Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Saudi Arabia Toys R Us in Arabia

Toys R Us and Babies R Us - large worldwide retailers of all things kids - are prominent in the Middle East.  

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Our World: Saudi Arabia Censorship on TV

I watched the movie "Music and Lyrics" recently here in Saudi Arabia on the MBC channels (Middle East Broadcasting Center).  Music and Lyrics is a romantic comedy that stars Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant.  It was very distracting watching this movie because there was so much censorship - all the female characters' bare arms, shoulders, and upper chests were blurred out in all of the scenes.  This type of censorship is also done on Saudia Airlines flights on all their in-flight entertainment.

So, why is Hugh Grant's chest area blurred out, you might ask?  This actually shows the lengths to which censorship goes here in Saudi Arabia.  Hugh was wearing a necklace of a cross - so, seeing as how it is a symbol of Christianity, it was blurred out in all of the scenes he was wearing it in the movie as well.  I've even seen children's books with Porky Pig blacked out with marker - because pork is forbidden here in the Kingdom.  I don't really understand why blacking out the mere image of a cartoon pig is seen as a threat to the people these censors are supposedly protecting from things that are haram (forbidden).  It's really taken to quite an extreme here.

This is actress Haley Bennett all blurred out in the movie "Music and Lyrics" because her skin was exposed contrary to Islamic standards.  My problem with all of this censorship is the inconsistency to which these standards are applied.  I'm watching another movie right now called "Divergent" on MBC2, and in it actress Shailene Woodley has exposed arms and chest throughout the movie, yet there is no blurring out at all in this movie.  The inconsistency with this censorship here drives me nuts...

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 26, 2018

Jeddah Waterfront Playground

There are many themed playgrounds scattered about Jeddah's new waterfront park area along the Corniche.  The whole area is very family friendly and designed for plenty of outdoor fun.  

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Saudi Arabia Olive Oil Selection

Olive oil is the most predominant oil used n the Middle East.  There are many uses and health benefits of olive oil, ranging from reducing inflammation to fighting cancer due to its content of powerful antioxidants.  It also fights the buildup of cholesterol in the blood and lowers blood pressure, so it helps prevent heart disease. There is also evidence that olive oil reduces the risk of strokes. Surprisingly enough, consuming olive oil can even help with weight loss.  Other benefits of olive oil are protection against Alzheimer's disease, Arthritis, and Type II Diabetes Because of its high tolerance to heat, it is considered a very healthy choice for cooking too.  Be sure to look for Extra Virgin olive oil as it is the kind that has been shown to be the most beneficial type for one's health.  

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Jeddah Waterfront Horse Fountain

Jeddah's Corniche has been transformed into a peaceful area where families can relax, stroll, and enjoy themselves in the beautiful surroundings.  This fountain features two stylized horses by Rabia Al Akhras, a Syrian sculptor.  Akhras has spent most of his life in Jeddah and presented these horse sculptures as a gift to the City of Jeddah.

To see closeup shots of these lovely horse sculptures, see THIS POST I made recently.

Friday, February 23, 2018

SkyWatch: Jeddah Highrise

It must have been the position of the sun, the shadows, and the angle I was shooting from in the shade, but this seemingly blue tinted photo is straight out of the camera.  It was taken at almost noon.  I love the way the sky looks in this photo.  This building is the Al Jawharah Residential Tower.  At 224 meters high, it is currently the 15th tallest building in Saudi Arabia and the 2nd tallest in Jeddah after the Headquarters Business Park Tower. 

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 22, 2018

Jeddah Desalination Stacks

I grew up in a copper mining town in Arizona, and this reminds me very much of the smokestacks that dominated my small hometown.  There were days when the taste of sulphur permeated the air so badly that I hated to swallow.  The air quality of Jeddah is usually always bad, due to a combination of these smokestacks, construction dust, and the lack of rain that would normally be cleansing.  Compounding the normal pollution problems are the seasonal sandstorms which send scores of people with breathing difficulties to the hospital.  The atmosphere in our area of town almost always looks like a brown haze instead of blue skies.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Jeddah Sculpture "The Seagull"

Mustafa Senbel is the Egyptian artist credited for creating "The Seagull," one of the world's largest sculptures.  He was an urban planner for the city of Jeddah in the late 1970s and early 1980s at the height of Jeddah's Beautiful Project. During this time period Senbel designed more than 25 sculptures for the city, making him one of the most prolific producers of public art in Jeddah.  

With the implementation of Jeddah's new waterfront project, the location of this huge monument is still in the same place, but its surroundings are totally different now.  It is no longer in the center of what used to be one of Jeddah's biggest traffic circles.  Now it is next to an attractive lush boulevard and its enormous size is accentuated by how it now dwarfs the nearby palm trees.

The Seagull soars an incredible 55 meters into the sky and took three years to complete.  It represents a seagull diving into the water.  This work of art appears different from every angle and features poetry on the back side of four popular Saudi poets. It is constructed of marble and concrete.   To learn more about this sculpture, see this previous post I wrote a few years ago which shows it from the other direction and in its previous setting.

To see more of the beautiful art that sculptor Mustafa Senbel made for the city of Jeddah, here are more of my posts featuring his work:  The Seagull; The Fisherman’s NetThe Wave; and Dialogue.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Our World: Jeddah Waterfront Park Giant Chess Set

Jeddah's new and improved waterfront sports a variety of welcome additions, including this giant sized chess set in a park setting.  It is located near the long walking bridge that takes strollers over the busy Corniche Road along the Red Sea coast.  I am delighted seeing families enjoying the attractive outdoor recreation areas and the cooler weather and sea breezes of the winter months.

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 19, 2018

Jeddah Saudi Style Cafe

The wooden framed chairs with the red and white print cushions, the brown lattice work with the geometric designed posts, and the white trimmed tan colored addition with the arch near the juice machines all work together to make this a very traditional Saudi style cafe.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Jeddah Building with Plant Wall

Jeddah has some very interesting architecture, ranging from ultra modern glass buildings of unusual shapes to very European style to elegant and classic.  I have to admit I've never before seen a building like this one anywhere else, with a large vertical garden of shrubs and grasses planted on the front side of the structure.  I think it's pretty fascinating.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Jeddah Pretty Abaya Shop

I love the pale pink color of this shop and the graceful feminine Arabic script font used for the logo of this abaya shop.

Friday, February 16, 2018

SkyWatch: Jeddah Seaside Waterfront

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 15, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Jeddah Medallion Ceiling and Molding

The ceilings in most Saudi homes have beautiful details that I haven't seen in that many American homes.  The ceilings also tend to be higher than those in normal American homes. Many Saudi homes have tray ceilings with elegant designs and accent lighting, as well as elegant chandeliers in the center of large beautiful concave medallions.  I've seen some that are painted in shiny gold and others painted in different colors to bring out the patterns of the design.  Lots of ceilings have fancy crown moldings that are a foot long, and many are made of plaster instead of the wood I tend to see in the US. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Our World: Jeddah Kid in Sun Roof

One thing that really irks me is when I see children riding in cars in Jeddah who are not safely buckled in to car seats or even seat belts.  It is a common sight to see small children standing up sticking out the sun roofs of cars, hanging out the windows, or sitting on Dad's lap as he drives.  Certainly in this day and age, parents here should be aware how dangerous these things are. I've also complained about seeing really young boys actually driving in Saudi Arabia too, while women were forbidden to drive (this is to change in June 2018).  All of the links I have cited in this text are from previous posts with photographic proof that I have made highlighting these serious societal and safety problems over the past several years. This continues to be a huge problem in Saudi Arabia with sadly no end in sight.

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.

Post Links:

Women Can't Drive Here but Children Can!

The Dangerous & Crazy Streets of Jeddah

Driving Madness

In the Driver's Seat

Buckled Up Kids? Nope!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Yummy Dates

Saudi Arabia and the entire Middle East has a constant love affair with dates.  There are hundreds of varieties of dates that can be found in this region of the world and there are even huge markets that solely sell dates. Some dates are soft and gooey, while others are hard and dry.  Some are eaten before they ripen.  I've liked every single kind that I have tried so far! 

The dates pictured here are soft and gooey. First we separated them because they stick together, then we cut them in half, took out the pits, and then placed a nut, like walnuts or almonds in the center. Then we rolled each date in sesame seeds. It makes a delicious and nutritious healthy snack.  It's a messy job, but it's really fun to lick your fingers when you're all done!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Jeddah Diving Mural

I rather like this underwater themed mural on the wall outside a Jeddah diving business near the Jeddah waterfront.  

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Scrumptious Sweets

Pastry chefs in Jeddah create amazing looking desserts.  This gorgeous fruit delicacy is from Le Connoisseur.  

Friday, February 9, 2018

SkyWatch: Jeddah Seaside Mosque

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 8, 2018

Jeddah Waterfront Beach

Jeddah's new waterfront features three swimming areas that many residents are now enjoying.  Women are not allowed to wear bathing suits in public places, so while we see some men wearing only swim trunks in the water and on the beaches, women must still be totally covered.  But that doesn't prevent some women from getting in the water, as you can see.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Jeddah Waterfront Fountain

Jeddah's new waterfront accentuates its relationship with the Red Sea through its many water features.  This is one of the new fountains along the sea's coastline.  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

OurWorld: Jeddah Street Vendors

My husband loves being able to just pull his car over, jump out, and purchase whatever fresh produce we need from a street vendor - and at a fraction of the cost of what it costs in a big supermarket.

This is a photo of a street vendor I took last year that was manipulated in Prisma.  I love the bright colors of the produce and the umbrella.  I think it makes a nice piece of art!

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 5, 2018

Jeddah Restaurant Wall of Lamps

I love this wall of assorted lamps in a restaurant on the ground floor of the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah.  Sorry I don't know the name of the place - but I do love the lamps!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Jeddah Art Mosaic

Jeddah is called the City of Art - there is public art all over the city, mainly in the form of sculptures.  This mosaic is located in a park near the Corniche on Prince Faisal bin Fahd Road just south of Hira Street.

The building in the background, part of the Headquarters Business Park Complex, has a helipad on top and is currently the tallest building in Jeddah. You can see more photos and learn more about this building on a post I made a few days ago by CLICKING HERE.  

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Jeddah Waterfront View

Jeddah's ambling coastline along the Red Sea has undergone a major facelift recently with the addition of family friendly leisure attractions.  There are several new beach areas that allow swimming and many large lovely rest areas to sit and enjoy the breezes off the Red Sea.  This project is being completed in phases and features beautiful paths for walking, biking, or skateboarding.  There is something for everyone. CLICK HERE to see photos of Jeddah's New Waterfront Project.  

Friday, February 2, 2018

SkyWatch: Spectacular Sunset

Usually the sky around we were live in the city of Jeddah is literally beige looking.  I believe it's due to all the dust, construction, and pollution in the air, as well as the lack of cleansing rainfall.  This past week there was a gorgeous sunset though. I took this shot from our rooftop. The sky had been blue all day and there was a lovely breeze and fluffy clouds in the sky.  This shot is straight out of the camera with no manipulation or effects at all.

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 1, 2018

CDP Theme Day - Tired

My friend Vicki and I were out for a walk, enjoying this cooler weather before it gets like an oven here again, when we noticed this man sleeping on a bench in a park across from some Jeddah highrises.  I figured this shot would qualify for this month's City Daily Photo Theme which is "Tired."

City Daily Photo is an online community of photo bloggers that share images of life in their cities around the world.  The first of every month is Theme Day for City Daily Photo bloggers.  This month's theme is "Tired."

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