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Mecca Live – How a Snapchat Story Changed the World’s View on Islam

Mecca Live

Every year millions of Muslim’s around the world welcome the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This month is a special time of year for many Muslims and offers believers to become closer with god, their family, and their spiritual self.

While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations with their spouse. Muslims are also instructed to stay away from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting.

Today, Islam is often heavily scrutinized for being a violent religion that promotes violence, extremism, and unfair treatment towards women. The recent global rise of ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has not helped the rise of Islamophobia in the West, and has in fact sparked new fears and arguments regarding the foundational teachings of the religion.

This past month, approximately 14 million people have visited the holy city of Mecca to experience Ramadan. 2 million of them were present on July 13th to spend the day at the Grand Mosque. It is believed on a night like this, God revealed the message of the Qur’an to Muhammad (Lailat al-Qadr).

In an age where social media dominates our daily lives, it has once again helped to show the true beauty, and peace behind the beautiful religion of Islam.

So this had a Saudi digital marketer, Ahmed Aljbreen come up with the idea of having this holy night shown as a Snapchat story for the entire world to experience the truly unique gathering. Shortly after, #mecca_live was retweeted by over 300,000 people, and rapidly started trending on Twitter.

Long behold Snapchat listened and offered a 6 minute story on a day in Mecca’s Grand Mosque on July 13th. The story quickly spread across the world, and messages started pouring in huge numbers. Here are a few of the messages:

@Prince10Roxana tweeted: I’m not muslim but seeing #mecca_live made me think twice. Its beautiful. People have really changed my perspective of islam

@HilsAmanda tweeted: 81 replies so far all because of my #mecca_live tweet & every single one is positive, loving, grateful. Tell me again how Islam is bad?

@JenniferCar8 tweeted: #mecca_live though I am not Muslim but it is so beautiful to see so many people come together to embrace their religion

This Snapchat story showed the entire world the beautiful city of Mecca on a truly peaceful, spiritual night highlighting what Islam is really about. A religion that promotes purity, unity, and dedication was shown to the entire world, and helps disconnect all the negative associations that are continuously linked to Islam. This is the power social media.


Written by: Hamed Amiri

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