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Monthly Photos July 2013

Photos taken by ILCAA staff and associates are posted here once a month; most of them are taken during their field research in Asia and Africa.

(The copyright belongs to the photographers.)

Pilgrimage, now on sale

MATTA Fair, or the largest tourism exhibition in Malaysia, is held twice a year in Kuala Lumpur. This big event is not the showcase for tourism, but the event which visitors can buy air tickets, bus tickets, or package tours. Therefore, the convention centre is crowded with staffs of travel companies, who are touting with brochures, samples and balloons, and visitors with intent look.

Nowadays, package tours of pilgrimage to Makkah get more popular for Muslim customers. In Islam, there are two types of pilgrimage. One is Hajj, which is held during the month of Dhu al-Hijjah (12th month in Islamic calendar). Hajj is one of five pillars of Islam. The other is Umrah, which is held on other than the month of Dhu al-Hijjah and recognized as Mustahabb (recommendation). In MATTA fair, Umrah package tour is selling well.

Each travel agency tries to create unique Umrah package tours to gather Muslim customers’ attention. This photo shows that some kinds of tours visit on not only Makkah, but also Istanbul or Abu Dhabi to enjoy sightseeing and shopping.

As Malaysian economy is brisk, Malay Muslims in middle class who don’t enjoy alcohol or gamble prefer to overseas travels as favorite recreation. It seems that Umrah is considered as one of the options.

MAR 2013
Booth of travel agency in MATTA Fair, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Photograph by Yasuhiro FUKUSHIMA

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