OffBeat

Google celebrates Ramadan with livestream of the Islam’s most sacred building, the Kaabah

Above: Muslims in Mecca for their Ramadan pilgrimage.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Non-Muslims may never enter the city of Mecca or see the mysterious Kaabah, Islam’s most sacred building. But Google’s now giving you a sneak peek with a livestream of festivities at Mecca’s Grand Mosque.

The slow circles of black-and-white clad worshipers circumnavigating the iconic draped building are almost hypnotic, along with the voice-only Islamic music:

Google has also set up a special page for Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which Muslims are required to observe by fasting during daylight hours. The page offers “more ways to get together during Ramadan,” which is often a time for post-nightfall family get-togethers and communal meals, as well as hangouts with celebrity chefs from Southeast Asia.

Worshippers reach up to touch the 300-kg solid gold doors

Above: Worshippers reach up to touch the 300-kg solid gold doors.

Image Credit: John Koetsier

“Getting together for meals and laughs, telling stories, and simply spending time with loved ones—this is what holidays mean to many of us,” Hadi Raad, a Google marketing chief for “Emerging Arabia,” posted on Google’s blog.

In addition, since people who gather together might want something to do, Google offers Muslim-heavy regions such as the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Malaysia and Indonesia, “hours of video content for your whole family.”

Interestingly, since Google is also offering Ramadan-focused hashtags on Google+ and sharing trends, you can also see that, no matter what religion people have, some appetites for trashy celeb gossip are universal.

The top trending search in entertainment in the Middle East and Northern Africa?

Kim Kardashian baby.

Sigh.

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