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Jakarta Post
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Mecca and Medina on track for a spiritual journey

  • All aboard: Saudi officials inspect the bullet train at King Abdullah Economic City Station, one of five stops of the Haramain high-speed rail service between Mecca and Medina. JP/Endy M Bayuni

    All aboard: Saudi officials inspect the bullet train at King Abdullah Economic City Station, one of five stops of the Haramain high-speed rail service between Mecca and Medina. JP/Endy M Bayuni

  • Comfort and safety: The interior of the Haramain train car provides comfort for passengers on the two-hour journey between Mecca and Medina. The Haramain route retraces the journey Prophet Muhammad took when he made the perilous journey from Mecca to Medina in the seventh century. JP/Endy M Bayuni

    Comfort and safety: The interior of the Haramain train car provides comfort for passengers on the two-hour journey between Mecca and Medina. The Haramain route retraces the journey Prophet Muhammad took when he made the perilous journey from Mecca to Medina in the seventh century. JP/Endy M Bayuni

  • Night prayers: Prayers at Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca. JP/Endy M Bayuni

    Night prayers: Prayers at Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca. JP/Endy M Bayuni

  • Hospital for pilgrims: A new state-of- the-art and modern hospital is built adjacent to Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca. The free hospital is open for two months of the year to serve pilgrims during the haj. JP/Endy M Bayuni

    Hospital for pilgrims: A new state-of- the-art and modern hospital is built adjacent to Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca. The free hospital is open for two months of the year to serve pilgrims during the haj. JP/Endy M Bayuni

  • Between two hills: Umrah (minor haj) pilgrims perform the ritual of running between Safa and Marwah hills. A plan is underway to turn this facility into three layers. JP/Endy M Bayuni

    Between two hills: Umrah (minor haj) pilgrims perform the ritual of running between Safa and Marwah hills. A plan is underway to turn this facility into three layers. JP/Endy M Bayuni

  • In the shade: Automatically retractable umbrellas provide relief for pilgrims from the scorching sun at Al-Haram Mosque in Medina. JP/Endy M Bayuni

    In the shade: Automatically retractable umbrellas provide relief for pilgrims from the scorching sun at Al-Haram Mosque in Medina. JP/Endy M Bayuni

  • Rising up: New high-rise buildings loom in Mecca as the city is increasing its capacity to accommodate more pilgrims. The Saudi monarchy plans to welcome some 30 million pilgrims a year, both for the haj and the year-round umrah, by 2030. JP/Endy M Bayuni

    Rising up: New high-rise buildings loom in Mecca as the city is increasing its capacity to accommodate more pilgrims. The Saudi monarchy plans to welcome some 30 million pilgrims a year, both for the haj and the year-round umrah, by 2030. JP/Endy M Bayuni

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