Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Saudi Arabia Crystal Dallah

The dallah is a symbol of Arabian hospitality.  Just about every home in Saudi Arabia has a dallah (or several) from which gahwa is served.   Gahwa is the traditional Arabic coffee which is offered to guests in every Saudi home.  The dallah's shape is graceful, almost like a female's torso - with a curved bulb shape at the bottom, a narrower waist, and widening again toward the top. It is topped with lid that has a finial for easier handling and on one side the dallah has a curvy handle.  Opposite the handle is the dallah's most distinctive feature which is its exaggerated spout, shaped like a crescent moon or a bird's curved beak.  Dallahs can be made of brass, stainless steel, or or silver, but can also be found made of beautiful high quality plastic.  The beautiful dallah in this photo is made of solid crystal and is just for show.   

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Our World: Jeddah Waterfront Horse Sculptures

Jeddah's new waterfront is graced with lovely sculptures - several of horses created by Syrian artist Rabia Al Akhras.  I believe he is also the same artist who designed the sculptures for the Camel Roundabout in Obhur, the Hungry Horses Sculpture on Medina Road near Mall of Arabia, and a few others around the city that feature similar horse heads protruding out from them.

One noticeable difference in the older sculptures I mentioned and the new horse sculptures on the Corniche like the ones featured in this post is that the new sculptures reveal the creatures in their entirety and are not missing body parts.  I believe this is another sign of progress in the kingdom - a lessening of the sometimes questionable ultra-conservative religious interpretations that had taken a strong hold on this country for many decades. 

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Jeddah Skyscraper from Different Angles

The photos in this post are actually just part of a huge complex called the Headquarters Business Park.  I have posted several photos of just the West Tower of the complex taken from different vantage points.  This section of the complex is 52 floors that extend  upward in almost a triangular shape.  There is also a parking section and then another smaller building, the East Tower, of only 15 floors which mimcs the shape of the building in today's post.

It houses hundreds of corporate offices and also residential villas, all of which have spectacular views of the Red Sea coastline.  The complex also includes restaurants and shopping, clinics, a hotel, and a helipad at the very top.  It is located near the brand new Waterfront Park.

It is currently the tallest building in Jeddah, but only the 10th tallest building in Saudi Arabia.  The West Tower soars 240 meters into the sky overlooking the Red Sea on the Corniche Road, next to the Hilton Hotel.  Construction of this complex began in 2008 and was completed in 2012.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Thumbs Up Logo

I'm always interested in logos and graphics. I was attracted to this Thumbs Up logo on a package of semolina.  

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Jeddah Waterfront Celestial Sculpture

This sculpture used to be located in the middle of a lagoon, but now it is in the middle of a beautiful Waterfront Park.  I'm not sure if it was moved or if the lagoon was eliminated. There has been so much renovating along the Red Sea, it's hard for me to tell.  

Friday, January 26, 2018

SkyWatch: Jeddah's Al Wadaa Restaurant

This shot was taken from the new waterfront area looking across at the sea to the Movenpick Hotel's Al Wadaa Restaurant, which is shaped architecturally as a seashell.  While this building has been in Jeddah for a while, the Waterfront area where I was standing when I took the photo is new.  A massive waterfront project has changed Jeddah's coastline to make it more family friendly and an inviting place for locals to enjoy.  The recently completed improvements include parks with grass, shrubbery, and flowers, amazing sculptures, lovely walkways, areas to sit or picnic or just enjoy the views with plenty of shade, playgrounds, exercise facilities, restaurants, and more.  CLICK HERE to see photos of Jeddah's New Waterfront Project.  

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Jeddah Industrial Modern Art Sculpture

This is one of the beautiful modern art sculptures of Jeddah, located near the Corniche along the Red Sea.  It is called Al-Saroukh II (The Rocket).  Salah Abdulkarim was the Egyptian artist credited with its design and creation.  The story goes that Abdulkarim submitted two designs for a sculpture to the city of Jeddah. The sculpture's purpose was to be an ode to iron, honoring its strength and benefits. Jeddah's Mayor Al-Farsi could not decide which design he liked best, so he ordered that both of them be commissioned and constructed by Abdulkarim.  So both sculptures are made of steel and pay homage to its many uses in our world, such as swords, machinery, and spacecraft.

To see the sister of this sculpture, Al-Saroukh I, just CLICK HERE. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Our World: Saudi Arabia Desert Vendors

Most of Saudi Arabia's deserts are pretty barren, but there are some fertile areas where fruits and vegetables are grown.  These desert fruit vendors have set up shop off the freeway far north of Jeddah to sell their wares - juicy watermelon grown locally.

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, January 22, 2018

Odd Business Name - for Saudi Arabia

Scotch & Soda has been in business since 1985 and is a clothing chain with over 160 stores worldwide. Headquartered in Amsterdam, their quality clothing can be found in major department stores and independent shops as well as online.

With alcohol strictly forbidden in this country, it's a little jarring to see a shop with this name here in Saudi Arabia.  

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jeddah Stained Glass Globe Sculpture

Saudi Arabia - Pickled Pink

Fuschia pink pickled caulifower can be bought in practically every grocery store here in Saudi Arabia.  The bright pink color comes from beets.  My husband loves this type of pickling and has even made homemade pickles like this himself.  Don't eat too much of it though - it can turn your pee pink!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Saudi Arabia - Yanbu Boat Sculpture

This boat sculpture is a fixture at the port of Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.  It greets people who arrive at the Yanbu Commercial Seaport - Saudi Seaport Authority.

Friday, January 19, 2018

SkyWatch: Jeddah Camel Sculpture at Sunset

A far off sunset shot of the Camel Roundabout in Obhur, the northern beach area of Jeddah.  Made of concrete, the two camels are pretty far apart within the traffic circle and each camel is comprised of three separated pieces which are not connected.  Artist: Rabi Al Akhras

To see photos of this camel sculpture in more detail:

Camel Sculpture of Obhur 

Camel Sculptures

Camel Sculpture

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Madas - Traditional Saudi Sandals

Originally made of camel or cow leather, the madas sandals are traditionally worn by Saudi men in all walks of life, from royalty to laborers. They are worn for any occasion, from formal events to work to business meetings to hiking in the desert.

In the past madas were all made by hand, a painstaking process which is costly in today's world.  Madas offer more support and protection than simple flip flops.  Nowadays most madas found in the marketplace are mass produced and machine made.  Cheaper knockoffs made of imitation leather are readily available in a variety of colors and embellishments, like beadwork and stitching designs in colorful threads.

This style of sandal has also become popular with women in the last few years and even can be found now with low heels for the ladies.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Saudi Arabia - Yanbu Fish Basket Sculpture

Yanbu's Fish Basket sculpture is located in the middle of a roundabout near the oldest part of the city near a mosque with a beautiful minaret.  It pays homage to Yanbu's origins as a fishing village on the Red Sea. Yanbu was also in an important commerce station because of its strategic location along the trade route from Yemen to Egypt.  I love all these funky, whimsical sculptures in Saudi Arabia - they are something that most people might not expect to see.  

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Our World: Friday Prayers

The Friday congregational prayer is called Jumah, similiar to Sunday services for Christians.  Muslims are required to pray five times each day, which they can perform at home, the mosque, at work, or wherever they happen to be actually. But the Jumah prayer is the one prayer of the week when Muslim men are required to make an effort to pray together at the mosque. 

Here in Saudi Arabia, I am usually always at home during Friday prayers because my husband leaves for the mosque and pretty much all other businesses are closed until after the Jumah prayers.  So when we were in Yanbu a while back looking for a mosque for my husband to go to for Jumah, I was fascinated to see literally hundreds of men praying in public in the streets, likely because the small nearby mosques were all full to capacity.

Most of the men I saw brought prayer rugs to pray on.  Many were foreign workers, but I did see some Saudi men in the crowd as well - all praying together on the sidewalks, in the streets, amidst the parked cars and closed businesses.  It was, for me, an impressive and moving sight to behold.

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, January 15, 2018

Saudi Arabia Restaurant Segregation

This Red Lobster Restaurant offers entirely separate entrances and dining areas for single men and families - in compliance with strict gender segregation laws in Saudi Arabia.  Many restaurants also have privacy screens or individual dining rooms for families available for those seeking an even higher level of privacy. 

In light of the many overhauls the country's young Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is implementing, this might be one of the areas in which we might expect to see changes made. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Saudi Arabia Blue Roshan

The roshan (elaborate wooden window covering) are an integral part of the architectural details of the western Red Sea coastal area of Saudi Arabia called the Hejaz Region.  Roshan (singular) or Rawasheen (plural) actually were a very functional addition to homes back before modern air conditioning came about. They allowed for air flow as well as privacy for the building's inhabitants.  I think the roshan adds beauty to the design of the building too.  They are most often either painted in shades of blue, green, or red, or are stained or left natural. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Visit Jeddah's Bastah Market

If you haven't been yet, Jeddah's Bastah Market is definitely worth the trip. Held every Friday evening now through February 16th, the atmosphere is joyous, the weather is extremely pleasant, and the food is fabulous.  Not to mention all the other dozens of vendors with their products of handmade crafts, jewelry, fragrances, clothing, and much much more.

CLICK HERE for more photos and information about Bastah Market.

CLICK HERE for a map location of Jeddah's Bastah Market.

Friday, January 12, 2018

SkyWatch: Yanbu Industrial Sculpture

Yanbu is a city located about 300 km north of Jeddah and, like Jeddah, is an important seaport located on the Red Sea coastline.  The city of about 200,000 serves as a key industrial center on Saudi Arabia's west coast.  So it was not surprising to see in Yanbu this rather unusual and formidable sculpture with an industrial flair of concrete, large pipes and an erector set-like tower.  I was also happy to see the century plants (in the top photo on the right) which reminded me of Arizona where I grew up.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Jeddah Waldorf Astoria Chandeliers

The crystal chandeliers in the exquisite Waldorf Astoria Hotel of Jeddah are absolutely stunning.  This hotel has the biggest crystal chandelier I have ever seen - which extends three stories and is surrounded by a staircase.  The photos just don't do it justice. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Jeddah Waldorf Astoria Lobby

The rambling lobby of the elegant Waldorf Astoria Hotel of Jeddah is divided into several more intimate gathering areas, instead of having one large lobby like many hotels do.

The five star hotel's name in Arabic is Qasr al Sharq and it is located on the Corniche Road in Jeddah which runs along the Red Sea.  The beautiful new Jeddah Waterfront is right outside the Waldorf.

The attention to detail is evident everywhere in this luxurious facility.  It offers, among other things, a gorgeous ladies spa, and two restaurants - an Italian restaurant called Aromi, and a Middle Eastern cuisine restaurant called Mataam al Sharq.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

OurWorld: In the Driver's Seat

While women won't be officially allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia until June of this year, men and underage boys continue to get away with unsafe and illegal driving habits.  In Saudi Arabia it is not unusual to see toddlers sitting on Dad's lap while he's driving, or boys too young to get a driver's license behind the wheel.  Does Dad realize that any small impact will release the safety airbag and his child will likely be killed by that? I do hope that once women actually do start driving here that these shocking and foolish habits will disappear.

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, January 8, 2018

Jeddah Construction Workers

Much of Saudi Arabia's hard labor force has for decades been imported from poorer foreign countries. With Saudization of the work force, I am not sure how this will affect this segment of the population.  Saudization aims to replace foreign workers with Saudi nationals in an effort to reduce the amount of unemployment.  I heard that a million foreign workers left Saudi Arabia for good during this past year, which is evidenced by the large number of vacant apartments and slashed prices in rental properties.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Saudi Arabia Driver with Miswak

This is a photo of an Uber driver I had the other day who was using miswak.  Miswak is a twig from a tree that is popularly used for cleaning the teeth here in Saudi Arabia.  It comes from the Salvadora persica tree.  It's been in use for over 7000 years for dental care.  It contains natural antibacterial agents which actually benefit helping to eliminate plaque!  The twig also strengthens the gums, purifies the mouth and bad breath, and helps in the prevention of tooth decay.  Miswak is Islamically prescribed so its use is more common in Muslim countries.  It's fairly common to see people chewing on miswak in public.  It is very inexpensive and lasts for a long time.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Saudi Arabia Wedding Venue

Here is a peek inside what a Saudi wedding venue looks like prior to when the guests start to arrive.  This event was for women only.  No man, not even the groom, was present at the wedding.  It was the first Saudi wedding I've attended where the groom did not make an appearance with the bride.  Typically Saudi weddings start quite late in the evening, at say 10pm or later.  The affair is over usually between 3am-5am. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

SkyWatch: Yanbu Sculpture

Modern art is very popular in Saudi Arabia. Sculptures of all types can be seen in many parts of the country.  This one is located in Yanbu, north of Jeddah.

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