm here, I feel that the wordly life in nothing." she said.

Others shared Sahar's excitement for making the Hajj pilgrimage. 

"This is the big day in my life and I feel too much holy and too much happy.  We don't have feeling to express this , how much I feel," said Mohammad Makbul, a Pakistani pilgrim.  

Amneh Shamari, a young pilgrim from Syria, is also very excited.

"Today is the climax of the great Hajj, the best day," she said.   

Muslims are expected to make at least one visit to Mecca.

The Hajj observance is in the midst of a five day run, which began on Wednesday.

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