It showed up on the calendar yesterday, but because of new moon issues, it was actually celebrated today. See, the calendars are printed before the new moon is sighted (funny how it works that way, hey?), so they can only give an approximation of the Muslim holidays in the calendar.
Haj is pilgrimage, or something like that. His boss, Hilmi, is in Mecca on Haj, along with millions of other Muslims, going from one place to another. I’m not sure of all the details or how it all works – that was the brief lunchtime summary. Fahim also mentioned, however, that there was a stampede and lots of people were killed.
Lots? How many is lots? Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? Hundreds, he says. Does this happen often? Not every year, but it’s been known to happen, yes. A few years ago, a few hundred were killed in a stampede. Once, there were more than a thousand killed.
He also mentioned that, with millions of people there for Haj, people camp in tents in the desert, and they pack in very close. If one tent goes up in flames, then the fire spreads quickly to other tents, and a stampede can result, and people die that way.
And no, he’s not saying that that’s what happened this time. He didn’t say what caused the stampede this time. He probably doesn’t know yet.
Wow. In Canada, about the only time I can recall anyone dying from a stampede was at a rock concert. Rush seating. And I wouldn’t even swear on a stack of Bibles that it happened in Canada. For all I know, Canada’s never had a case of anyone dying in a stampede.
Hmm. Perhaps I should ask the Mayor of Calgary?
(For those of you who don’t get the reference . . . Calgary, Alberta, Canada is the home of the Calgary Stampeders, a football team in the Canadian Football League, if I recall correctly. It’s also the home of the Calgary Stampede. So, uh, yeah, in that context, the joke works.)
Translation of all the above comments: Fahim doesn’t have to work. It’s a Muslim holiday. But everyone else at YA-TV does. Who isn’t Muslim, that is.
Fahim’s also supposed to go to Mosque for an extra prayer in the morning, but wasn’t able to because he’s been sick.