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Munif Alshammari

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Prof. Lisa O'Malley & Dr. Maria Lichrou
Working Title of Thesis: 
Gift-giving Consumption in Umrah pilgrimage: an ethnographic study in Makkah, Saudi Vision 2030

Against the backdrop of the Umrah - an Islamic pilgrimage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), this thesis explores the motivation and experience of participants and the significance of gift-giving for them.  Data were collected over a period of 2 years from June 2016 as part of an ethnographic study of consumption surrounding the Umrah. Following an initial period of participant observation during which more than 200 photographs were taken and 83 pages of notes, 14 in-depth interviews were undertaken with Umrah participants in Makkah. This paper will focus on the role of gifting as part of the Umrah ritual. Initial analysis reveals that gift-giving incorporates both tangible and intangible gifts. The former include Water of Zamzam, Ajwa Dates and Miswak/Chewing Stick which will be subsequently gifted to friends and family. Intangible gifts are perhaps more interesting and include; Umrah-gifting, self-gifting, supplication and religious honeymoon. The choice of gift depends largely on the religious significance attributed to each.

Umrah Pilgrimage, gift-giving, tangible gifts, Zamzam water, Intangible gifts, honeymoon religious, ethnography, Makkah.
Details of any scholarships/funding received: 
I have full scholarships from Saudi Arabia
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