Web Desk: Pakistani actor, model and singer Fawad Khan performed Hajj this year. He was among the celebrities hosted by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media to perform Hajj this year,
He shared his journey while speaking at the Media Ministry’s reception for foreign delegates at Hajj and explained that one thing he enjoyed most about being at the Hajj, and that was anonymity that the pilgrimage promised, reported Arab News.
“Being one among 2.4 million people is the easiest thing on earth,” he told Arab News during an exclusive interview at the Ritz-Carlton in Jeddah. “You feel comfortable because you are in the same space with other people who bare their hearts to God. You feel just like any other person among them. And you are not under media scrutiny as you are on normal days.
“It feels nice to be a face in the crowd.”
“But I enjoy the anonymity now and then,” he said. “In a way, it is very refreshing. People during Hajj are so busy and caught up in what they are doing that they don’t have time for these things. They are very considerate. They are very careful about what they are doing.”
“When I wake up, I feel just as human as all people do,” he said. “When I see such a massive outpouring of affection and adulation, I feel frightened since being elevated to such a position is something to be feared. It is an honor, yes, but I also feel afraid because the responsibilities are greater.”
Few of his admirers are aware that Khan spent part of his childhood in the Saudi capital Riyadh, where his father was employed.
“I was in Riyadh from 1986 to 1992 as a child,” he said. “My mother is a very pious woman and when my father was posted to Riyadh, she would say, ‘I will never miss an opportunity to perform Umrah,’ so we used to perform Umrah every year.”
So how does Makkah compare now? “The number of pilgrims has increased many times over,” Khan said. “It was a very different time back then, but things have always been comfortable in Saudi Arabia. I remember seeing snow in Riyadh because of the extreme weather deserts sometimes have.”
While talking about his first expression when he saw Holy Ka’aba in Makkah’s Grand Mosque, the actor said, “It reminded me of my childhood.
really enjoyed the time when I was growing up. When I left Riyadh, I was sad because those were my formative years. I had a feeling of nostalgia. I remember as a child when performing Umrah, there wasn’t much rush or traffic. The running between Safa and Marwa as part of the ritual was more like a game because I would race with my sister at that time and being there again brought all those memories back.”
“I cherished my childhood, so I think I got my childhood back this time.”