Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Rendezvous: A step back in time

Even though i have spent more than half of my life in this beautiful city of Jeddah, it is only that recently i have truly started to explore it. This city holds so many hidden gems that once you are introduced to it, the search of finding more begins.
    My introduction to the city started through a tour of the old city organized by the very good people of IEF.. (an islamic centre).. that centre needs a post of its own which hopefully i'll be able to write soon..
   So we assembled outside the centre and made our way to the old city called Balad (downtown).  Our main attraction to see was "Naseef house".. where we were welcomed by Mr. Sami Nawar. We were given a short but very informative pictorial presentation about this lovely city. The amount of development the city has made in such a short span of time is amazing and it has no plans of slowing down either :P......

Al-Balad means "city, place"

"The Naseef house", home of a wealthy merchant and mayor of Jeddah  Mr, Omar Naseef .This house is famous because King Abdaziz oftentimes stayed here . At one point this house held the only tree in Jeddah.

 An old drawing of the city. The city was enclosed inside the wall to be safe from the intruders. It had doors on different sides that would open at Fajr time and would get closed at Maghrib time.

After the presentation we were took around the city to see the old buildings and the architect of the city. As i said even though we had lived in this city for a long time but this time i was looking at all the building with a new insight. How the walls were made out of clay and coral of red sea. The wood used outside the house to make the balconies was either ruins of ship wrecks or special red wood imported from Africa

 One of he most oldest mosque of Jeddah, Dating back to Hazrat Omar Bin Khatab (AS) period.

Mosque in today's time!!

Oldest wall in town!!

Spice shop!!

Along with the remarkable information about the city, we also got the chance to see the old homes from inside.  

Art work on the ceilings of the homes.

And Finally for the grand finale, we were invited to go on the roof top of Naseef house to enjoy the lovely breeze accompanied by the traditional tea. Another reason to come to this place at the end of our tour was to hear the calling of Azan from the surrounding 36 mosques. Its a feeling that is indescribable. In a matter of few seconds you whole surrounding is filled with the name of your Lord.

I would say it was a lovely morning spent with lovely ladies. I look forward to exploring this city more.

Keep watching this space, more good stuff on its way :)!!

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