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Hajj pilgrimage

Saudi hackathon seeks high-tech fixes to Hajj calamities

Fuelled by caffeine, pizza and adrenaline, sleep-deprived programmers in a marathon Saudi contest this week explored high-tech solutions to prevent a repeat of past calamities in the annual Hajj pilgrimage. In a cavernous hall in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, thousands of software professionals and students competed in the kingdom´s first-ever hackathon, a coding festival ahead of the world´s largest pilgrimage later this month. The hajj, expected to draw more than two million pilgrims to Mecca this year, represents a…

More than 2 million Muslims gather for Hajj

MAKKAH, Saudi Arabia: More than two million Muslims from around the world will start the hajj pilgrimage at Islam's holiest sites Wednesday, a religious duty and an epic multi-stage journey. Saudi authorities have mobilised vast resources in hope of avoiding a repeat of a deadly 2015 stampede that left nearly 2,300 people dead, including 464 Iranians. The pilgrimage also comes amid a diplomatic crisis between a Saudi-led bloc of Arab countries and Qatar, accused of supporting extremist groups and being too close to…

The Hajj in numbers

MAKKAH: The hajj pilgrimage, which got under way in the Muslim holy places in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, is one of the world's largest annual gatherings.