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 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Happy Saudi National Day!

A gigantic sized chocolatel chip cookie decorated in the green and white colors of the Saudi flag will be a nice addition for a Saudi Arabian National Day celebration,  Today Saudi Arabia is 90 years old.

Balloons and video graphics adorn a local mall in Jeddah for Saudi National Day


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Saudi Arabia Graphics

Saudi Arabian National Day is tomorrow, and this first sign in a shop window is in reference to the holiday.  Many shops are having big sales to celebrate. 

This photo is at an open air mall here in Jeddah and is signage indicating a female changing room.

On a pole on a road divider are celebratory signs for Saudi National Day

This last photo display also references Saudi Arabian National Day. Saudi Arabia celebrates its 90th birthday on September 23rd.  

This post links to - 





Monday, September 21, 2020

September 23rd is Saudi National Day!

On September 23, 2020, Saudi Arabia celebrates its 90th birthday!  For many years there were only two official holidays here in Saudi Arabia - and both of them were religion based.  It was only a few short years ago when September 23rd was officially recognized in the Kingdom as Saudi Arabian National Day, as it was on this day in 1932 when the country was unified by King Abdulaziz.  Think of it as the 4th of July of Saudi Arabia.  

The unification means that all the nomadic tribes  and regions finally stopped fighting with each other and came together under one umbrella - the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  With each passing year that I have spent here, National Day has of course become more commercialized and with more and more festivities.  

Since the Saudi flag is green and white, these colors are seen everywhere in decorations, clothing, accessories, and foods. There are usually big fireworks displays in cities across the country, but I'm not sure if that will the case this year because of the virus.  Shops are decorated with balloons, flags, and streamers - and many businesses offer big sales.   


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Girls' Formal Dress Shop

The store windows of this little girls' dress shop caught my eye.  I liked the colors and the fanciful Asian theme.  These dresses might be worn for holidays or weddings or other more formal events.  

There is no shortage of shops like these here in Jeddah and the competition is steep.  There are always more formal events to attend and little girls here generally have quite an array of formal attire.  


Saturday, September 19, 2020

Jeddah - Working in the Heat

A fresh watermelon street vendor finds a little respite from the hot sun by finding a bit of shade while waiting for customers.  A cement worker stands out in the heat in a place with no shade.  I don't know how they do it. By the time I take the elevator down from our apartment and walk to our nearby car, I am already dripping with sweat.  


Friday, September 18, 2020

Life After Covid, Slowly Returning to Normal

My husband and I resumed walking laps at the mall a month ago for exercise. Boy, it feels good to be moving again after months of being couch potatoes.  But it's amazing how exhausting it is for us!  

It's still quite hot and humid here and that contributes to our low stamina.  We go in the mornings after breakfast before the mall gets more crowded and we never go on the weekends.  It's encouraging to see little signs of life slowly resuming back to normal.  


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Jeddah"s High End Designers #JDP

Prada. Chanel. Gucci. And many more.  Most world renowned high end designers have outlets in Saudi Arabia.  Many Saudi women - and Saudi men too - are extremely fashion forward.  

 This post links to - SKYWATCH  

High End Designers and Modern Architecture #JDP

Ultra modern architecture in Jeddah houses the likes of big name designers like Prada, Gucci, and Chanel.  

 This post links to - SKYWATCH  

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Koran Stands #JDP

I saw these Koran stands in a stationary store here in Jeddah.  I've seen them before but not such a wonderful selection of them.  They come in a variety of sizes. The taller floor stands above are very similar to the music stands I remember using when I was in the band in high school.  They also are adjustable to higher or lower heights.

The shorter Koran stands are used while sitting on the floor or can also be used for reading at a table.  The small carved wooden stands in the middle photo can be folded up flat.  Some stands are quite plain and others are decorated with Arabic script from the Koran or other Middle Eastern designs.

 This post links to - 



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Embellished Traditional Women's Outfit #JDP

This highly embellished outfit in a Jeddah shop window caught my eye.  There is gold and silver trim on the bodice and hundreds of small gold and silver metal embellishments all over the garment.   

The sleeves are belled, the sheer shawl is also trimmed, and the high low hemline reveals matching embellished slacks underneath.  Quite an outfit.  I wonder how heavy it is with all the trimings on it.  


Monday, September 14, 2020

Jeddah Random Photos #JDP

Just a random collection of photos for you today. I thought the first photo looked rather artsy - I like the compostion, the lines, and the traditional menswear.  

The second photo is an attractive Asian themed children's clothing shop window with origami birds floating above the display of headless child mannequins and large figures of an Asian girl and a waving kitty cat thrown into the mix. 

The last photo is of new construction with a very modern flair.  Jeddah is home to many modern architectural styles.  


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Unusual Hair Product #JDP

I often see many products offered here in Saudi Arabia that I really haven't ever seen for sale in the US.  This one is a product specifically for women who cover their hair.  I had never really thought about the negative effects of wearing hijab before, but I guess the sweat, lack of exposure to the sun and fresh air could result in adverse effects on one's hair - and this product was made to help with that problem.   

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Jeddah Storefront Signage #JDP

Many business signs in Saudi Arabia have graphics to make the type of business more easily identifiable for those who don't read Arabic.  A lot of signs display text in Arabic as well as English.


Friday, September 11, 2020

Social Distancing Graphics #JDP

Outside a stationary store, I saw several images like this one spaced about six feet apart for social distancing.  I've also seen similar graphics on the floor near the cash registers to ensure customers keep a safe distance from other shoppers.  The graphic below warns people not to shake hands and recommends waving from afar.  

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Jeddah Opaque Villa Gates

Private residences here in Jeddah are always surrounded by tall walls, which means they all require gates as well.  Privacy is of the utmost importance to Saudis. The inner courtyard allows the women of the house an outdoor space where they do not have to cover their hair and don't have to wear an abaya without the fear of being seen not being properly covered. 

The walls and gates are an important feature of the overall design of the stately homes, as they are the first impression one has of a place.  The gates are made of metal, wood, or wrought iron with opaque sheeting that allows the light through. 

This post links to SKYWATCH

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Saudi Man's Headdress Styles

The Saudi man's headdress can be worn in many different styles - up, down, flipped back, draped over the head, wrapped around turban style, one sided, two sided  - well, you get the picture.  The red and white patterned cotton scarf is most typically Saudi and is called "Shemagh" or "Keffiyah."  It is a large square shaped scarf with a border around the edges.  Design patterns can vary but they usually appear to be checkered looking - although they are not really a checkered pattern - and are more like a zigzag or chevron design. 

Scarves have been worn for generations by men in the Middle East for protection from the scorching sun's rays, as well as to protect the eyes and mouth from blowing dust and sand.  A small white cap (called taqiyah) is worn underneath the scarf to anchor it and keep it from slipping, and the black halo (called egal) also secures the scarf in place on the head.  Plain white scarves are also worn by Saudi men and they are called "Ghotra" or "Guthra."  To me, the plain white ghotra appears more elegant or formal than the red and white scarves.  Below are just a few of the ways the man's scarves can br worn. 

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

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Cosmetics Culture in Saudi Arabia

Cosmetics are a huge business here in Saudi Arabia. Historically, culturally, and religiously, a female in Saudi Arabia had only one chance to make a good impression on a potential suitor - and it has always been largely based on physical appearance alone.  When I first met my husband many years ago and I was learning about his culture, I remember asking his friends what was the most important thing they would look for in their future mate.  All of them, without fail, said physical beauty.  I would say, well what if the woman is not so smart or a real bee-yotch - and they would that didn't matter at all.  Arranged marriages are still pretty normal here, but many families are allowing the couple to get to know one another better before they marry now.  


Monday, September 7, 2020

All Things Birds

Everything you need to care for, feed and keep a pet bird happy can be found at this shop down south in the Bird Souk of Jeddah.  

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Face Mask Truths

I think with everyone wearing face masks in this time of Covid, people who were previously leery or apprehensive about Muslim women who wear veils may have changed their tune a bit. One big complaint I used to hear was how the face veil (called niqab) would interfere with activities like driving or working.  The truth is, they just don't.  Another interesting result of wearing the masks is in how we can see that the eyes are so expressive by themselves and revealing of one's mood.  I have always been able to tell just from a niqabi's eyes that she is smiling at me or saying hello.  So I'm glad for this unintended teaching moment due to worldwide face masking.  

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Saudi Festive Lanterns

 These festive lanterns are covered in a bright and bold fabric and would be used especially for holidays in Saudi Arabia.  There are only two holiday periods here and both are religious observances.  

Friday, September 4, 2020

Women's Fashions - Shop Windows in Jeddah

Today's post consists of an array of photos of various women's wear shop windows that I liked as I walked by.  The first one is from a maternity shop, and I just really loved the top on the left - isn't it adorable?  So cute and clever!

This colorful purple and goldenrod dress uses floral fabrics that are very typically Saudi, worn at home or in the presence of other women. These festive floral prints are popularly worn for holiday gatherings and events.  

The last photo is just a collection of fall-ish colors and clothing that could be worn for special private events. Modest dress is required when outside the home here in Saudi Arabia, so the three dresses would not be worn without an abaya over them while enroute to the destination. They would also not be suitable for a mixed gender event either.