By Maximilian Clarke

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) are stepping up their religious and cultural offering by broadcasting live coverage of the Hajj.

Of late, the innovative tech giant have introduced a series of cultural services bringing web users closer to significant human achievements. Google Art was launched earlier this year, bringing some of the world’s most significant artistic accomplishemnts- beginning with Holbein’s The Ambassadors- to the web.

More recently Google, with the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, have published high definition reproductions of the Dead Sea Scrolls- some of the earliest surviving passages from the Bible- online.

“The Hajj is an ancient ritual,” wrote Najeeb Jarrar, Google product marketing manager, Middle East and North Africa on the company’s latest blog posting, “but now, through the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information's YouTube channel, millions of people from around the world will be able to experience and comment on the event by tuning in via video.”

Nearly 2.5 million Muslims will officially begin the annual Islamic ritual of the Hajj on November 5, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Hajj represents one of the five pillars of Islam; it requires all Muslims around the world who are able-bodied and can afford it to perform the pilgrimage once in their lifetime.

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