By Sudarshana Banerjee

Some 2.5 million people will officially begin the annual Islamic ritual of the Hajj on November 5, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. YouTube in collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information will be broadcasting the rituals live on the ministry’s official YouTube channel. Najeeb Jarrar, product marketing manager, Middle East and North Africa, and Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, regional manager, emerging Arabia, posting in the official Google blog, add that viewers will also be able to participate via video comments. The stream will be live on Saturday, November 5 at

Earlier during the year, YouTube had also worked with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information to broadcast Islamic prayers live during Ramadan from the Holy Mosque in Mecca for the first time.

The Hajj represents one of the five pillars of Islam, and it is a widely held belief that all Muslims around the world who are able-bodied and can afford the pilgrimage, should do so at least once during their lifetime. The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar.

(Sudarshana Banerjee is consulting editor with She can be reached at [email protected])