Since my query a few weeks ago concerning a Qur'an monument over a highway, I have finally found what I was looking for. In fact, this is the checkpoint into Mecca, on the road from Jeddah. Since Jeddah is the nearest major airport to the holy city of Mecca, most pilgrims to Mecca arriving by air would enter this way. It is the place where (male) pilgrims don their white garments for the hajj, and a state of ritual purity and equality begins. Non-Muslims are not permitted beyond this checkpoint into the sacred sites of Mecca.
I intend to investigate this monument more (when was this built? who designed it? what do other checkpoints look like?), and will update this post as I learn more, but if anyone else can contribute some information, please comment.
These photos are from the website virtualtourist.com. I am surprised that I haven't been able to find more pictures of this iconic book monument. While it is understandable that images from the sacred sites of Mecca might be limited, pictures of the Ka'ba other places are widely available.
Any ideas why this image is not more globally known?
Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)