A cornerstone of Saudi Arabian society and a vital feature shaping its national history is harboured in the cities of Mecca, where Muhammad was born, and Medina, where he is buried. These are cities that were essential stops on caravan routes since ancient times, but since the 7th century they have also been the site of one of the essential practices in the individual and collective construction of the Islamic community of faith : the hajj, the pilgrimage journey to Mecca. Every year, around 2.5 million people participate in the pilgrimage. To help transport so many travellers, the government came up with the idea of building a high-speed railway line that can join the two cities across the desert, a project of extraordinary magnitude and enormous technical complexity. A consortium of Spanish companies was awarded the contract to build this railway. This book is the story of this journey,
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