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Mecca is the holiest of Muslim cities (Mecca Live Streaming High Quality Free). Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was born in Mecca, and it is toward this religious center that Muslims turn five times daily in prayer. All devout and able Muslims attempt a hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. Because it is sacred, only Muslims are allowed to enter the city.
Mecca is a city in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia that is also the capital of the Makkah Region. Mecca is located 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at the height of 277 m (909 ft) above sea level, and 340 kilometers (210 mi) south of Medina. Its resident population in 2012 was roughly 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during the hajj (“pilgrimage”) period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah.
As the birthplace of Muhammad and the site of Muhammad’s first revelation of the Quran (specifically, a cave 3 km (2 mi) from Mecca), Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam, and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims. Mecca is home to the Kaaba, by majority description Islam’s holiest site, as well as being the direction of Muslim prayer. Mecca was long ruled by Muhammad’s descendants, the sharifs, acting either as independent rulers or as vassals to larger polities. It was conquered by Ibn Saud in 1925. In its modern period, Mecca has seen tremendous expansion in size and infrastructure, home to structures such as the Abraj Al Bait, also known as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, the world’s fourth-tallest building, and the building with the third largest amount of floor area. During this expansion, Mecca has lost some historical structures and archaeological sites, such as the Ajyad Fortress. Today, more than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca annually, including several million during the few days of the Hajj. As a result, Mecca has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Muslim world, despite the fact that non-Muslims are prohibited from entering Mecca.
Mecca is governed by the Municipality of Mecca, a municipal council of fourteen locally elected members headed by a mayor (called an Al-Amin) appointed by the Saudi government. As of May 2015, the mayor of the city was Dr. Osama bin Fadhel Al-Bar.
Mecca is the capital of the Makkah Region, which includes neighboring Jeddah. The provincial governor was prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from 2000 until his death in 2007. On 16 May 2007, prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud was appointed as the new governor.
Because Medina is a sacred area, only Muslims are permitted to enter. The airport, however, lies just outside the sacred limits, and a good view of the city can be obtained by non-Muslims from aircraft landing there.
Mecca houses the Masjid al-Haram, the largest mosque in the world. The mosque surrounds the Kaaba, which Muslims turn towards while offering daily prayer. This mosque is also commonly known as the Haram or Grand Mosque.
As mentioned above, because of the Wahhabist hostility to reverence being paid to historic and religious buildings, Mecca has lost most of its heritage in recent years, and few buildings from the last 1,500 years have survived Saudi rule.
Expansion of the city is ongoing and includes the construction of 601 m (1,972 ft) tall Abraj Al Bait Towers across the street from the Masjid al-Haram. The towers were the third tallest building in the world when completed in 2012. The construction of the towers involved the demolition of the Ajyad Fortress, which in turn sparked a dispute between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.