On January 4, the Tajik President Emomali Rahmon performed a pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the Umrah, as part of his visit to Saudi Arabia. It was the second time Rahmon was given the honour to enter the Kaaba and pray there.
The Kaaba is a square building surrounded by the Masjid al-Haram, the world’s largest mosque, located in the center of Mecca. Until recently, all worshippers were allowed to enter the Kaaba and pray there twice a week. But this has now become impossible due to a rapidly growing number of pilgrims and other factors. Today the Kaaba is opened only twice a year and only for special guests.