The $3.5 billion hotel will be built in the Manafia area of Mecca's central zone. In addition to the hotel, the 645,830-square-foot complex includes a shopping mall, restaurants, helipads, a bus station and a convention center.
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.
As Americans watch the events of James Foley's beheading, the growth of the ISIS army, and the implosion of the Middle-East and Arab Region unfold before their eyes on their television screen or computer, the importance or urgency of fighting this war is diminished by distance.
Telling the hajj story in long form is always difficult -- three times out of three for me, at least. You're not reporting a daily story but integrating yourself in the ongoing experience of individuals. You've got to be there when they wake up and watch them end their day.