This is the moment US rapper Akon visits the Holy Kaaba in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca just before its closure amid COVID-19 fears.
The Senegalese-American star, who was born to a Muslim family and spent a large part of his childhood in Senegal, was reportedly taking part in the ‘Umrah’ pilgrimage at the holy site.
Umrah, sometimes called the ‘lesser pilgrimage’, can be undertaken at any time of the year, unlike the Ḥajj pilgrimage which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
Video Credit: CEN/@manimusicmanager
Rap star Akon, 46, was visiting Saudi Arabia as part of his world tour and he announced that he was taking part in the Umrah pilgrimage ahead of his concert in the city of Damman.
In a recent interview, Akon attributed his music success to his faith and he was reportedly taking part in the pilgrimage with family members.
He also said that he had been waiting to visit Saudi Arabia for years and that he is planning to return in April this year.
He wrote on Instagram for his 6.7 million followers: “Saudi Arabia was crazy!! Thanks again Saudi for the love once again.”
Akon rose to fame in 2004 following the release of ‘Locked Up’, the first single from his debut album ‘Trouble’.
Saudi authorities have reopened the Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca and Al-Masjid al Nabawy in Medina, after they were closed to halt the spread of COVID-19 last week.
The sites were reportedly closed to foreign pilgrims and traditional tourists from around 25 countries to stop the spread of the virus.
Saudi Arabia has reported five cases of the virus.
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