Houston family missing after Hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia

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A Houstonian is desperately searching for family members who went missing after a stampede outside the Muslim holicy city of Mecca.

Zaf and Yasmeen Tahir haven't slept much in the past 24 hours. Their eyes are either glued to the television or the smartphone most of the time. When news of the Hajj stampede spread, the Zahirs immediately began to worry.

"There are several hundred perhaps a thousand missing, and our family is one of them," said Zahir, who is originally from Pakistan.

Their cousin, Muhammed Zubair, took his entire family to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage. Now they are missing.

"He took it upon himself to take his parents on this pilgrimage, and he's missing, his parents are missing, and the uncle is missing. The only person we found is the aunt, who was in a wheelchair and rescued by one of the organizers of their group."

On the young man's Facebook page, friends have written messages hoping his is safe. Tahir has also taken to social media, posting photos and listing passport information on his own Facebook page. The entire family is also praying.

"That's what faith is," says Yasmeen Zahir. "It helps you to latch on to hope, where there is no hope. That's what we're hoping for the best."

Tahir hopes the reason he hasn't heard from his family is because they are being treated at one of the many local clinics. If there is no news this weekend, he plans to travel to Saudi Arabia and look for his family on his own.

"You pray for the best, but prepare for the worst," he said.
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