Just recently, Iran enforced a strict ban forbidding any of its citizens from participation in Hajj, the annually offered and once-in-a-lifetime required major Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
My brain frantically scours for the line between the patience we have grown and groomed over these days on Umrah and the right to defend one's dignity against defamation -- not to mention an additional stand against an entire gender's general reduction into one, incapable stereotype -- but my mind quickly realizes we are way past this point.
The black silk was cold and soft. The protruding layers of thread that spelt out "Allah" in neat Arabic curls absorbed the tears and prayers sprayed at the cloth's delicate font, while still reflecting the flood of light that shone from looming construction cranes and endless spurts of cell phone flashes.
Two years ago, then-CNN reporter Peter Hamby lamented the negative effect he believed Twitter and other social media were having on presidential campaign coverage.
Saudi Arabia needs a total paradigm change and analysis of the entirety of its Hajj operations and oversight, including all engineered and administrative control mechanisms.
The annual pilgrimage called the Hajj means many things: it's a religious duty for every adult muslim to perform at least once if he or she is able; it's one of the five pillars of Islam; it's a melting pot of every nation united by one religion; and it is stunning and exhausting.
What is truly needed likely cannot be fixed with just a few minor tweaks, but will require a fundamental re-think on what constitutes a successful Hajj.
This year includes an alignment at mid-September of the main holy days in the Jewish and Islamic calendars. At sundown on September 13, Jews observed the first of their High Holy Days, and their recognized commencement of the new year, Rosh Hashanah.
A three-minute video, posted by a Saudi government-backed organization to YouTube on June 4, has garnered 150,000 views in 48 hours and sparked a discussion in the kingdom about how to stem sectarian conflict.
In scrolling through these pictures, opportunities for development mean avoiding logistical nightmares and health epidemics.
In Pakistan, as the days to Eid-ul-Adha draw near, the craze of buying animals for sacrifice intensifies. Streets, lanes, alleys are filled by the young as well as the old bragging about the uniqueness of their animals, despite the stench of animal waste that lingers in the air.
The battles against terrorists such as the Islamic State and the centuries-old tension between Sunnis and Shias are not symbolic of the 'soul of a religion'. Instead, these sectarian and politically fueled schisms are symbolic of the battles for the soul of humanity, pluralism and peace.
Current year's Eid al-Adha calls for a conversation among Muslims and all global citizens. We intend to prompt the global conscientiousness regarding the need to help the needy as well as confront those committing crimes against their fellow man and our shared earth.
Research shows that increased religious orthodoxy does not automatically translate into extremism and violence.
Some men performing this act of worship are fully cognizant of the story, its symbolism and relevance today. Others would do well to remember in whose footsteps they walk during the sayee, and who's example they emulate.
When you see people circling the Ka'aba it may look like a swarm, a school of fish, a galaxy swirling its way counterclockwise ... just because. From overhead it's a maelstrom that never sinks into the sea. It's a powerful, living organism, a community of Babel, in which individuals experience communion with "the other."