October 14, 2013
Haj in 1979 fell in the middle of November. Among the hundreds of thousands of Muslims making the journey to Mecca was one who still holds a special place in the hearts of Emiratis.
Forsaking his official bisht for the simple white robes of a pilgrim, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is seen here before the start of Haj, joining other members of the UAE delegation at the tents in Mina.
Sheikh Zayed’s pilgrimage came just five years after the first official Emirati delegation in 1971. Two years earlier, Sheikh Zayed had personally paid the expense of 500 Emiratis to perform Haj.
* James Langton