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by Zahra Freeth and Victor Winstone

Lodovico Varthema ±1470-1517, an Italian traveler and writer, the first European non-
Muslim known to have entered Mecca as a pilgrim.

The first non-believer known to have visited Mecca and Medina was at Italian from Bologna
named Ludovico di Varthema, who published a book of his travels in 1510. He left Europe
toward the end of 1502, and in early 1503 arrived at Alexandria in Egypt. From there, he
made his way up the Nile to Cairo and then returned to Alexandria from where he sailed to
Beirut, then on to Tripoli, Aleppo and reached Damascus in April 1503. There he managed
to get himself enrolled, under the name of Yunas (Jonah), in the Mameluke garrison. He
moved from Mecca to Hejaz and Their first stopping place inside the Hejaz was at the oasis
of Khaybar. Eventually, the caravan reached Medina, and Then traveled onwards towards
Mecca.

Joseph Pitts ± a cabin boy captured by pirates, visited Mecca as a slave in the 1680s, then
escaped to write a book: 

   




 (1704).

Joseph Pitts a fifteen years old who was captured by an Algerian rowing galley and
delivered to Algeria, and sold into slavery. He spent more than fifteen years in captivity.
He served three owners. The first was merely cruel, the second forced pitts to change his
religion, The third , with whom he traveled to Cairo and Alexandria, as well as to sacred
Islamic sites at Mecca and Medina.

Carsten Niebuhr ± a German mathematician, cartographer, and explorer who joined the
expedition which was being sent out by Frederick V of Denmark for the scientific
exploration of Egypt, Arabia and Syria in 1761.

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Jean Louis Burckhardt ± (1784 ± 1817) Among other things, rediscovered Petra.

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Sir Richard F. Burton ± (1821 ± 1890) Traveled to Mecca in disguise.

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William Gifford Palgrave (1826±1888) An Arabic scholar.

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