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Tuesday 20th February 2001, 1100 GMT
Bristol Muslims set off on pilgrimage
Muslims from across the city are setting off on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

The journey, known as the Hajj, is a trip which every Muslim must make at least once in their lifetime.

Many will be making the journey to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the first time.

Mazhar Hussin
Mazhar Hussin
It is one of the most important events in the Moslem calendar and one for which Mazhar Hussin has waited a long time.

"This is a lifetime ambition", he told BBC Bristol, "My call has come now and I think it will be really nice."

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it is estimated that around three million people will make the journey this year.

The pilgrims will spend the coming weeks affirming their beliefs before returning home with renewed faith.

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Janice Armstrong reports on the Hajj
Internet links:
Muslims in Britain website

Islam Awareness Week site (lots of information about the Muslim faith)

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