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  • Pilgrims holding coloured umbrellas and matching coloured rings separating them as a Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic measure while circumambulating around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the centre of the Grand Mosque in f Mecca, at the start of the annual haj pilgrimage on Wednesday. – AFP pic, July 31, 2020.
  • A handout picture provided by Saudi Ministry of Media showing pilgrims attending prayers at Namira Mosque on Arafat Day, the climax of the haj in Mecca. – AFP pic, July 31, 2020.
  • + 5An aerial picture of pilgrims’ housing tents near the Arafat mountain in Mecca. Saudi Arabia is hosting the annual haj pilgrimage, which is dramatically downscaled due to the coronavirus pandemic and has barred millions of international pilgrims for the first time in modern history. – AFP pic, July 31, 2020.

A different kind of haj

THE haj – among the five pillars of the Islamic faith – is markedly different this year.  Few pilgrims w...

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