Monday, June 30, 2008

Photo post: Riyadh New & Old

I took a little trip from my home in the north of Riyadh to the souq in the south on Friday afternoon and took lots of photos as we were driving, so I thought a photo post would be in order!

The Faisalia Tower, Olaya, Riyadh

King Fahd Road, Faisalia Tower appearing behind trees

Mamlaka Tower with Faisalia in the distance

Houses in the older part of Riyadh - Dirah

Orange building ahead with a tower on the corner is the Qasr al Hukm - Law courts

Behind the Law courts, the Grand Mosque of Riyadh can be found along with what is commonly known to the expats as 'Chop Chop' square. This is where the hudud punishments are carried out.

The Law courts

Masmak Fortress which I believe now houses a museum

View back towards the Law courts and Grand Mosque

Driving towards Bat-ha

There are more souqs at Bat-ha but predominantly for men. It is not advisable for women to go alone or in the evening when it is very busy.

The nice greenery that you find in the older part of Riyadh

Busy traffic heading back into newer Riyadh

The spaceship type building you can see on the left hand side of the photo is the Ministry of the Interior.

Gold shop at Owais, a souq in northern Riyadh

Check out the huge necklaces on display!

Watermelons for sale at Owais

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Haram abayas & 50 degrees!

The temperature in Riyadh actually hit 50 degrees centigrade yesterday afternoon - meltdown!

We made a quick trip down to the souq at Dirah which is the old town centre. Sign posts pointing you to 'Wasat Al-Madinah' (Town centre) which not take you to Olaya where the Mamlaka and Faisalia towers are situated along with all the designer shops but rather to the old town.

We wanted to buy a new abaya for my eldest daughter plus a couple of other bits and pieces. We didn't manage to buy an abaya at that souq though after all... When we arrived we had some trouble finding abaya shops and then noticed abaya vendors wrapping sheets around their stocks and closing up shop. I thought my watch was wrong and it must be almost time for maghrib prayer... wrong, it was only 4:30pm.

It turned out that the mutaween were around and were 'raiding' abaya shops. The objectionable items in question? Abayas with embroidery or diamante. The couple of abaya shops remaining open had only 100% plain black abayas on display and any embellished abayas had been quickly whisked away.

It was a bit of a wasted trip all the way down there but I did manage to take plenty of photos of the area showing the contrast being new Riyadh and old Riyadh - photo post coming soon!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Forwarded email - hoaxes

Forwarded trash in my email inbox from people who really should have enough brain to know better, is one of my pet peeves. These include emails that promise big freebies or cash if you forward the email to all your friends or a specified number of people; bogus health warnings etcetera.

I urge people to read about hoax spotting at the two following websites:

How to Spot an Email Hoax

Guide to Recognising Hoaxes

When I receive too-good-to-be-true emails or emails warning about certain products or giving 'alternative' health advice, I generally pick out a few keywords from the text, type them into the Google search box along with the word 'hoax'. If the email is indeed a hoax, a link to the article at urbanlegends or hoaxslayer will show up in the results.

So people please, stop clogging your friends' inboxes with pointless rubbish and do your homework before hitting the forward button. It only takes up 1 minute of your time!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Riyadh at night


A couple of photographs of Riyadh by night.

This first photo is Tahlia Street (Champs Elysees of Riyadh!) which is just off Olaya Street.

Tahlia St 

The following photo shows The Faisalia tower which is on Olaya Street; it looks very pretty all lit up at night.

Faisalia by night

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Da list

Inspired by 'Da List' on Ammena's blog who was in turn inspired by Molly, I have decided to make my list of things I would and would not miss in the event of leaving Saudi Arabia.

Things I’ll miss and not miss when we finally leave Saudi Arabia. Things in green I will miss, things in red I most certainly will NOT miss!

1. Adhan!
The shops staying closed for over half an hour for every prayer and the shops being closed between zuhr and asr which is generally 4 hours.

2. Going out shopping or for any other activity and having a mosque or prayer room in the vicinity
Having to rush and go to the mall in the morning if I want to go anywhere apart from the supermarket as the mall shops will be closed between zuhr and asr and then it will be really hectic in the evening especially after isha.

3. Going out in Abaya/hijab/niqab and feeling just like everyone else, not different
Being stared at when I start to speak to my children because I look like everyone else but don’t sound like everyone else.
My pretty, hijab-wearing 12 year old being gawped at by perverted weirdos.

4. Living on a compound where the children can go out and play freely
Having to listen to moronic, bigoted compound politics… well actually I just try to stay out of the way and ignore it as much as possible

5. Having a decent sized, spacious home
Trying to clean it!

6. Halal food everywhere, not worry about pork or alcohol
Nothing not to miss here!

7. Going out to eat where everything is halal and no bar in sight
Again nothing not to miss! Actually… having to get into the restaurant right after isha prayer before the restaurant really fills up

8. Being able to do exciting things like driving to Makkah, Madinah or UAE
Having to leave all the driving to dh and some of our trip within KSA are approaching 1000KM which is a LOT for one person.

9. Being in the close vicinity of other countries like Oman, Yemen, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain
Having to get a stupid exit-reentry visa every time we want to leave the country so unless we have a 6 month exit-reentry there can be no spontaneous, “Hey! Let’s go to Bahrain!” We decided at last minute to go to Al-Khobar recently and would’ve loved to drive that little bit further to Qatar or Bahrain but… no exit-reentry visa!

10. Having to rely on taxi drivers who seem to speak no known language fluently and getting stranded at some location for a period of time while I try to rearrange return transport due to misunderstandings. Grrr!
Where's the positive for that?!

11. The sales - they really are fab here! Bargains galore and sadly enough, am very much looking forward to getting back from Algeria to browse the sales in August!
Nothing not to miss about that is there?!


A few additions from my two eldest daughters.

DD2 (10) says, "I will NOT miss:

  • The stupid maniacs who crash everyday

  • The people who do that annoying gesture and go “shway shway

  • How only men can work in malls and supermarkets and women can't

  • Having to get the school bus to school every day."

DD1 (12) says, "Things I WILL miss:

  • My friends

  • Compound - having freedom

  • People wearing abayas and being fully covered

  • My school

  • The fact there is a swimming pool, shop, recreation centre two minutes away from home

  • The sun

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another wasted day...

I overslept today and didn't wake up until 7:15am which meant that the children missed the school bus. Of course 7:15 would have allowed us 45 minutes to get ready and get to school if I could drive - but I can't! I have had a British driving licence for about 17 years, the car is sitting out on the driveway going nowhere, the fuel tank is full, the keys are in the cabinet... and I am not allowed to drive it because I am in Saudi Arabia which prohibits women from from driving.

This is just another of those annoying days where I feel the need to rant because I have the children home for no apparent reason. *sigh*

Yesterday being able to drive would have come in very useful too when a friend phoned me at 7am almost crying in pain but instead she had to wait four hours for a compound driver to become available to take her to the hospital to get checked over.

I wonder what other incidences in this country turn into major emergencies because women cannot drive themselves to the dr at the first sign of a problem or when their children injure themselves...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Saudi woman detained for driving

It will be interesting to see how this story pans out:

Agencies, Published: June 15, 2008, 23:44

Riyadh: Saudi police have detained a woman for violating rules banning women from driving in the country, a newspaper said on Sunday. The woman from Buraida north of Riyadh was stopped by a police patrol after driving 10km to collect her husband, Al Hayat newspaper said. The woman's "legal guardian" - her husband - was required to sign a declaration that he would not allow her to drive again, it said. It was not immediately clear if she was released or would face legal action.
UPDATE 30/06/08: Interesting post from American_Bedu about the women in Riyadh who took to the roads in 1991 and the outcry that ensued and the repercussions on the families of these women.

Sand, sand, sand!

The title sums up the conditions in Riyadh right now. The sky is a gloomy shade of off-orange and sand is all around having been transferred by the wind from here:
to here:

Yes, that's the car windscreen with a good couple of inches of sand on it just since yesterday afternoon. Everything else is covered with sand too: the doorsteps, the table and chairs outside, the kids' bikes parked outside the house, even my bathroom now needs a top to bottom clean as the bathroom window was not securely closed and blew open.

This weather has also brought with it sore eyes which have me running for the eye bath liquids and planning a camomile teabag treatment before bedtime.

If you go outside the sand and generally dustiness sticks in the throat resulting in coughing and for those already asthmatic, the suffering would be worse.

I now understand why the foreign labourers who work outside have shmaghs wrapped around their face much in the fashion of the Touareg of the Sahara - it keeps the sand out of the nostrils and airways. Good thinking!

Such is the weather of the desert and these bouts of dusty and sandy weather occur at any time during the year giving the feeling of gloom just as the persistent grey clouds do in the UK.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Aubergines and peppers...

Now what to do with all the aubergines (eggplant) and peppers (capsicum) that hubby found on special offer?!

I decided to make them into salad. First I put the washed peppers and aubergines on the barbeque and turned them occasionally until the aubergines were soft and the peppers blackened in parts and blistered. I also put a bulb of garlic on the bbq to see how it would turn out.

Another aubergine I sliced; also peeled a sliced a butternut squash, tossed in oil and then cooked on the griddle until soft.

I chopped up the sliced aubergine and sliced butternut , placed on a plate, sprinkled over some crumbled feta, homemade French dressing and chopped fresh parsley.

Once the barbequed aubergines were cooled I peeled them and mashed them roughly, added the peeled and chopped peppers, a couple of cloves of garlic finely grated, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, the juice of half a lemon and then gave it a good stir...
Delicious served on toasted baguette or ciabatta... I was too hungry to toast the bread though!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Self-saucing Chocolate Pudding (with photos)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Thought I'd share this wonderfully delicious and simple recipe for self-saucing chocolate pudding. It is always a hit with the children and is greedily devoured within minutes.

For the sponge:

1/4 cup margarine
1/2 sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup self raising flour or 1 cup plain/all purpose flour + 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk

For the sauce:

1/2 cup light brown sugar (I use Hawaiian Turbinado)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
300ml (1 cup + 1/4 cup) hot water

  1. Cream together the margarine and sugar and then beat in the egg and vanilla.
  2. Add the flour and cocoa and mix as well as possible before adding the milk and mixing until smooth.
  3. Spoon the sponge batter into a greased ovenproof dish or pyrex bowl.
  4. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a jug and then carefully pour this over the sponge batter. It will look like something went horribly wrong but what will happen is that the cake will rise above the sauce and the sauce will thicken at the bottom of the dish under the cake.

  1. Bake at 350 deg F/180 deg C/Gas mark 4 for about 40 mins. The cake will be spongy and will bounce back if you touch it and you will be able to see some of the sauce bubbling up the sides of the dish.
  2. Leave for 10 mins or so cool a little and then serve. Add a scoop of ice cream if you like and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Egyptian gas deal with Israel

Why am I still shocked when I see things like this on the news? For transcription of the main points of interest in the video, see below.

Amr El-Kahky, Al-Jazeera reporter: "Egpyt is to provide Israel with 100 to 150 million cubic feet of gas per day at a favourable price that is said to be $2 per cubic foot, a price well below the market benchmark of $14. The contract runs for 15 years and is renewable. The gas should reach the Israeli port of Ashkelon through northern Sinai through a hundred kilometre long pipeline under the Mediterranean. Egypt has recently started exporting gas to Jordan through another pipeline. Syria waits its turn on the completion of building their pipeline. The deals with those countries allow Egypt to charge the market rate and make a reasonable profit but the deal with Israel does not."

Tharwat Shalabi, oil reporter: "Egypt bowed under Israeli pressure to accept exporting gas at this low price but it is rejected by the public. Yet Egypt is comitted to providing Israel with energy under the Camp David peace accord. It stopped exporting oil and now has to replace it with gas."

The man who made the deal is oil minister, Sameh Fahmi and it is said that, "He has been keeping quiet about the details of the Israeli arrangement and has refused any interviews on the subject. Critics say the decision to go ahead came from the president's office; now the government is trying to renegotiate the price but it will still be well below the world benchmark"

Yehya Al-Gamal: "Exporting this energy only strengthens their military machine and participates in supressing the Palestinian people. It's not about the price of gas, it's whether we should export it to them in the first place."

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Two things for today...

Haven't really cooked anything special for the past week or so. We have eaten out, hubby has cooked, we have eaten leftovers and the kids are craving some yummy pudding so I have decided it's high time I make something! So today I have decided on making a filled bread plait.

For the bread you need:

330ml (1 1/3 cups + 2 extra teaspoons) warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
480g (3 cups) strong plain flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Place all ingredients into breadmaker in the order listed and use pizza or dough setting (it will only knead and prove the dough, it won't bake it).

When the cycle is finished, remove dough from bread pan, divide into two equal portions and place on floured baking trays. Roll out to fit the trays, place filling in the middle third of the dough, using a knife or pizza cutter cut slits as far as the filling as shown below.

(The filling I used in the pic below was chopped leftover tandoori chicken, Kiri cheese softened with a little yogurt and a sprinkle of mint added and grated Cheddar. Today I will probably use chopped mortadella, olives if I have some, chopped tomato and grated Cheddar or Gouda)

'Plait' the bread by drawing a piece of dough from the left, then the right, then left until you have finished, tuck the last couple of pieces in tidily.

Sprinkle with black seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds... whatever takes your fancy.
Leave to rise for about an hour and then bake at 350F until golden brown and hollow sounding.

Should come out looking something like this:

Note: The above method is for making the bread with instant yeast. Check the type of yeast that you have and check the instructions. If you have the yeast that comes in tiny balls, you will probably need to mix it with a little lukewarm water and some sugar to activate the yeast before adding it to your flour.

The pudding I am hoping to create is Nigella Lawson's Marshmallowy Chocolate Mousse that I found on Soulafa's Absolutely Delicious blog.

The ingredients are:

1+1/2 cups mini marshmallows
4 tablespoons( 1/2 stick) soft butter
9 oz best quality semisweet chocolate chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup hot water from a recently boiled kettle
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

It looks quite quick and easy to make... verdict will be from the kids later!


Verdict: Didn't turn out very moussey but maybe that's because I'm not sure we have 'heavy double cream' here so I just used whipping cream which was perhaps too light.

Sadly the children found it much too rich and I'm told they prefer 'normal' chocolate pudding: the self-saucing type of chocolate cake pudding. Oh well! I tried!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

About Istikhaarah du'a

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

“Ordain for me whatever is good for me, and make me satisfied with it”

What is Istikhaarah du’a?

Also spelled istikhara, istikharah and istikhaara.

Istikhaarah du’a is the du’a (or supplication) of guidance – we pray 2 raka’at of prayer and after that recite the du’a taught to us by the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم ) imploring Allah, عز و جل, for guidance on that matter. Istikhaarah is prescribed when there is matter about which one is hesitant.

Istikhara (Arabic) means to ask Allah to guide one to the right thing concerning any affair in one's life, especially when one has to choose between two permissible alternatives. A traveller should consult good righteous persons before setting out on a journey, because Allah says, "And consult them (O Prophet) in affairs (of moment)," (Qur'an 3.159) and one of the characteristics of the believers is that "they (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation" (Qur'an42.38).

Qatadah said, "Every people who seek the pleasure of Allah and consult with one another are guided to the best course in their affairs." 1

When to pray istikhaarah...

Istikhaarah is to be prayed when one is faced with a decision of whether or not to do something or when faced with a choice of two things.

Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on this hadeeth [hadith of Jaabir bin Abdullah seen below]:

“Istikhaarah is a word which means asking Allaah to help one make a choice, meaning choosing the best of two things where one needs to choose one of them.

Concerning the phrase ‘The Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم ) used to teach us to make istikhaarah in all things,’ Ibn Abi Jamrah said: ‘It is a general phrase which refers to something specific. With regard to matters that are waajib (obligatory) or mustahabb (liked or encouraged), there is no need for istikhaarah to decide whether to do them, and with regard to matters that are haraam (forbidden) or makrooh (disliked), there is no need for istikhaarah to decide whether to avoid them. The issue of istikhaarah is confined to matters that are mubaah (allowed), or in mustahabb matters when there is a decision to be made as to which one should be given priority.’ I say: it refers to both great and small matters, and probably an insignificant issue could form the groundwork for a big issue. 2

How to pray istikhaarah?

For this purpose one should pray two non-obligatory raka'at of prayer, even if they are of the regular sunnah prayers or a prayer for entering the mosque, and so on, during any time of the day or night. One should recite in them whatever one wishes of the Qur'an, after reciting al-Fatihah. Then one should praise Allah and invoke blessings upon the Prophet, peace be upon him. After this one should supplicate to Allah with the following supplication, which Jabir Ibn 'Abdullah has reported from the Prophet, peace be upon him, when he related, "The Prophet, صلى الله عليه و سلم , taught us how to make Istikharah in all (our) affairs… 3

‘Let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer.’ This is mentioned to make it clear that it does not mean fajr prayer, for example. Al-Nawawi said in al-Adhkaar: He can pray istikaarah after two rak’ahs of regular sunnah prayer done at zuhr for example, or after two rak’ahs of any naafil prayers whether they are regularly performed or not… It seems to be the case that if he made the intention to pray istikhaarah at the same time as intending to pray that particular prayer, this is fine, but not if he did not have this intention. 4

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah : The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم ) used to teach us the way of doing Istikhara (Istikhara means to ask Allah to guide one to the right sort of action concerning any job or a deed), in all matters as he taught us the Suras of the Quran. He said, "If anyone of you thinks of doing any job he should offer a two Rakat prayer other than the compulsory ones and say (after the
prayer): -- 'Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi'ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as'alaka min fadlika al-'azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta'lamu Wala a'lamu, Wa anta 'allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta'lam anna hadha-l-amra Khairun li fi dini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati amri (or 'ajili amri wa'ajilihi)Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta'lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati amri (or fi'ajili amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.' (O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter--(or said: If it is better for my present and later needs)--Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, And then bless me in it, and if You know that this job is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter--(or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs)--Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, and make me satisfied with it). The Prophet added that then the person should name (mention) his need. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6841; similar reports are also recorded by al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad) 5

The Arabic text of the du’a

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمَكَ، وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ، وَتَعْلَمُ، وَلَا أَعْلَمُ، وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ- خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي- عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ- فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي- عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ- فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِيَ الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي بِهِ

Hadith regarding istikhaarah

Sa' d ibn Waqas reported that the Prophet, صلى الله عليه و سلم , said, "Istikhaarah (seeking guidance from Allah) is one of the distinct favours (of Allah) upon man, and a good fortune for the son of Adam is to be pleased with the judgment of Allah. And a misfortune of the son of Adam is his failure to make istikhaarah (seeking Allah's guidance), and a misfortune for the son of Adam is his displeasure with the judgment of Allah." 6

What to do after istikhaarah regarding the matter prayed about…

Whoever is sincere in turning to his Lord and delegating his affairs to Him, and prays istikhaarah for guidance in some of his affairs, should go ahead and do it. If it becomes easy for him, this is a sign that it is good for him, but if he is stopped and it becomes difficult, then he should forget about it, and he should realize that being prevented from doing it is good in sha Allaah. 7

An-Nawawi holds that "after making istikharah, a person must do what he is wholeheartedly inclined to do and feels good about doing and should not insist on doing what he had desired to do before making the istikharah. And if his feelings change, he should leave what he had intended to do, for otherwise he is not leaving the choice to Allah, and would not be honest in seeking aid from Allah's power and knowledge. Sincerity in seeking Allah's choice, means that one should completely abandon what one desired oneself." 8

Can I pray Istikhaarah at times when prayer is forbidden?

If there is a pressing need to perform istikhaarah and it is a time when prayer is usually forbidden, for example between asr and maghrib, then the person may make istikhaarah prayer. For example, if asr has passed and the person wishes to travel before maghrib but it uncertain, he may make istikhaarah immediately. However where the need is not urgent, for example if the intended travel is after maghrib, the person should wait.

Istikhaarah prayer may be performed at the time when prayer is not allowed with regard to something that is immediate and cannot be delayed until the time when prayer is permitted. 9

Dreams after istikhaarah?

Many people think that following istikhaarah there has to be a dream or a feeling of ease in the heart, and so on, but that is not the case. Even if no such thing happens when a person has prayed istikhaarah and done his best to find out what is best for him, such as consulting people, examining the issue and asking those who have experience, then he goes ahead and does it, then it is hoped that this will be what is best for him, even if he does not feel at ease in his heart in the beginning.

Ibn al-Haaj al-Maaliki said:

Some of them pray istikhaarah as prescribed in sharee’ah and then wait until they see a dream from which they will decide whether they should go ahead and do whatever they prayed istikhaarah about or not, or until someone else sees a dream for them. This does not count for anything, because the infallible one (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us to pray istikhaarah and consult others, not to rely on what is seen in dreams. 10

On a personal note, please be encouraged to pray istikhaarah prayer before making big decisions and at times of uncertainty and don’t leave it as a last resort. Through praying istikhaarah prayer one can be at peace with the decisions one has made and avoid regrets.

Ibn Taimiyyah said, "He who seeks guidance from the Creator and consults the creatures will never regret it." 11

1. Fiqh us-Sunnah, vol 4

2. Islam Q&A question number 2217

3. Fiqh us-Sunnah, vol 4

4. Islam Q&A question number 2217

5. USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim texts, Bukhari, vol 21

6. Fiqh us-Sunnah, vol 4

7. Islam Q&A question number 83709

8. Fiqh us-Sunnah, vol 4

9. Islam Q&A question number 41697

10. Islam Q&A question number 72255

11. Fiqh us-Sunnah, vol 4

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Journey through the desert...

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Photos from our recent road trip from Al-Khobar (east coast of KSA) back to Riyadh. Notice the pale coloured sand near to Al-Khobar which gradually changes until the sand around the Riyadh area is the vivid orange variety. A journey from the the east to the west of Saudi Arabia will show you so many variations on the one thing: desert. Pale sand in the east, orange sand in Najd (Riyadh), black volcanic soil around Madinah.

In this first photo you can just about see some Bedouin tents:

The long road through the desert taking you to the east coast (Al-Khobar, Dammam, Jubail):

Camels eating the scant vegetation that can be found:

A couple of sand dune pics:

Not sure what this is just outside of Riyadh but it looks very much like some kind of camel market... Lots of small enclosures of camels and trucks: