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Posted on July 11th, 2023

Your Imagery Work Break – 2022 Hajj

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Can you believe it’s July already?! July is one of the best months, full of festivities, fireworks, camping, and grills. At Apollo, we’re basking in the long days, warm nights, and summer vibes; and hope you are too! For your work break today, sip something refreshing and maybe take a nap in a cool, shady spot. Before you get your nap on, take a moment to check out this 30-centimeter (cm) Pléiades Neo 4 image collected in Mecca, Saudi Arabia at about 11:02 AM local time on July 9, 2022 as these images were captured during the 2022 Hajj!

We’ve featured the annual Hajj in our Work Break’s and other articles before. You can check out the pieces we wrote about it for 2012, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2021 at these links.

Last year, the Hajj – which means “pilgrimage” – took place from July 7 to July 12, 2022. It is a religious pilgrimage for the Islamic faith, during which people travel to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims. Here, people flock to the Masjil al-Haram, or Grand Mosque, to see the Kaaba. The Kaaba is a stone building at the heart of the Grand Mosque that is considered by Muslims to be the house of God. This spot is the qibla or direction to which Muslims cast their daily prayers.

The 2022 Hajj was especially important because it was the first year the holy city of Mecca was reopened to international travelers after a 2 year closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The city did not open its doors in its usual open reception to all travelers however, as they decided to restrict Hajj participants to 1 million because of the ongoing pandemic. Prospective pilgrims had to reserve their spot in Mecca through a single online platform called MOTAWIF, which proved difficult to navigate for many. The website has since been rebranded as Nusuk Hajj, which travelers will use to make reservations for the 2023 Hajj.

This Pléiades Neo 4 image featured here shows the Grand Mosque, and clearly shows the large crowd of people surrounding the Kabaa.

Have a great rest of your workday! 😊

(Image Courtesy: Airbus. Processed by Apollo Mapping for improved color accuracy and clarity.)

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