Friday, October 31, 2014

SkyWatch: Green Rawasheen

The wooden lattice window coverings called rawasheen are a unique feature of Jeddah's architecture. The rawasheen allows for privacy and air flow.  They are painted a variety of colors, mostly in blues and greens.

 


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Abu Zaid Restaurant

Men in Saudi Arabia are generally not called by their given names, but as the father of their oldest son.  The same goes for women.  So if a couple's oldest son is named Sultan, the father would be called Abu Sultan, and the mother would be called Umm Sultan.  If the children are only daughters, then the oldest daughter's name is used, but only until a male child is born, at which time the parents would be known as the father or mother of the male child.  To those not familiar with this custom or cultural tradition, it may not seem fair and might appear to slight the female children of the family.  Many businesses in Saudi Arabia are also named in this manner. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Crooked Orange Door

Jeddah's humble beginnings as a small fishing village on the Red Sea more than 1400 years ago are sometimes forgotten with all the frenetically paced construction and changing dynamics of the city. Many of the buildings of Al Balad are cracked and crumbling but are still home to many of the city's poor.  Part of the charm and enchantment of Al Balad are its flaws, like this crooked doorway.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Our World Jeddah: Welcome to the Mosque

As my friends and I were walking the narrow streets of Al Balad, a door to a mosque opened and a man invited us to have look inside.  Mosques usually have a patterned colored carpet with markings for praying individuals to form neat lines to accommodate all worshipers for the five daily prayers. There is also an indicator inside the mosque which points toward Mecca, the direction Muslims must face when prayers are made.
  
 


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Monday, October 27, 2014

Walking in Al Balad

A worker pushes a cart in Al Balad, Jeddah's old part of the city which is home to the old souks where real deals can be found.  I love the traditional green wooden lattice window coverings on this building as well as the brown ones on the building on the left.  They are called rawasheen.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Real Reason Why I Cannot Drive in Saudi Arabia



This is the video I made for the Women's Driving Campaign movement.  Some people might be shocked at my use - twice - of the "P" word.  But basically it is the real reason why I am denied the right to drive here in this country.

Jeddah: Seating in Al Balad

Outside buildings here in Jeddah, it is not unusual to see furniture strategically placed for seating. Generally men will sit here in the evenings, drinking tea and visiting.