Does Saudi Arabia have a vacant tent city?

1 min read

In response to the Syrian refugee crisis and increased calls to tighten immigration policies in the U.S.,  the following meme has been circulating for about a year.tentcity.jpgThis one is actually true.

The tent city is Mina. It is just outside of Mecca, and it was built to house Muslims during the Hajj, which is the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca. The pilgrims are housed for about $500 per person, though some entrepreneurs have started offering luxury rooms in the thousands.

The “city” does have power, plumbing and air conditioning, and it does sit empty most of the year.

The numbers are a bit questionable. Mina has about 100,000 tents, so it is doubtful the “city” could host 3 million refugees.

It is also true that Saudi Arabia has refused Syrian refugees. According to Amnesty International they are one of several nations who will not offer help. They allow refugees in as workers, but they extend them no aid or refugee visas.

The Hajj kicks into full gear” by Al Jazeera English is licensed under CC BY-SA