Source: Los Angeles Times
On February 24, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "more than 1,000 Southland Muslims have left for Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in recent days to celebrate the most important holiday on the Islamic calendar: Hajj, the weeklong pilgrimage that begins Thursday." The pilgrimage is required at least once in their lifetimes by all able-bodied Muslims able to afford it. "More than 2 million pilgrims usually gather in Mecca annually to perform a series of rituals connected to the sacrifices made by Abraham." An estimated 10,000 Americans are expected to make the pilgrimage this year.