Saturday, December 22, 2007

Haj Souvenirs in Demand

Saturday, 22 December 2007
By Adel Al-Malki

Saudi Gazette

MINA - Zamzam water, a copy of the Qu'ran, unique rosaries, pictures of the Ka'ba, prayer mats and replicas of the Holy Mosques are the most popular souvenirs that pilgrims buy the end of Haj to give to their families back home.

Pilgrims say it doesn't matter if a souvenir is cheap or expensive as long as it is of quality and, more importantly, reminiscent of Haj and was bought at the holy sites.

"Some of these souvenirs are available back home," said Zobaidah Hassan, an Indonesian pilgrim.

"Even if a souvenir was made in Taiwan, China, India or Pakistan, what's important is that it was bought from here," he said.

Some companies and shops report that items named after the holy sites are also a big hit among souvenir hunters.

Abdu Saleh, a perfume vendor, said that one of this year's best-sellers is perfumes that bear the name of Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah.

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