Saudi Arabia — More than 2-million Muslims from around the globe started the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, one of the world’s largest annual gatherings in a country undergoing unprecedented change. The ultra-conservative kingdom, where religion remains a guiding force amid dramatic social and economic reforms, has mobilised vast resources for the six-day journey, one of the five pillars of Islam. "It’s the dream of every Muslim to come here to Mecca," Frenchman Soliman Ben Mohri said. "It’s the ultimate journey. What worries me is the return to my normal life. "For the moment, I am in a dream," the 53-year-old said. Every Muslim is required to complete the hajj journey to Islam’s holiest sites at least once in their lifetime if they are healthy enough and have the means to do so. Tens of thousands of security personnel have been deployed for the pilgrimage, which was struck by its worst disaster three years ago when about 2,300 worshippers were crushed to death in a sta...

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