Language of Origin: Arabic
Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570, and thus Islam has been inextricably linked with this city ever since. Mecca is the holiest meeting site in Islam, followed closely by Medina. The modern day city is the capital of Saudi Arabia's Makkah Province, in the historic Hejaz region. With a population of 1.7 million (2008), the city is modern, cosmopolitan and while being closed to non-Muslims, is nonetheless ethnically diverse.