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Pictures | Thu Nov 1, 2012 | 10:50pm EDT

Journey to Mecca

<p>A Muslim pilgrim gestures, as lightning strikes in the background, at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

A Muslim pilgrim gestures, as lightning strikes in the background, at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca,...more

A Muslim pilgrim gestures, as lightning strikes in the background, at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims attend a prayer session along a street at the surrounding area of the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 22, 2012.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims attend a prayer session along a street at the surrounding area of the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims attend a prayer session along a street at the surrounding area of the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims pray at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel in the Hera Cave, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims pray at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel in the Hera Cave, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr...more

Muslim pilgrims pray at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel in the Hera Cave, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims sit on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh</p>

Muslim pilgrims sit on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims sit on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>The four-faced Mecca Clock Tower is seen from the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel in the Hera cave, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

The four-faced Mecca Clock Tower is seen from the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel in the Hera cave, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21,...more

The four-faced Mecca Clock Tower is seen from the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel in the Hera cave, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca October 22, 2012.
 REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh</p>

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray in front of Station of Ibrahim "Maqam Ibrahim" at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 23, 2012. 

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray in front of Station of Ibrahim "Maqam Ibrahim" at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 23, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray in front of Station of Ibrahim "Maqam Ibrahim" at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 23, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>A Muslim pilgrim sleeps while others climb Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca October 25, 2012.   REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

A Muslim pilgrim sleeps while others climb Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

A Muslim pilgrim sleeps while others climb Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims make their way down the Hera cave on Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims make their way down the Hera cave on Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr...more

Muslim pilgrims make their way down the Hera cave on Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims climb Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims climb Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims climb Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Egypt's Muslim pilgrims from the Suez governorate arrive at Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. 
REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Egypt's Muslim pilgrims from the Suez governorate arrive at Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt's Muslim pilgrims from the Suez governorate arrive at Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>A Muslim pilgrim gestures at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel in the Hera cave, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

A Muslim pilgrim gestures at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel in the Hera cave, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012....more

A Muslim pilgrim gestures at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel in the Hera cave, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims sleep at the building where they will cast stones at a pillar that symbolises Satan, during the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh</p>

Muslim pilgrims sleep at the building where they will cast stones at a pillar that symbolises Satan, during the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims sleep at the building where they will cast stones at a pillar that symbolises Satan, during the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>A Kashmiri woman prays as others wave towards Haj pilgrims during their departure for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, in Srinagar, September 17, 2012.REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli </p>

A Kashmiri woman prays as others wave towards Haj pilgrims during their departure for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, in Srinagar, September 17, 2012.REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli

A Kashmiri woman prays as others wave towards Haj pilgrims during their departure for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, in Srinagar, September 17, 2012.REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli

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<p>Muslim pilgrims say night prayers as they head to Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. 
REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims say night prayers as they head to Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims say night prayers as they head to Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims pray on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. 
REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims pray on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims pray on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>An Iranian female Muslim pilgrim looks towards the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, October 18, 2012. 

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh</p>

An Iranian female Muslim pilgrim looks towards the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

An Iranian female Muslim pilgrim looks towards the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims pray at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims pray at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh more

Muslim pilgrims pray at the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>A Muslim pilgrim climbs down Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat at the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. 

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

A Muslim pilgrim climbs down Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat at the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

A Muslim pilgrim climbs down Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat at the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars symbolising Satan, as part of a haj pilgrimage rite, on the second day of Eid al-Adha in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars symbolising Satan, as part of a haj pilgrimage rite, on the second day of Eid al-Adha in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars symbolising Satan, as part of a haj pilgrimage rite, on the second day of Eid al-Adha in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>An aerial view shows houses in the holy city of Mecca October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

An aerial view shows houses in the holy city of Mecca October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

An aerial view shows houses in the holy city of Mecca October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Syrian Muslim pilgrims gather with a Syrian opposition flag before casting seven stones at a pillar that symbolises Satan during the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Syrian Muslim pilgrims gather with a Syrian opposition flag before casting seven stones at a pillar that symbolises Satan during the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Syrian Muslim pilgrims gather with a Syrian opposition flag before casting seven stones at a pillar that symbolises Satan during the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars symbolising Satan, as part of a haj pilgrimage rite, on the first day of Eid al-Adha in Mena, near the holy city of Mecca October 26, 2012.  REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars symbolising Satan, as part of a haj pilgrimage rite, on the first day of Eid al-Adha in Mena, near the holy city of Mecca October 26, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars symbolising Satan, as part of a haj pilgrimage rite, on the first day of Eid al-Adha in Mena, near the holy city of Mecca October 26, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims sleep along a street in an area near the Grand Mosque before some of them head to the mosque to perform the dawn prayers during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims sleep along a street in an area near the Grand Mosque before some of them head to the mosque to perform the dawn prayers during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims sleep along a street in an area near the Grand Mosque before some of them head to the mosque to perform the dawn prayers during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>A Muslim prays facing the Kaaba during Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 19, 2012. 

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

A Muslim prays facing the Kaaba during Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

A Muslim prays facing the Kaaba during Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, October 18, 2012. 
REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>A Muslim pilgrim reads the Koran as others sleep along a street near where they will cast stones at a pillar that symbolises Satan, during the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh</p>

A Muslim pilgrim reads the Koran as others sleep along a street near where they will cast stones at a pillar that symbolises Satan, during the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh more

A Muslim pilgrim reads the Koran as others sleep along a street near where they will cast stones at a pillar that symbolises Satan, during the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>A general view of the holy city of Mecca from the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh</p>

A general view of the holy city of Mecca from the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

A general view of the holy city of Mecca from the top of Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Pigeons fly over the Grand Mosque at Friday prayers during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 19, 2012. 

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Pigeons fly over the Grand Mosque at Friday prayers during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Pigeons fly over the Grand Mosque at Friday prayers during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims head to Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh</p>

Muslim pilgrims head to Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims head to Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims head to Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

Muslim pilgrims head to Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims head to Mount Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>A view of the Hera cave on Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

A view of the Hera cave on Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

A view of the Hera cave on Mount Noor where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel, during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>A Muslim reads a Koran as pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, October 18, 2012. 
REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh </p>

A Muslim reads a Koran as pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

A Muslim reads a Koran as pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims on the annual haj pilgrimage walk near the Namera mosque as they leave Arafat, October 25, 2012. M REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh</p>

Muslim pilgrims on the annual haj pilgrimage walk near the Namera mosque as they leave Arafat, October 25, 2012. M REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Muslim pilgrims on the annual haj pilgrimage walk near the Namera mosque as they leave Arafat, October 25, 2012. M REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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<p>Muslim pilgrims on the annual haj pilgrimage leave Arafat October 25, 2012, for Muzdalifah after sunset the evening before the first day of Eid al-Adha when pilgrims will pray and throw stones at pillars symbolising Satan. Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha to mark the end of the Haj by slaughtering sheep, goats, cows and camels to commemorate Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God's command. Picture taken October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: RELIGION TRANSPORT)</p>

Muslim pilgrims on the annual haj pilgrimage leave Arafat October 25, 2012, for Muzdalifah after sunset the evening before the first day of Eid al-Adha when pilgrims will pray and throw stones at pillars symbolising Satan. Muslims around the world...more

Muslim pilgrims on the annual haj pilgrimage leave Arafat October 25, 2012, for Muzdalifah after sunset the evening before the first day of Eid al-Adha when pilgrims will pray and throw stones at pillars symbolising Satan. Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha to mark the end of the Haj by slaughtering sheep, goats, cows and camels to commemorate Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God's command. Picture taken October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: RELIGION TRANSPORT)

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