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3,000 Belgians do the Hadj

An estimated two million Muslims will be taking part in this year's holy trip to Mecca, the Hadj.  Nearly 3,000 Belgians will be among their number.

For many Muslims this trip signifies the most important journey of their life.  39-year-old Tarik Touhafi from Antwerp started the Hadj when he was 23 and has done it twelve times so far: "It was a real Wow experience. The journey includes several rituals.  Everyone is dressed in white to emphasize equality."

"You can also do the Hadj for other people once you have done it for yourself.  I've done the trip for several deceased relatives."

Imad Ben, a 31-year-old from Antwerp, says many youngsters are doing the Hadj too!

"Many, many young people want to do the trip, not only because it's a religious obligation, but because they are enthusiastic and wish to experience it for themselves."