Mecca Then and Now, 128 Years of Growth

In the late 1880s, the photographer Al Sayyid Abd al Ghaffar carried cumbersome equipment to the desert city of Mecca, capturing scenes of thousands of Muslim pilgrims camped in the surrounding hills and valleys during the Hajj. Today, more than 125 years later, more than two million Hajj pilgrims descended on Mecca, which has grown drastically to accommodate the annual gathering. Gathered here is a series of photographs from al Ghaffar taken sometime around 1887, compared with images from similar locations taken in 2015.

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