Thursday, October 19, 2017

Jeddah: Al Balad Oldstyle Home Interior


Small stained glass panels like these shown here were common features of the old homes of yesteryear in Jeddah.  Carved wood furnishings and beautifully patterned fabrics all worked together to make the old style homes warm and welcoming.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Jeddah: Old Town Balad Window


For me, this crudely carved sold wood window covering has great appeal and charm.  It is in the oldest historic part of Jeddah, called Al Balad. It's a shame that many of the buildings are crumbling or have been destroyed by fires over the years.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Our World: Jeddah's Elegant Antique Seating


The photos in this post were all taken in one of the old museum homes down in the Al Balad area of Jeddah.  Saudis tend to have very formal taste in furnishings, like this amazing inlaid wood and tapestry couch.  Doesn't exactly look all that comfortable to lounge around on though ...


This intricately painted wooden chair sports a woven seat.  I don't know about those back rails or the seat part being all that comfortable either.  Looks rather stiff and upright, but I guess the beauty of it was more important than comfort.


Carved wooden frame with rich red velvet cushions were very typical of the old style era.  Some modern homes might incorporate something like this as a visual accent today.



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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Jeddah: Man and his Cat


I feel fortunate when I get permission to take portraits of people here in Saudi Arabia.  Many times I am turned down, but this gentleman was very gracious and was so proud of his cat purring in his lap.  

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Jeddah: Antique Inlaid Telephone


Have you ever seen a phone like this before?  I hadn't, until I laid eyes on it in Jeddah's Al Balad district.  I was on a tour of the museum homes in the old part of Jeddah and this was on display as part of the furnishings of a time gone by.  I believe a phone like this may have been imported from either Syria or India, where this type of inlay work is made.  

Friday, October 13, 2017

SkyWatch Jeddah: Layered Buildings


The angle of this shot makes it appear as though the top left building is part of the lower building in front of it.


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Jeddah: Old Style Furnishings


The old Saudi seating style consisted of a stiff wooden elevated frame topped with cushions. The prints shown here are very traditional old style patterned upholstery. The back cushions were often covered with fitted lace caps to protect the fabric longer.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jeddah: Old Town Balad Door


It's not unusual to see old worn out carpets used outside in front of the entrances to old homes in Al Balad, the oldest section of the city of Jeddah.  Many of the doors in Al Balad are either made of solid carved wood or of solid metal like this one, which are painted in a wide variety of colors.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Our World: Antique Baby Bottles


Have you ever seen baby bottles like these?  I never had until I saw them at the Museum Bai Jeddah, located down in Jeddah's old historic district called Al Balad.  With nipples on both ends, I was miffed and intrigued.

These antique baby bottles were named after the word for "boat" in Arabic because of their shape.  Either nipple could be used for drinking, but the extra nipple allowed for refilling the bottle without interrupting the baby and could also release air trapped inside the bottle.



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Monday, October 9, 2017

Jeddah: Old Carved Armoire


Now this type of elegant colorful armoire would easily adapt to modern decor in homes today.  What a fantastic accent piece this would make.  

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Jeddah: Man's Head Wrap


While Saudi men most often wear the headscarf hanging down, sometimes they like to wrap it around their heads like this.

Friday, October 6, 2017

SkyWatch: Morning Mosque


Many mosques in Saudi Arabia feature domes and minarets topped with a crescent moon.



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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Jeddah: Al Balad Hanging Lamps


The old historic town of Jeddah, called Al Balad, continues to undergo massive efforts to revitalize this part of the city.  Just since I arrived 10 years ago, the evolution has been quite remarkable and encouraging.  Many of the old salvageable buildings have been brought back to their former glory, carefully maintaining the integrity of their era.  Several old family residences are now open to the public for visitation and are chock full of relics from the past.  These buildings are known by the names of the families who built and resided in them for many years.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Jeddah: Decorative Chest


An original furnishing of one of the old residences in Al Balad, the oldest part of Jeddah.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Our World: Religious Pilgrims


The city of Jeddah is the major gateway to two of the holiest cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina. Consequently, millions of religious pilgrims travel into Jeddah each year.


Religious pilgrims are easily identifiable by their garb - unsewn white pieces of cloth wrapped around their lower and upper bodies.  Many male pilgrims also shave their heads when they perform the rituals of the pilgrimage.

Pilgrims can make their way to Mecca by car, bus, or hi-speed rail.


They travel to Saudi Arabia from countries all over the world.  Some have to save all their lives in order to perform Hajj, to complete this pillar of Islam.  Hajj happens once every year at a specific time and the number of the highly valued visas issued by Saudi Arabia is limited.


When the pilgrimage is performed other times of the year besides Hajj, it is called Omra.  Omra does not fulfill the Islamic requirement of performing Hajj.



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Monday, October 2, 2017

Saudi Emblem Car Decal


The symbol of the palm tree above two crossed swords became the national emblem of Saudi Arabia in 1950.  

The date palm tree is a dynamic resource of the country. The edible date portion supplies a valuable source of nutrition. The rest of the tree provides value as well in the making of functional objects like, baskets and rope. 


The crossed swords on the emblem represent the unification of the Hejaz and Najd areas by Ibn Saud, which along with the tribes of the eastern and southern regions, all came together in 1932 to become the country of Saudi Arabia.  

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Jeddah: Group Tour in Al Balad


One evening while my friends and I were walking around the old part of Jeddah called Al Balad (which means "the city" in Arabic), we came upon this handsome group of local men who were also enjoying the visual delights of the old city.  I love seeing a large majority of Saudi men dressed in their traditional garb. I guess you could call it their uniform. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

SkyWatch: Mosque in the Distance




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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Our World: Saudi Toilet Signs


I enjoy showing the many different creative gender distinctive toilet signs used here in Saudi Arabia.






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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Saudi's Kalimah Brand


I'm always looking for items with Arabic script on them - and I can always count on finding plenty to choose from at Kalimah Brand, a Saudi company that produces interesting clothing with a Saudi twist.





Saturday, September 23, 2017

Jeddah: Saudi Seating


This shows the old style Saudi furniture - wooden frames elevated off the ground for seating, sometimes equipped with cushions.  

Friday, September 22, 2017

SkyWatch: Saudi Island





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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jeddah Old Street


The old wooden window coverings are called roshan (plural is rawasheen). They allow for privacy while permitting air flow for the occupants inside.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Our World Jeddah: The Art of Conversation


One thing I really enjoy seeing in Saudi Arabia is the men sitting around engaged in conversation. It's something I don't usually see or notice going on in the US, especially in this age of modern technology. This photo was taken in Al Balad, the oldest district of Jeddah, on a public street where this gathering place has been erected for anyone to use.



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