Muslim women pray outside Mecca’s Grand

Muslim women pray outside Mecca’s Grand Mosque on November 15, 2009. Some 2.5 million Muslims from more than 160 countries converge annually on the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina in western Saudi Arabia. The hajj pilgrimage — to be completed at least once in a Muslim’s lifetime, under the tenets of Islam — can be undertaken at any time, but peaks this year from November 25 to 29, at the height of the alert over swine flu. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

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