Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

2 Million Descend on Mecca

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

2 Million Descend on Mecca

Article excerpt

By Omar Akour and Ahmed Hatem

The Associated Press

MOUNT ARAFAT, Saudi Arabia -- With their palms facing the sky in supplication, and many with tears in their eyes, about 2 million people from around the world gathered Thursday in an effort to start anew, erase past sins and beg God for forgiveness and guidance in the peak day of the hajj pilgrimage.

From dawn until dusk, the massive crowd of people will be gathered here in Mount Arafat to spend the day in supplication and contemplation. It is here, on this mountain surrounded by desert, where the Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon more than 1,400 years ago.

"We hope that Allah will forgive our sins, and we hope to have a new start with our God," said Khaled Ahmed, a 47-year-old pilgrim from Egypt. …

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