Mecca grand mosque

MUNICH Trai Turner Jersey , Germany, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- German police gave the all clear to a bomb alarm in southern German city of Erlangen, which forced evacuation in a German bank building on Thursday afternoon.

"A suspicious object has been proved to be harmless," a police spokesman said.

Local police received an anonymous phone call from a bank employee at noon, and then found a suspicious object in the bank during their search.

The police immediately evacuated the bank, which has about 140 employees. At the same time, they asked bomb specialists from Munich to examine the suspicious object.

About 250 people had been evacuated in the afternoon, according to a local media news report.

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RIYADH Ryan Kalil Jersey , Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- ""I'll pray for peace in my country and for the goodness of my family and myself,"" said Hassan, a Syrian pilgrim who is preparing for this year's Hajj, the annual pilgrimage for Muslims to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Hassan is among the more than one million pilgrims who have come from around the globe to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, for the yearly event which, according to the Saudi Supreme Court Kelvin Benjamin Jersey , starts on Sept. 22.

In all, more than two million Muslims worldwide are expected to travel to the reinvented town in a desert valley in Saudi Arabia for one of the most important religious rituals in their whole lives. The Saudi government says they are ready.

According to the Islam doctrines, every Muslim, if physical and economic conditions permit, will go to Mecca at least once in a lifetime to join Hajj.

The dates for the greatest Islamic observance are prescribed to fall between the eighth and the 12th day of December in Islamic lunar calendar, but its exact dates in the Gregorian calendar vary each year as an Islamic year counts 11 days less than the other system.

Besides the dates, pilgrims also follow a set of rigid Hajj schedule, which includes a grand religious ritual in Masjid al-Haram Luke Kuechly Jersey , or the grand mosque of Mecca, which is the largest of its kind in the world.

There they walk counterclockwise around the Kaaba, a cuboid building at the center of the mosque. Then they proceed to Mina, about seven km from the grand mosque, to pray and stay overnight in tents, before moving on to Arafat, a barren and plain land some 20 km east of Mecca, and then to Muzdalifah Cam Newton Jersey , an area between Arafat and Mina, to celebrate Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice.

Organization of such a congregation of millions at a condensed location for a few days would by all means stand as an ordeal for the Saudi government, as even a tiny glitch during their preparation could lead to a fatal mistake.

The history of Hajj has witnessed terrorist attacks, riots, stampedes, and flood and fire accidents. The latest one was in 2006 when more than 300 people died during a stampede.

For the past 10 years the Saudi government has been expanding and modifying Hajj facilities to ensure the pilgrims' safety and prevent security accidents.

Since 2011 it has invested some 21.3 billion U.S. dollars in enlarging Masjid al-Haram, which Christian McCaffrey Jersey , when construction completes in 2016, will allow more than two million Muslims to pray there at the same time, or some 100 thousand pilgrims to walk around Kaaba.

In 2010 Saudi Arabia put in use three light railways for transporting pilgrims between Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, which was a 1.8-billion-dollar contract with a Chinese construction company.

This year the Saudi government spent over six billion dollars on tens of thousands of white tents, which are equipped with air-conditioners and carpets, at those three pray sites for pilgrims to take rest, making the world's largest ""city of tents."" Previously the pilgrims had to sleep in the open air or in tents of their own.

According to the Hajj minister Custom Carolina Panthers Jerseys , Saudi Arabia is offering a whole range of services to pilgrims this year, including airport shuttles, lodging, transport between pray sites, medical support, etc.

That would involve some 100 thousand security troops and firemen, 23 thousand municipal workers, 25 thousand medics Throwback Carolina Panthers Jerseys , 10 thousand street cleaners, and over a hundred barbers as pilgrims need to have their scalp completely shaved after the pilgrimage to symbolize a fresh start.

Despite the billions of cost, Hajj may still seem a good business for the Saudis. Local media said during Hajj each foreign Muslim is estimated to spend 5,000 dollars, with each Saudi pilgrim spending 1,400 dollars, which translates into a balance of about nine billion dollars for this year alone.

While expanding the Mecca grand mosque, the Saudi authority started to issue Hajj permits in 2012 trying to bring down the total population of pilgrims. Though only pilgrims with permits were allowed to join the Hajj Authentic Carolina Panthers Jerseys , large numbers of illegal pilgrims still were flooding into Mecca one way or the other for the past two years. That has forced the authority this year to tighten security check at each entrance to Mecca and apply a six-month term in jail or a fine on those who do not comply.

Besides security concerns, another challenge facing the pilgrims is the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS. Since the first case was confirmed in Saudi Arabia in June 2012, the coronavirus has killed more than 500 people and made the kingdom the most heavily infected country.

Lucky enough is that the Saudi government has declared zero MERS infection among the Hajj pilgrims for the past three years. As study shows that most camels in Saudi Arabia are carrying MERS, the authority has banned access of camels to Mecca as well as slaughtering camels during the Eid al-Adha.

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