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From Mumbai to Mecca

In 2003, Ilija Trojanow traveled from Mumbai to Mecca. His travelogue, in the tradition of the rihla, one of the oldest genres of classical Arabic literature, describes the Hajj, the pilgrimage to the holy sites of Islam, through the eyes of a Westerner, but with the heart of a Muslim. ???From the very first moment they realize that the Hajj - the pilgrimage to Mecca - is among the duties of each and every Muslim - the faithful long to go.??? So one January morning Trojanow, with the help of his friends donned the ihram, the traditional garb of the pilgrim, and boarded a plane in Mumbai to fly to Dhiba. He joined hundreds of thousands of Muslims, who go each year on the Hajj - the greatest demonstration of the Muslim faith. A few hours later he arrived in Mecca, and just three weeks later he was back in India. In those three short weeks he experienced a tradition dating back over one thousand years and completed a personal pilgrimage. This is his account; personal and yet enlightening for the interested that are barred as a non-Muslim from the holy sites of Islam.
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About the Author

Ilija Trojanow was born in Bulgaria in 1965. After fleeing his homeland via Yugoslavia and Italy, he was granted political asylum in Germany. He spent ten years in Kenya and five years in Mumbai, before moving to Capetown in 2003.


'Trojanow portrays a magnificent journey defined by contrasts... Non-believers are still banned from Islam's Holiest city: this short book may be the best substitute for going there.' FINANCIAL TIMES Magazine

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