Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blue Danube ... (sign in Arabic)

Danube is a large supermarket chain with many locations in Saudi Arabia.  It is well known for carrying a great selection of imported items that are hard to find in other stores.  This branch is a free-standing building on Medina Road. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mall Gift Shop Window Display

This is an attractive window display of a gift shop in a mall in Jeddah.  Among other things, the shop sells traditional vessels for teas and coffees.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Our World: Crystal Bras


For such an uptight and sexually repressed society where women must cover up like nuns when out in public, I am always surprised and amazed at the variety of unexpected goods and products available here in Saudi Arabia.



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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Red Sea Mall

Shopping is considered by many to be the national pastime of Saudi Arabia.  This is an interior shot of a section of the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah, one of the city's many spectacular shopping malls.  This shopping paradise has 18 entrances and more than 4000 parking spaces, and offers such shops as Espirit, Coach, Lacoste, and Burberry.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Connoisseur Bakery of Jeddah

The Connoisseur Bakery in Jeddah offers delectable selections that are works of art.  It is located in a restaurant complex on Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Street which houses a total of four upscale eateries. Aside from their artistic desserts and sweets, The Connoisseur also offers breads, croissants, and gift items.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

SkyWatch: Beehive Sculpture


I don't know what the buzz is about this sculpture or what it is really called, but I've dubbed it The Beehive because of the obvious hexagonal shapes similar to the inside of a beehive that make up this piece of art. 




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Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Subha" Prayer Beads Sculptures

I never really knew what this sculpture represented until a couple of weeks ago when a high school student told me that it is "subha," the prayer beads that are used by Muslims.  I've seen prayer beads made of all types of beads, from precious stones, glass and crystal, to wood and plastic.  There is usually a large starting bead with tassles hanging from it, and then either 33 stringed beads or 3 sets of 33 beads.  They are useful in helping Muslims keep track of certain repeated recitations, but are not considered a necessity.  This sculpture appears to be made of heavy metal wire that has been coiled and twisted into bead shapes.  I love the birds that have made themselves at home and can be seen perched on top of the sculpture.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fashion in Jeddah

This woman caught my eye the other day at a mall.  Her abaya (the long black cloak that women must wear here in public) was quite flowy, like a cape.  And instead of wearing the usual scarf wrapped around her head and neck, she wore it turban style, which not many women here.  I thought she looked quite elegant, graceful, and stylish.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our World: Sunflower Field Fountain at Night


I've never been fortunate enough to see this lovely fountain that sprays water when it is working.  The Sunflower Field fountain is one of the few sculptures of Jeddah that was created by a female artist, Eila Hiltunen from Finland.  The piece of art consists of seven graceful sunflowers made of a special type of stainless steel that is extra strong to resist the effects of corrosion and the harsh elements of the weather and sea air of Jeddah. 



Be sure to visit OUR WORLD TUESDAY, where family-friendly bloggers share a unique glimpse into what life is like all around our ever-amazing planet.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Store Front at Night

Jeddah during the daytime is quite dusty looking, but at night the city comes alive with colored lights everywhere - and it becomes a whole different place.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What to Wear?

I've never seen as many fancy evening gowns anywhere as I have seen in Saudi Arabia.  Women dress to the 9s here when they attend weddings.  It's the whole package - gown, heels, makeup, jewelry, hair, evening bag. etc.  All the weddings I've attended here in Jeddah feel like I'm at the Academy Awards.  The affairs I've been to also only have been attended by women.  Men usually have their own separate wedding function. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tall Next Door Neighbor

I don't think I would appreciate it if someone built a 12 story apartment building right next door to my lovely little villa... 

Friday, February 15, 2013

SkyWatch: Ray of Light

There aren't that many days where Jeddah's skies actually have clouds, but luckily I shot this on one of them.



To visit MORE friendly skies around the world, fly on over to SKYWATCH where you’ll find beautiful skies posted by bloggers all over the world.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Closeup of Mosque's Minaret Top

While most Muslims I've spoken to insist that the crescent moon is not a "symbol" of Islam, it continues to appear atop most mosque's minarets - so I don't exactly understand why they insist that it's not a "symbol" of the religion.  The crescent moon is an important aspect of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims are required to fast every day during the daylight hours from sunrise until sunset.  The sighting of the crescent moon signals the end of the month of Ramadan. 

Every day one can hear the calls to prayer from the nearby mosques, which are broadcast five times daily in every direction through a speaker system which is often attached to the minarets, as you can see in the photo. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Construction Cranes





The amount of construction in Jeddah is mind boggling.  The frenzied pace has only increased in the past five years since I've been living here.  Many major roads are under construction because of short-sighted planning which didn't take into account the city's population explosion and growing pains that Jeddah has experienced in the past several decades.  Of course, adding to the population are the millions of foreign male drivers brought into the country to drive around the half of the population crippled by the ban on women driving.  But don't get me started on that topic... 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Our World: Bedouin Kohl Dispenser

The word Bedouin means "desert people."  Many Bedouins used to be nomads, moving from place to place to find food and water for their animals.  In 1900, a majority of the Saudi population were Bedouin, however by 2000 that number had dwindled to less than 5%.  Kohl is an ancient beauty product that is used to enhance the eyes.  It was originally believed to protect the eyes from various eye diseases and was thought to protect the eyes from the harsh bright sun.  It was also applied to babies' eyes to ward off evil spirits.  Kohl can be made of ground lead sulphide, carbon, or charcoal.  It was kept in a container or dispenser similar to what is shown here.  The accompanying stick was used as the applicator.  Bedouin jewelry is also made in this fashion, with crude clunky details and small dangling charms.





Be sure to visit OUR WORLD TUESDAY, where family-friendly bloggers share a unique glimpse into what life is like all around our ever-amazing planet.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fruit Sculpture

There are many unusual sculptures in Jeddah that are publicly displayed on the streets of the city.  In fact the number of sculptures here is about 350.  At one point, there were well over 500, however many have been destroyed by the harsh elements, like the salty sea air, the oven-like climate, and the severe winds and blowing dust.  The Arabic writing above says "Open Museum."  There are many other sculptures on this stretch of road of the city.  This particular whimsical sculpture consists of three super-sized pieces of fruit.  


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hills in the Distance

On a clear day, I can the mountains to the east of Jeddah from my rooftop.  Many days, however, they are not visible at all due to wind and dust.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Saw Sculpture

There are a series of tool sculptures in Jeddah, and this is one of them.  The Saw is a blown up version of a regular hand saw.  It sits in the middle of a traffic island on a beautiful boulevard behind the Sheraton Hotel in Jeddah. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

SkyWatch: Lovely Mosque at KAUST

This is one of the beautiful mosques at KAUST, King Abdullah University for Science and Technology.




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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Magic Lamp & Teapot Sculptures


























There are a series of whimsical sculptures in the center island of a lovely boulevard in Jeddah.  The Magic Lamp, the Teapots, the Apple and Large Yellow Whistle are the ones that can be seen in this photo, but there are many more on this same stretch of road. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Yellow Whistle Sculpture

Another whimsical sculpture in Jeddah - this time an enormous yellow whistle!  It sits in the middle of a boulevard called Prince Faisal bin Fahd Road.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Unexpected

This isn't the type of thing one might expect to see in a shop window of a mall here in Saudi Arabia, where women are required to wear black outer cloaks, covered from head to toe...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Jeddah IKEA Store Kids' Area

I love IKEA.  The one here in Jeddah has an area for children to occupy themselves with child-friendly accommodations and video viewing. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Skywatch: Lantern Sculptures

Super large copies of smaller common objects are representative of many of the sculptures of Jeddah.  Here are two giant lanterns which stand in the divider island of a lovely boulevard. 




To visit MORE friendly skies around the world, fly on over to SKYWATCH where you’ll find beautiful skies posted by bloggers all over the world.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, my friends!!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Umbrellas: CDP Theme Day

City Daily Photo is an online community of photo bloggers from around the world, sharing the wonders of their area of the world pictorially with others.  Each month there are different themes that CDP members can participate in.  This month's theme is "Umbrellas."  

Today's photo was taken this past week in the Turkish-Afghani Handicrafts Souk, where there are many products to purchase such as carpets, furniture, jewelry, textiles, lanterns, pottery, baskets, clothing, and fresh produce.  And there is an umbrella in the very center of the picture, albeit closed.

Please visit the City Daily Photo portal to view other participants' entries for today's theme day of "Umbrellas."