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 Topic: Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?

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  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #60 - October 06, 2014, 08:14 AM

    Calling Zaotar and other wise ones...

    Are the Saudis perhaps redeveloping Mecca so brutally not because they have no respect for the traces of history but to hide the fact that there is nothing much there?


    I suspect this!
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #61 - October 06, 2014, 08:42 AM

    Quote
    At the Hajj pilgrimage, the world's largest Islamic gathering, which takes place in October, the authorities now use live crowd analytics software, which can not only spot problems in the crowd but also claims to be able to predict where overcrowding is likely to happen.

    Live data feeds come into a large operations room where they are analysed by military personnel, the police and other crowd managers.

    The software provides accurate and real-time data on crowd numbers, densities, distributions and flows.

    "Crowds can be dangerous places. Whether triggered by factions within the crowd, by natural disasters or misguided crowd managers, there is a long history of crushes, stampedes and failed evacuations," said Fiona Strens who co-founded CrowdVision, the firm behind the software.

    "It spots patterns of crowd behaviour that indicate potential danger such as high densities, pressure, turbulence, stop-and-go waves and other anomalies."

    As large-scale events go the Hajj is one of the biggest and it has a pretty bad track record; over the years thousands of lives have been lost.

    One of the worst incidents occurred in 2006 when a stampede on the last day of the pilgrimage killed at least 346 pilgrims and injured another 200.

    Crowd behaviour
    As part of his PhD research, CrowdVision co-founder Dr Anders Johansson analysed the CCTV images of the pilgrims before and during the crush in 2006, and realised that there were patterns of behaviours that, spotted early enough, could have prevented it.

    In 2007, his system was installed in Mecca and it has been monitoring the pilgrimage every year since.

    Muslim pilgrims
    The Saudi authorities believe such technology helps save lives
    While the company doesn't like to tempt fate, since its involvement, no fatalities have occurred.

    That isn't entirely down to the technology though, admits Ms Strens.

    "In recent years the Mecca authorities have invested in better infrastructure, planning and technology to assure pilgrim safety but we play a very important role providing the real-time data and insights needed to inform operational decision-making," she said.

    For their part, the Saudi authorities are pleased to have such a technology partner.

    "The live crowd analysis greatly improves safety of pilgrims," said Dr Salim al Bosta, crowd management expert, at the ministry of municipal and rural affairs.

    But crowd scientist Keith Still, who was special adviser on the Hajj from 2001 and 2005, is more sceptical about how much technology can help in such places.

    "Any technology has to be coupled with a crowd management plan," he told the BBC.

    In fact he thinks that technology installed at the Hajj in 2006 - before CrowdVision's involvement - actually contributed to the tragedy that unfolded.

    "Tech firms offered the Saudis new systems and there was an over-reliance on technology. There was lots of digital signage put up to direct the crowds but it was just a mess," he said.

    He is also sceptical about whether the technology used by CrowdVision can work in a live situation.

    "It spots shockwaves in the crowd but if these are happening then you are already at a point where people could be crushed or seriously injured. Whoever is in control has fundamentally lost control of the situation by then," he said.

    "It could become an exercise in futility."

    For him, the value of CrowdVision lies more in its ability to precisely count how many people are at an event.

    "If you need to track capacity such tools are great but it is a long way away from being a risk management system," he said.



    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24463736

    As well as being boring it seems Mecca is also very dangerous!

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #62 - May 27, 2015, 06:51 PM

    City in the sky: world's biggest hotel to open in Mecca

    http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2015/may/22/worlds-biggest-hotel-to-open-in-mecca?
    Quote
    ....
    “The city is turning into Mecca-hattan,” says Irfan Al-Alawi, director of the UK-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, which campaigns to try to save what little heritage is left in Saudi Arabia’s holy cities. “Everything has been swept away to make way for the incessant march of luxury hotels, which are destroying the sanctity of the place and pricing normal pilgrims out.”

    The Grand Mosque is now loomed over by the second tallest building in the world, the Abraj al-Bait clocktower, home to thousands more luxury hotel rooms, where rates can reach £4,000 a night for suites with the best views of the Kaaba – the black cube at the centre of the mosque around which Muslims must walk. The hotel rises 600m (2,000ft) into the air, projecting a dazzling green laser-show by night, on a site where an Ottoman fortress once stood – razed for development, along with the hill on which it sat.

    The list of heritage crimes goes on, driven by state-endorsed Wahhabism, the hardline interpretation of Islam that perceives historical sites as encouraging sinful idolatry – which spawned the ideology that is now driving Isis’s reign of destruction in Syria and Iraq. In Mecca and Medina, meanwhile, anything that relates to the prophet could be in the bulldozer’s sights. The house of Khadijah, his first wife, was crushed to make way for public lavatories; the house of his companion Abu Bakr is now the site of a Hilton hotel; his grandson’s house was flattened by the king’s palace. Moments from these sites now stands a Paris Hilton store and a gender-segregated Starbucks.

    “These are the last days of Mecca,” says Alawi. “The pilgrimage is supposed to be a spartan, simple rite of passage, but it has turned into an experience closer to Las Vegas, which most pilgrims simply can’t afford.”
    ....

  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #63 - May 27, 2015, 06:58 PM

    RIP, Umm Al-Qura

    "God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Make me and my mother gods beside God?" Qur'an 5:116

    "I told them clearly that I am a man...and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that the human being is emanated from a deity." - Haile Selassie
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #64 - May 27, 2015, 07:24 PM

    I almost feel like I visited Makkah just in time. Before the demolition of all the cheap hotels, we used to take a bus to the city and get a hostel-like room with old wooden bunk beds for 50-60 riyals a night in the off season – within a 5 minute walk of the haram. At this rate, I don’t know how any average person, young or old, would be able to afford to stay close to the mosque. The city had a distinct character to it even then: the markets, the busy, crowded streets, the strange smells. Now, to quote an Irish brother I last made umrah with, “it’s like trying to pray in Bur Dubai and telling yourself it’s holy.”

    As for the OP and how it makes me feel, I reckon it’s poetic the disillusionment. Makkah was meant to be this special, almost magical place. That’s how it was engrained in my mind through prayer rugs, paintings, and pictures since I was a kid.

    Looking at it now, though, it just looks exactly like what it is: a cash cow.

    There is a famous poem called the Eulogy of Andalus lamenting the fall of Moorish Spain to the Christians. Perhaps Makkah needs a eulogy now as well.

    "God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Make me and my mother gods beside God?" Qur'an 5:116

    "I told them clearly that I am a man...and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that the human being is emanated from a deity." - Haile Selassie
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #65 - May 27, 2015, 07:34 PM

    I almost feel regret that I was never able to see it, especially now when it's trying to emulate the feeling you get in Dubai. But still somehow trying to pull of the holy-image. Dubai was horrible, by the way.

    "The healthiest people I know are those who are the first to label themselves fucked up." - three
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #66 - May 27, 2015, 07:37 PM

    How tough are the restrictions for Muslim entrance into Mecca?
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #67 - May 27, 2015, 07:46 PM

    At least when I was there, in the off season, they would randomly check your papers at checkpoints leading into the haram or sacred area. In Saudi Arabia, your religion is written on your entry paperwork/visa, and if you live there, Muslims will have a green residency permit while non-Muslims will have a red one. In theory, you could probably make it into the city as a non-Muslim provided you dressed the part and didn’t do anything too suspicious. Who knows what they would do to you if they found you out, though.

    And honestly, I doubt a non-Muslim would find Makkah particularly interesting. It’s mainly the mosque, which you can see live online or on TV all the time, followed by a shittone of hotels. All the interesting stuff, even the stuff that was there 15-20 years ago, is practically gone. 

    "God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Make me and my mother gods beside God?" Qur'an 5:116

    "I told them clearly that I am a man...and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that the human being is emanated from a deity." - Haile Selassie
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #68 - May 27, 2015, 08:33 PM

    I almost feel like I visited Makkah just in time

    Believe it or not as I was reading the article I was thinking to myself "happymurtad just about made it while it was worthwhile". Grin

    As I have a love of ancient religious buildings in historically christian places, in recent years I've been wanting to visit others as well. If all goes to plan I may be able to pay a visit to the Sultan Ahmed mosque this winter. It's a shame the spirituality and uniqueness of a place like Mecca has been basically wiped out, though realistically I suppose given how hard Saudi is to get into I would never have been able to experience it anyway. Still, there's always the Golden Temple and the Vatican. I am determined to see the Sistine Chapel before I die.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #69 - May 27, 2015, 08:37 PM

    Quote
    Sultan Ahmed mosque


    Go! Istanbul is a phenomenal city. The Hagia Sophia pretty much changed my life, in it's own way.  Smiley

    Quote
    Golden Temple and the Vatican


    I totally want to visit Amritsar as well. We should backpack through India one day, quod!

    The Vatican, meh… Maybe if I’m really bored.



    "God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Make me and my mother gods beside God?" Qur'an 5:116

    "I told them clearly that I am a man...and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that the human being is emanated from a deity." - Haile Selassie
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #70 - May 27, 2015, 08:48 PM

    Me backpacking with you would enduce a similar reaction Descent would display getting the change to study with Isaac Newton. I'd be reduced to a 14-year-old girl hanging out with One Direction.

    And seriously, no Sistine Chapel?

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #71 - May 28, 2015, 12:37 AM

    I almost feel regret that I was never able to see it, especially now when it's trying to emulate the feeling you get in Dubai. But still somehow trying to pull of the holy-image. Dubai was horrible, by the way.


    Yeah, you gotta skip Dubai in favor of Abu Dhabi.

    I don't want to be good anymore. I want to be right.
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #72 - June 01, 2015, 11:15 PM

    Saudis turn birthplace of Wahhabism into tourist spot

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/world/middleeast/saudis-turn-birthplace-of-ideology-into-tourist-spot.html
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #73 - June 28, 2015, 08:18 PM

    Mecca becomes a Mecca for skyscraper hotels

    http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/05/30/410591909/mecca-becomes-a-mecca-for-skyscraper-hotels
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #74 - September 05, 2016, 07:00 PM

    Mecca as it was - photos from the Hajj, 1953

    http://ilmfeed.com/25-amazing-photos-hajj-1953/

  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #75 - September 05, 2016, 10:55 PM

    Roger Pearse has observed similar happening to Rome. A lot of monuments were razed there and rebuilt during the 1920s and the 1930s, to make Rome into a showcase for the ideology in charge at the time. (Not to name any names.)

    http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2015/12/22/rome-before-mussolini-what-a-map-can-tell-us/

    http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2015/04/04/photos-of-the-base-of-the-colossus-of-nero-and-mussolinis-alterations-to-the-colosseum-area/

    And many more. Much damage was done.
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #76 - September 05, 2016, 11:12 PM

    ^You could also make the comparison with the demolition of old Saint Peter's.

  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #77 - September 06, 2016, 07:25 PM



    Pilgrimage locations have always been tourist spots. The major differences are accessibility via travel and population expansion have changed in modern times.
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #78 - September 11, 2016, 05:55 PM

    There are a couple of historical sites dating back 1400 years ago

    12 from what i know  most has been destroyed  unfortunately. Just the Pictures remain .

  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #79 - September 12, 2016, 10:44 AM

    If you really want more and more people to see the kabba the logical thing is to go three dimensional - a sphere above below around the kabba.

    Of course, an easier place to achieve this is in orbit.

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #80 - September 12, 2016, 12:44 PM

    So any one of you have any links? any stories that are floating  around On Mecca and Madina  from say   5th century to 10th century??..

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #81 - April 20, 2017, 12:00 AM

    The destruction of Mecca - The Middle East’s largest building project has effaced 1,400 years of Islamic history

    http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21717992-middle-easts-largest-building-project-has-effaced-1400-years-islamic
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #82 - April 20, 2017, 01:19 AM

    Why do we even care?

    You academic sorts puzzle the shit out of me sometimes.

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #83 - April 20, 2017, 10:38 AM

    Why do we even care?


    well  we all should care for the TRUE HISTORY OF ISLAM  for that matter true history of all faiths and their origins  dear   asbie

    Quote
    You academic sorts puzzle the shit out of me sometimes.


      clap clap    that is what  all GUTLESS GUMMY BEARS do as faculties in religious departments to  appease to the  faith heads of their times .. these guys get paid by the taxpayers ...

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #84 - April 20, 2017, 01:14 PM

    Honestly it doesn't matter. Faith has been around and will always be around.

    The truth of their origins can be unveiled but the knowledge of it will be suppressed to various degrees depending on the stage of power the religion is in its life cycle. Old religion dies out, new one takes its place and the cycle begins anew.

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #85 - April 20, 2017, 01:44 PM

    Ah, asbie. Have some faith in humanity!

    If anything, I want a new religion to pop out with modern humanist values. A religion I can back and persuade religious people to look into....

    Better than following centuries old doctrine tbh. Less mental gymnastics to deal with...
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #86 - April 20, 2017, 11:23 PM

    Why do we even care?


    Because, in the immortal words of Emil Faber - Knowledge Is Good.
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #87 - April 21, 2017, 12:34 AM

    Ah, asbie. Have some faith in humanity!

    If anything, I want a new religion to pop out with modern humanist values. A religion I can back and persuade religious people to look into....

    Better than following centuries old doctrine tbh. Less mental gymnastics to deal with...


    I really want the new religion to be called Holidayism, where all holidays from all other religions are celebrated. Make life one long feast and celebration. Not a bad way for a kid to grow up.

    I don't want to be good anymore. I want to be right.
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #88 - April 21, 2017, 01:40 AM

    What if holidayism were just a pillar of this new religion? It's a great idea, but why limit ourselves to just that focus?

    "God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Make me and my mother gods beside God?" Qur'an 5:116

    "I told them clearly that I am a man...and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that the human being is emanated from a deity." - Haile Selassie
  • Mecca 'development' - how does this make you feel?
     Reply #89 - April 21, 2017, 03:05 AM

    If anything, I want a new religion to pop out with modern humanist values. A religion I can back and persuade religious people to look into....


    Well if you think about it, old religions always followed modern values. From their contemporary perspective, of course.  Wink

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
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