'Deep longing': After blockade, Qataris end long wait for haj

Qataris have been unable to take part in the pilgrimage to Islam's holiest city of Mecca since 2017, when Saudi Arabia led a diplomatic, trade and transport shut-out of their small, wealthy Gulf archipelago. When the blockade was finally lifted in January last year, the coronavirus pandemic ruled overseas visitors out of the annual event, one of the five pillars of Islam.

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