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Tristan v. Seherr-Thoss

In the middle of April 2020, at the beginning of the uprising corona crisis I realized that someone was tilting up the cameras of the “Alqurantvsa” live broadcast channel at the holy al-Masdschid al-Harām mosque in Mecca, so we could just see walls and the deserted surroundings. What was the purpose of this manipulation and who ordered it?

I was documenting this phenomenon from April - June 2020
The following pictures show the Kaaba the years before. Thousands and thousands of worshippers celebrating the Tawāf, the religous ritus of circle around the Kaaba, every muslim should practice even once in his lifetime.

Back to April 2020, the world changed and so the situation in Mecca

Sometimes, mostly random, the cameras change their position and tilt down, so we can see military personnel, staff of the mosque and the Sura recitators of the Quran.


Somedays but without a planable schedule, cameras focus again on actual events like the celebration of Isha or Fajr prayers. These are the only moments we can see what is really going on and is a window to see how Saudi Arabia was dealing with the virus.

The following pictures show the change of distance regulations for the prayers.

I compared the 25.4.2020 to 8.5.2020

After researching on social media platforms i realized i was not the only one, questioning what is going on. 

At the hight of the Ramadan, starting the 23.4.2020 until the 23.5.2020, the holy mosque stays closed for foreigners and Saudi Arabian citizens, except a handful people belonging directly to the mosque.
The following pictures are documenting the month of Ramadan.

The text which is sometimes showed, is the official translation of the traditional Sura recitations.


At the end of June 2020 Saudi Arabian government decided to cancel the annual Hadjj, the holy worship where almost
2,5 million muslims all around the world come to Mecca to pray. Only Saudi Arabian citizens will be allowed under strict pandemic regulations to enter the mosque.

The status quo of the uptilted cameras stays active and even more strictly, so we still can´t see whats really going on!