CNN particularly CNN International and its Hajj 2006 website always seems to have the best coverage of hajj year in and year out in the mainstream western media.
Since Riz Khan retired, Hala Gorani and Zain Verjee have alternated anchoring their network’s hajj coverage although I have yet to see anything top Michael Wolfe’s Nightline hajj documentary. That documentary is my earliest memory of encountering anything more than a superficial introduction to Islam and to some of its beauty.
That documentary affected me in a profund way and I never forgot the saying mentioned toward the end that “Before you vist Makkah it beckons to you, and when you leave it behind it calls to you forever”. Quite unexpectedly, about five years later I converted to Islam.
I’ve attempted to go for for umrah twice and for hajj twice but it has never worked out, visa applications denied or this or that so my computer screen is about as close as I can get to going Makkah and Madinah but I can say alhamdulillah it wasn’t written for me yet each year around this time you feel that pull and tug at your heartstrings…
May Allah accept the hajj from each and every single pilgrim, accept our repentance, forgive our sins, and make us all from the hujjaj. Ameen.