- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: MUSLIMS AT ANNUAL HAJ PILGRIMAGE CELEBRATE FEAST OF EID AL-ADHA
- Date: 5th March 2001
- Summary: MENA, SAUDI ARABIA (MARCH 5, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV: THOUSANDS OF PILGRIMS IN STONING OF THE DEVIL CEREMONY 0.08 2. VARIOUS OF PILGRIMS THROWING STONES AT 'THE DEVIL' (2 SHOTS) 0.24 3. LV/WS: PILGRIMS HOLDING HANDS AND THROWING STONES (2 SHOTS) 0.35 4. SV/ZOOM OUT: MORE OF PILGRIMS (2 SHOTS) 0.54 5. HAS: IRAQI PILGRIMS HOLDING UP THEIR FLAG AND WALKING UP TO THROW STONES AT DEVIL 1.06 6. SCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN PILGRIM, LEAH KHAN: "It means that we're actually trying to get rid of Satan, we're trying to disgrace him and it's a way of ending our pilgrimage by telling him that we're basically behind Allah and we're just trying to disgrace Satan." 1.20 7. CLOSE-UP/WIDE VIEW OF THE COLUMN THAT REPRESENTS THE DEVIL (2 SHOTS) 1.33 8. WS/SV: BARBERS (2 SHOTS) 1.39 9. VARIOUS: PILGRIMS GETTING THEIR HAIR CUT / BARBERS CUTTING HAIR (6 SHOTS) 2.12 10. SCU: (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic)ISMAIL MAHMOUD: "I'm very happy that now I've cut my hair, that I've completed most of the duties of the Haj. Now sheep slaughtering is not a duty of the Haj, but if a pilgrim has enough money, then he does it." 2.26 11. VARIOUS:MORE OF PILGRIMS HAVING THEIR HAIR CUT (4 SHOTS) 2.44 12. WS/LV: HUNDREDS OF SHEEP IN PEN (2 SHOTS) 2.53 13. VARIOUS OF SLAUGHTERED SHEEP BEING SHEARED / DEAD SHEEP ON HOOKS (4 SHOTS) 3.19 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 20th March 2001 12:00
- Location: MENA, SAUDI ARABIA
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Reuters ID: LVA7UW8DCVQ4H1IA3VD8D1ICM8TR
- Story Text: The annual haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, attended by
thousands of Muslims, has been marred by the deaths of 35
pilgrims. A civil defence official said the pilgrims were
killed in a stampede.
Muslims round the world are celebrating the feast of
Eid al-Adha, which marks God's last-minute command to Abraham
to slaughter a sheep instead of his son Ismail, according to
the Muslim holy book, the Koran.
It says God wanted to test Abraham's faith when he ordered
him to cut the throat of his son.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslim pilgrims stoned a pillar
symbolising the devil in Saudi Arabia and sacrificed some
600,000 sheep, cows and camels on Monday as the annual
pilgrimage wound down.
As Muslims around the world celebrated Eid, the Feast of
Sacrifice, the two million pilgrims who made the haj
pilgrimage to Mecca trekked to Mena from Muzdalifah, where
they had spent the night after a day of prayers on Mount
Chanting "God is Greatest", the pilgrims in seamless white
attire marched on Jamarat Bridge, where each pilgrim hurled
seven pebbles at a stone pillar erected where Muslims believe
the devil appeared to the Prophet Abraham.
The crowds repeatedly shouted, "In the name of God, God is
Greatest," as they raised their arms high to hurl the pebbles.
"We are trying to get rid of Satan, we are trying to
disgrace him," said Leah Khan, a 34-year-old Canadian.
The sea of people moved slowly as hundreds of Saudi police
monitored the scene and guided lost pilgrims while helicopters
After the stoning, pilgrims had their hair cut or their
heads shaved completely and returned to Mecca to circle the
black stone Kaaba at the centre of the Grand Mosque seven
The faithful then changed from their seamless two-piece
white outfits and modest clothes into smarter attire to
celebrate the Muslim holy day of Eid.
Slaughterhouses around Mecca killed hundreds of thousands
of cows, sheep and camels on behalf of pilgrims who paid 375
riyals ($100) each, a 10 percent increase from last year. Most
of the meat will be distributed later to needy people in 27
The pilgrims will return later to spend the next two
nights in Mena, and to repeat the devil-stoning ritual over
the next two days before the five-day haj season finishes.
Official figures showed that 1.36 million Muslims from 160
countries are taking part in the haj this year, 96,000 more
than last year. The visiting pilgrims were joined by about
500,000 worshippers from inside the kingdom.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can afford the trip
must complete the haj at least once in their lifetime. Muslims
believe that pilgrims who perform the haj with a sincere heart
return home as pure as the day they were born.
Monday's (March 5) festivities were marred by the reported
deaths. Civil Defence chief Brigadier General Saad bin
Abdullah al-Tuwaijer said 23 women and 12 men of various
nationalities had been crushed to death in the stampede during
the devil-stoning ritual at Jamarat, near the Muslim holy city
He said the nationality of the dead pilgrims would be
Tuwaijer said security men intervened and took control of
the situation, ensuring the safety of hundreds of thousands of
other pilgrims gathered at the bridge.
The Jamarat bridge was the scene of a similar stampede in
1998 in which at least 119 people were killed, including some
In 1997, 343 people died in a fire that swept through
thousands of tents in Mena, another holy site near Mecca.
Saudi Arabia has since spent millions of dollars on fire-proof
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