Thursday, December 31, 2015

Riyadh: Stained Glass

A beautiful and huge stained glass wall of windows dominates the ambiance in a cultural heritage building in Riyadh.  It features the Saudi flag and Saudi landscape.  This picture doesn't do it justice nor does it give an idea of its size, but it is really spectacular in person.  Happy New Year from Saudi Arabia, everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Jeddah: Red Sea Mall Interior

Saudi Arabia is known for its malls and high end shopping.  This is an interior shot of the beautiful Red Sea Mall in Jeddah.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Calligraphy Design Top

Arabic calligraphy enhances this two tone ladies top from Kalimah Brand shop, located on the lower level of the Red Sea Mall.  They offer a wide variety of Arabic themed clothing.  My friend bought this top and it looks amazing on her!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Lion on the Menu

This photo was taken of a restaurant menu in Jeddah.  I'll have the Striplion Steak, please!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Red Lobster and Friday's Logos in Arabic

Red Lobster and Friday are two worldwide chain that have locations in Saudi Arabia.  Here you can see how their logos appear in Arabic. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Halla Bint Khalid's Book Characters

These are life sized characters I saw at a display for Halla bint Khalid Children's Books.  While trying to figure out what she wanted to do when she grew up, Halla discovered that she had artistic abilities - and she never looked back.  Her career as an author really took off when she began writing and illustrating the stories she used to tell her own children.  Most of her books are available in both Arabic and English and many of her stories were inspired by her kids.  Her whimsical and colorful characters are very appealing to children and adults alike.

You can Like Halla bint Khalid on Facebook, or check out her website by clicking here

Friday, December 25, 2015

Typical Saudi Welcome Display

When one enters the home of a Saudi family, most often there is a table which bears various items to welcome the guest - decorative items as well as functional, like a tissue box, a hairbrush, a mirror, and sometimes even perfume. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Jeddah: Red Sea Mall Fountain

This is the fountain that greets customers at the main entrance of the Red Sea Mall, one of Jeddah's most popular shopping centers. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Jeddah: Obstacles to Traffic Flow

I've written many times complaining about the traffic congestion in Jeddah. This city is very long and narrow, running for miles and miles along the Red Sea Coast, yet not stretching very wide across.  Many of the streets are blocked off with pylons like this, making right turns, left turns, or U-turns impossible.  Roads are blocked everywhere all over Jeddah.  Traffic flows fairly well north to south, but the problems arise when you need to turn left or turn around.  Vehicles are forced to go miles and miles beyond where they need to go in order to make a left turn or a U-turn.  This means that cars are on the roads creating more traffic congestion than is necessary.  It wastes everyone's time and gas.

Traffic flow continues to be a major problem for the residents of Jeddah.  I have never seen such flawed thought and poor planning of roadways in any city I have ever seen. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Jeddah: Lovely Lamp

I would fill my home with lamps like these if I could.  I saw this one at the Afghani Souk in Jeddah. I love the images it makes on the wall too.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Arab Style Bobble Heads

In recent years, there are many more souvenirs products available than there were previously.  Pictured here are some Arab style bobble heads.  They also come in salt and pepper shakers and piggy banks.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Khanjar Shirt

Kalimah Brand offers really unique and lovely Middle Eastern themed items in their shop located on the lower level of the Red Sea Mall.   This top features the traditional curved dagger called khanjar which is well known in Saudi Arabia but actually originated in Oman.  I saw many men openly wearing these daggers hanging from their belts when I traveled down to Najran in southern Saudi Arabia. In other areas the khanjar would be worn for special ceremonies, like maybe weddings. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Not Just Black Any More

Abayas are not just black any more!  It's refreshing to see colorful abayas here in Saudi Arabia now. I loved seeing this one in a pale pink. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Saudi Home Interior

True Saudi homes have at least two separate entrances and two separate living rooms for entertaining guests - one for men and the other for women.  Saudi taste in furnishings for the entertaining areas leans toward more  formal and classic  Persian carpets and elegant chandeliers are also favorites in Saudi homes. 

Many homes also have another family living room in another area of the home where the family gathers together at their leisure. It is not uncommon to also have two separate kitchens as well.  I have been in Saudi homes with 4-5 living rooms. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

CDP Theme Day: Shop Window

Abayas - the long black cloaks that women in Saudi Arabia must wear - don't have to be just black any more!

Today is the first of the month, which means it's theme day for City Daily Photo bloggers.  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 is a different theme that CDP members can participate in.  This month's theme is "Shop Window."  

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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Wines in Saudi Arabia

There is now a wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages available for sale is Saudi Arabia.  The ones I have tried taste pretty darn good!  Alcoholic beverages are strictly illegal here.  Some folks (mainly expats) try to make their own moonshine.  Some even do it as a business - at the risk of severe punishment.  One 74 year old British expat just spent a year in prison and was sentenced to 360 lashes, which was recently commuted and he has now been sent safely back home. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Jeddah Businesses and Apartments

I guess you might call this more of a strip mall with businesses on the ground floor and apartments above.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Jeddah Furniture Store

This is a furniture store in Jeddah.  Furniture styles here in Saudi Arabia run from very formal and fancy French style furniture to sleek ultra modern style and everything in between. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

SkyWatch: Religious Pilgrim

A religious pilgrim walks along the streets of Jeddah.  Sighting of religious pilgrims are common here as Jeddah is the country's main port of entry for the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. 

 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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Jeddah: Bicycle Sculpture

Jeddah's famous Bicycle sculpture has been moved, since the roundabout it used to be housed in has been dismantled and replaced with a bridge overpass.  It was quite a feat to relocate this piece of art to a new position at the same intersection.  It took lots of planning and special equipment. 

The Bicycle was fashioned from scrap metals by Spanish architect Julio LaFuente.  It stands 15 meters high. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dress for Religious Pilgrims

All male religious pilgrims making the pilgrimage to Mecca wear the same thing: a simple white outfit made of two plain pieces of cloth with no seams, buttons, or zippers.  One is wrapped around the lower half of the body like a skirt, and the other is draped over the top part of the body as shown above.  The fabric can be anything ranging from cotton sheeting to heavier fabric like a towel.  All men dressing the same makes them all equal, no classes.

Women are not restricted in the clothing that they wear for the religious pilgrimage, but they must be covered properly according to Islamic standards, including the hair.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Our World: Unusual Architectural Entrance

I am always amused when I see unusual architectural features in Saudi Arabia such as this one, which seems out of place and also seems to really serve no purpose.


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.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Jeddah: Bridges and Tunnels

The face of Jeddah has been changing significantly over the past few years.  Many of Jeddah's major intersections have been replaced by tunnels and bridges in hopes of easing the horrific traffic congestion.  Jeddah's shape runs lengthwise from north to south and is a very narrow city from east to west.  At many busy intersections that formerly sported huge roundabouts which featured immense pieces of art, the artwork has been moved elsewhere. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jeddah: Typical Building

This is a typical building in Jeddah, with the ground floor used for businesses. The upper floors might be rented out as apartments.  Many hotels also look like this.  Apartment buildings that do not have businesses below often have a parking garage on the ground floor. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Saudi Man's Black Thobe

The most common image of Saudi men shows him wearing a white dress (thobe) with the red and white checkered headgear.  Black thobes are worn more in the winter months, as well as other colors such as brown, blue, or cream.   

Thursday, November 19, 2015

SkyWatch: The Cosmos Sculpture

Jeddah's Cosmos Sculpture is one of the city's most well known landmarks.  It is the work of German artist Ottmar Hollmann and took seven years to complete.  It ranks as one of the world's largest pieces of art.

To learn more about the amazing Cosmos sculpture of Jeddah, please CLICK HERE to see a previous post about it. 

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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Saudi Pink Limousine

I have often seen this bright fuchsia pink limousine around Jeddah, but it's been difficult to get a good picture of it.  This one will have to do for now!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Saudi Phone Cover

Phone covers can be quite the fashion accessory.  I just absolutely love this cute and clever phone cover in black with a Saudi woman's eyes peeking out.  I haven't seen a male version of this yet. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Our World: Hardee's in Arabic

Black buildings here in Saudi Arabia seem impractical in this heat, but this Hardee's Restaurant sure stands out.  It's hard to miss and is rather attractive.


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.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Jeddah: Boys' School

This is a typical boys' school here in Jeddah.  I believe there are two buildings like this which make up the school plus a large open covered outdoor area.  Many of the country's school are old and in disrepair.  Many girls' schools are old converted villas which were not originally intended to be schools.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saudi Men's Formal Wear

The bisht is a loose flowing cloak worn over the white dress Saudi men normally wear.  It is generally worn on formal occasions, such as weddings, and is often adorned with gold trim.  The bisht can be made of wool, with good quality ones being made of camel hair.  They most often are seen in colors like black, brown, grey, or beige.  The long white flowing scarf would be the man's head covering accessory topped off with the round black ring called egal. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Jeddah: Construction Here There and Everywhere

Jeddah continues to be a city under construction.  It's everywhere.  From roadway improvements consisting of tunnels and bridges to alleviate traffic congestion, to the enormous speed rail project connecting Jeddah to Mecca and eventually Medina for the millions of religious pilgrims that visit every year, to apartment buildings and new businesses, to a brand new airport slated to open in mid-2016, the construction pace is frenetic.  Construction workers are brought in from countries all over the world. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

SkyWatch: Jeddah's Fruit Boat Sculpture

Jeddah's weather is really harsh on the many sculptures located around the city, especially those that require paint to keep them looking spiffy.  Between the flying dust and sand, the severe heat from the blazing hot sun, the salty Red Sea air, and the lack of rainfall, Jeddah's sculptures really take a beating.  Jeddah's whimsical Fruit Boat sculpture is a well-known city landmark.  It was given a much needed facelift in 2008 when it was cleaned, repainted and repaired.  However a few short years later, a thick layer of dirt now covers up the once vibrant colors, causing the sculpture to appear quite faded once again.  You can see the difference for yourself on this post I did on the Fruit Boat sculpture back when it had just been refurbished.

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.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Saudi Arabia: Men's Fashion

The components of traditional men's attire in Saudi Arabia, such as the scarf headpieces, cloaks, sandals, and the long white garments called thobes, make up a large part of the booming fashion industry here.  White thobes are most commonly worn, but they are available in other colors like shades of creams, grays, or blues.  In the winter months we can see men wearing darker colors like black, brown, or navy.  This lovely store display is from a local upscale Jeddah design shop called Lomar, which also has branches in Riyadh. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Jeddah: Where Face Masks are Common

Many women here in Saudi Arabia cover their faces with the niqab (face veil), however it is a very common sight year round in Jeddah to see men wearing face masks because of the poor air quality.  Construction projects all over the city, lack of rainfall, and frequent sandstorms all contribute to making Jeddah a nightmare for those of us with asthma or other breathing problems.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Our World: Jeddah's Lantern Sculpture in Sandstorm

Jeddah is a pretty dusty place, due to not much vegetation, construction, and sandstorms.  The Mameluke Lanterns sculpture is still recognizable despite bad visibility during a sandstorm, although the beautiful stained glass detailing is not evident.

Here are some other previous posts I have made of the lanterns:

Mameluke Mosque Lanterns at Night

Mameluke Lanterns

Mameluke Lanterns 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.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Saudi Arabia: Traditional Garb

After 8 years of living in the Magic Kingdom, I have to admit I still get a bit of culture shock when I see people dressed in the cultural garb of this region.  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Jeddah: Out of Place

Another unusual architectural feature that seems to be floating above an entryway.  It's open weave dome design doesn't provide shade or shield from rain - not that we get any to speak of here!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Jeddah: Cool Design

There are some really interesting and unusual architectural details here in Jeddah that I just haven't seen elsewhere around the world.  I think this is a pretty cool design