Thursday, December 31, 2020

It's Me ! ... Singing ! ... In Arabic !

I don't usually post videos (especially not of me singing!), so when I posted this one on my social media accounts a couple days ago, I was really shocked and surprised at the overwhelming reception it got. In less than two days on Twitter alone, my little video of me singing a snippet of a popular love song in Arabic was "trending" and was viewed more than 50 thousand times! I certainly didn't expect that.

And then this morning, someone messaged me that my video had been on Saudi TV!!!

I first learned this song more than 40 years ago shortly after I met my husband in Arizona. The original hit song was composed and sung by beloved Saudi singer, the late Talal Maddah. The lyrics come from a poem written by Prince Badr ibn Abdulmohsin Al Saud, one of the most famous poets of Saudi Arabia. The name of the song is "Zaman As Samt," which means "Time of Silence." To hear the song in its entirety sung  by Talal Maddah (with English translation), CLICK HERE.  

For those of you interested in what the lyrics of the song actually mean, such beautiful haunting poetry often doesn't translate well from Arabic to English.  So just the lines that I sing here say something like this -

My lover, oh, my lover
I have engraved your name on my voice
I have engraved it on the wall of time
On the color of the tranquil sky, on the valley
On my death and on my birth
On the color of the tranquil sky
My lover, oh, my lover
I shall spend my life waiting for you
Do not deprive me of your presence
For my life is yours
And so it departs

FYI - I've only ever posted one other video of myself in all these years, and that one was of me explaining why I wasn't allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, back before women finally achieved that right in June 2018.

Linking to -  OUR WORLD TUESDAY   and  My Corner of the World 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Jeddah - More Giant Incense Burners

Here are some more examples of giant incense burners in a mall here in Jeddah. As you can imagine, the malls smell really good here!


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Saudi Men's Traditional Dress

Saudi men have the option of wearing the traditional dress in public or they can choose to wear Western style clothing like jeans and t-shirts.  The traditional crisp long white tunic is called a Thobe. It's pretty much like a businessman's white dress shirt, except it goes all the way down to the ankles and it usually has a standup collar.  Most often it is made of cotton, but other fabrics are also used.

On their heads, most Saudi men typically wear a plain white scarf called Ghotra or the traditional red and white checkered scarf called Shemagh.  Both are a large square of fabric usually with a border around the edges. The large square is folded in half into a triangle shape. The black loop that anchors the Shemagh in place is called Egal.  

Sometimes a cloak is worn over the Thobe, often during colder weather or for more formal occasions like weddings.  The cloak is called a Bisht and it can be in almost any color and comes in different weights of fabric.  Quite often the Bisht has a wide decorative trim in gold or silver along the front opening.  

Many menswear shops sell gift boxes of Bisht kits that can also include things like the sword, Oud perfume, prayer beads, or the curved dagger called Khanjar with a belt and holster.  


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Jeddah - Incense, Oud and Bakhoor

This post offers more pics of Saudi's incense culture.  Above is a large sculpture of an incense burner in my city of Jeddah.  Jeddah is home to many sculptures of ordinary objects that are turned into gigantic sized works of art.  By the way, incense burners here are called Mabkhara, which is what I'm guessing this sculpture is known as.  

The most common forms of incense in the kingdom are called Oud or Bakhoor, which is derived from the Aquilaria tree species.  The fragrant resinous heart of the Aquilaria tree is called Agarwood.  Oud is actually the perfumy oil extracted from the tree.  Bakhoor is small Agarwood chips from the Aquilaria tree that are soaked in the aromatic oils known as Oud and are burned over charcoal to produce the woodsy sweet scented smoke.  

Burning incense is said to be good for relaxation, that it can relieve stress and anxiety.  However medical studies have also shown that there can be dangers associated with breathing in incense, such as respiratory issues like asthma or lung inflamation.  
I've always had a thing for incense ever since my hippie days back in the 1970s. Here in Saudi Arabia I am intrigued with all the shops selling scrumptious scents and the oversized incense burners everywhere.  


Friday, October 23, 2020

Jeddah - Once Hard to Find

Years ago when I first arrived in the kingdom, rubbing alcohol was pretty much impossible to find. I could find it in boxes of individual alcohol wipes but never in liquid form.  I believe the reason for this was because liquor or alcoholic drinks are strictly forbidden here.  I'm happy to see that rubbing alcochol is now available here in the kingdom. I can't imagine anyone trying to drink the stuff.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Jeddah Sky Banners and Pretty Minaret

These shiny green and gold banners were up for the recent Saudi National Day. They caught the sunlight and flashed like crazy in the breeze.  

I love the dome and minaret of the mosque below, but unfortunately the empty lot next door is littered with trash - a common thing here in Saudi.  Sometimes it feels like the problem is getting better but there are still many pockets around the city of piles of rubble and unsightly garbage like this. 

 This post links to - SKYWATCH 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Jeddah Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Here in Saudi Arabia, an issue that used to be swept under the carpet is now front and center to educate women about it.  The familiar pink ribbon is prominently on display in many businesses that ater to female clientele here in Jeddah.  

With 55% of cases diagnosed here in the late stage of the disease, breast cancer is the #1 leading cause of death in Saudi women.  Another problem is that studies show that breast cancer tends to affect younger Saudi women at higher rates than it does in females from Western countries. Therefore education and early detection ares of the utmost importance. 

This year's campaign in the kingdom is promoting online workshops and lectures featuring surviving women who have had first hand experience with the disease as well as health care professionals sharing their knowledge. There are also some events being held and promotional materials displayed in malls and on billboards.