Monday, February 17, 2020

Our World - Miswak for Dental Hygiene

Miswak is derived from the branches of a certain tree and its twigs have been used for over 7000 years as a tool for dental hygiene in the Middle East and other Muslim populated areas of the world.  Not only do they have value as a toothbrush, miswak has been proven to have antibacterial properties, is helpful in the prevention and reduction of plaque, strengthens the gums, and prevents tooth decay and bad breath.  It is also endorsed Islamically.  Not bad for a simple product that comes from tree branches, huh?

Miswak can be purchased in small bundles that are cut to about 6 inches or so in length. Each twig can vary in its diameter, with the smallest size being about the width of a piece of cooked spaghetti.  The biggest size would be about the circumference of a tube of lipstick, while the most common size is about the width of a pencil.  Miswak is very inexpensive and is very easily purchased by vendors on the street here.

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, February 16, 2020

More Doors of Al Balad

Enjoy more of these unusual doors from Al Balad, in the oldest sector of the city of Jeddah.  Which one is your favorite? The one with the elegant colorful illuminated arch above it? 

Or is it the lacy cutout door and vent above it painted sky blue?  Or perhaps you prefer the rustic charm of the graffitied baby pink metal door with blue flowers below, with the old time green street signs next to it?  Note how the vent area above the door has been covered over by an unsightly piece of plywood.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Jeddah Men at Work

Countless small shops in Jeddah sell only scarves. They all seem to carry very similar styles and colors, so I don't know how they manage to compete with one another. Their prices all seem to be very similar as well. 

All of these shops are well organized and tidy - and they somehow manage to display as many scarves as they possibly can. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Jeddah Doors of Al Balad

The doors of Al Balad are a photographer's paradise.  I love the different colored Arabic Script painted around the above door.  My guess is that this building is being renovated and the open wall above the door will maybe be getting window or possibly new roshan, the decorative slatted window coverings unique to this area.

The early morning sun caused the golden light on the upper part of this old door.  Many of the doors in Al Balad have a graceful arch shape above the door, like in the above and below photos.  The arch above the aqua colored door has an open vent, which is also a common architectural feature of these old buildings.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

SkyWatch - Gorgeous Jeddah Sunset

These sunset photos were taken in a sequence roughly two minutes after the previous one.  I couldn't decide which one was my favorite.

It's amazing how quickly the skies above us can change.  

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, February 12, 2020

Phonetically Spelling Arabic Words

Trying to write out Arabic words phonetically (transliteration) can be really tricky and confusing.  Arabic has an entirely different alphabet and different sounds.  So when speakers of different languages and accents try to write Arabic words according to how they sound to them, the result is many different spellings of the same word. There is really no one absolute way of spelling out an Arabic word.

Good examples would be the cities of Mecca (or Makkah), and Medina (or Madinah).
 I have taken Arabic classes with women from other countries, and when I compare how we phonetically write the Arabic sounds/words out, they are always different - because we hear different sounds. 

The photos in this post show different ways of spelling the same word - Hindawia or Hendaweyyah? They are both acceptable - and I've seen this word spelled several other ways too!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Green Roshan in Al Balad

Jeddah is known for this beautiful architectural feature of the region - wooden latticed window coverings called roshan.  They are unique and practical and add a special elegance to the old buildings of Al Balad.

Many of the roshan are painted blue or reddish brown, some are left in their natural wood state, but I think my favorite ones are the ones painted green. 

Below is a photo with two shades of green roshan in Al Balad from a distance.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Our World - Al Balad Night Scenes

At night Al Balad becomes a bustling business hub, especially on the weekends. It is loaded with curious sightseers, shoppers looking for deals, and friendly shopkeepers eager to make a sale. 

It's a truly  wondrous place where time seems to stand still. 

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, February 9, 2020

"Madas" Men's Sandal Shop in Al Balad

The distinctive looking Saudi man's sandals are called "madas." There are many shops that just sell this type of shoe only.  The design of the madas sandals are such that they cover a much larger percentage of the foot than most sandals, while still being open.  This design allows for more protection and support in this harsh climate and sandy desert terrain.

I love how the madas sandals are displayed and organized so neatly in the shops.  This madas shop in Al Balad maximizes a very small space to efficiently display a lot of product. The sandals come in a wide variety of colors, designs, materials, and embellishments.  You can see a wider variety of madas in these prior posts I made by clicking HERE - and HERE.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Buildings of Old Jeddah

Unfortunately many of the buildings of Al Balad are crumbling, in a state of such disrepair that they are beyond salvaging.  The old buildings were made from crushed coral from the Red Sea, which is not the best material for long lasting construction.  The traditional and distinctive old wooden lattice window coverings, called roshan, have also deteriorated from the harsh climate of Jeddah.

Friday, February 7, 2020

People in Old Jeddah

Everywhere I go in here, Saudi people will most often see me as a visitor to their country and they give me a big friendly smile and will go out of their way to say "Welcome to Saudi Arabia!" Many times I will ask if I can take their photo and they usually are very willing to oblige me. Very often they will ask to take my picture or to take a selfie with me, to which of course I willingly agree. 

A visit to Al Balad, the oldest sector of Jeddah, always guarantees a fun and fascinating time.  I always see new things and I am in awe, feeling as if I have stepped back in time. This is the time of year when I like to go because of the more comfortable weather.  Soon it will be too warm for me to go there. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

SkyWatch - Gate Replica in Jeddah

In the olden days, Jeddah was a small fishing village built along the Red Sea.  There were three different roads leading to the city, from the north, south, and east - and the Red Sea borders Jeddah to the west.  Jeddah was surrounded and protected by a large wall which encompassed the whole city, except where the sea was.  The three roads to Jeddah had large gates through which people entered or departed the city.

Shortly after oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938, Jeddah began to grow much more rapidly and eventually its walls had to be torn down because of Jeddah's expansion.  Now modern Jeddah has several replicated gates around the city as reminders of the past.

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, February 5, 2020

Pretty Newer Building in Old Jeddah

One of the latest design styles for new buildings here in Jeddah is a pretty golden colored sandstone.  This newer building is located in the oldest section of Jeddah, called Al Balad.

I love the wooden lattice work around the windows, resembling the pretty roshan window coverings that Jeddah is known for. 

I love how the color changes drastically when it's lit up by the waning sun of the late afternoon.  The blue glass windows also provide another interesting dimension to the overall look of the building. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

More Miniatures and Figurine Souvenirs

Friendships, dance, traditional clothing, architecture - I wanted to show you more of the lovely variety of souvenirs now available in Saudi Arabia. 

Mosque minarets and roshan window coverings, artisans and children at play - these are all depicted in these well made handcrafted knick knacks available as gifts or reminders of one's time spent in the Magic Kingdom.

Personally I have a very difficult time deciding on what I want when there is such a great assortment to choose from! 

Of course there are also the usual refrigerator magnets, keychains, postcards, and coffee mugs available too.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Our World - A Problem with Blogging

Back in March of 2008, I posted this photo of my husband, to show what religious pilgrims wear when they travel to Mecca for Hajj or Omra.  Here is the actual post I made about it.

So you can imagine my surprise and disbelief when a few days ago, a friend sent me the photo below.  It is some type of advertisement using the cropped out image of my husband, superimposed over a photo with the background of the Great Mosque of Mecca.

The flyer says "Parvin - Dhoties, 100% Cotton Dhoties."  I located the company in India responsible for stealing my image for their label for a textile product.  My husband wants to be paid for the use of his image, and I want to be paid for the use of my photo. Somehow I doubt we will ever get paid...

Many bloggers, including myself, have had our images stolen without our permission and without compensation. It is a huge problem. The only time I really mind is when my photos are used for advertising by a company that can and should pay for use of the images. They are making a profit off of my work - and I'm not. 

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.