President Mubarak’s advisors proposed to him a new project that would bring millions of dollars to Egypt every year.
They explained that they conducted a careful assessment of holding the annual Islamic pilgrimage (Haj) in Cairo instead of Mecca. He was surprised, but they assured him that they planned everything. He inquired: “where can accommodate millions of pilgrimages in one place to perform the Haj rituals?” They confidently answered: “In Tahrir Square, Sir!” They explained that they measured it carefully and found that millions can be there at the same time, and that they can use the round garden in the middle for people to circle around it as they do around the Kaaba in Mecca.
“Well,” he continued to inquire, “what about the ritual of walking seven times between the Safa and Marwa hills?”
Again, confidently they explained that the Kasr el Niel bridge was measured, and it is about the same distance as that between the Safa and Marwa hills, and with minor reconstruction it will work very well.
“OK, so what about the ritual of throwing pebbles at the Devil column in Menna outside of Mecca?” he asked.
They said, “Sir, this is when we will need your help by standing for a couple of days until people finish throwing the pebbles at you!”
Well, the events of the last few days in Tahrir Square, and the Million Person March of Tuesday 1st of February, with the images of millions holding the daily group prayers (like they do in Mecca), while chanting for the removal of Mubarak, all seemed to turn that joke into a prophecy.
(contributed by : Vaidyanathan Ramanathan on 03.02.2011)