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Posts Tagged ‘culture’

On my way to school everyday I remember watching this tower and making up stories about it with the other kids: 

There were a number of watchtowers constructed at strategic locations in U.A.E. during the early 19th century. They were built to detect approaching enemy and serve as a first time of defense. Lone towers, such as this one, which lies on the outskirts of Shamal, usually had high up ‘doors’, requiring a ladder or rope to enter.

Najma Aijaz, 18th March 2012

 

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Pakistani Mangoes in America – Guest Post | Pakistani Bloggers.

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Perfumes are very popular in the Arab world. Back in 2009 my roomie, Sahar,  was from Sudan.  She was very fond of scents.  She used to lit Oud in the evenings and I began liking it. It used to make me feel lighter.

Oud 

Fortunately I have brought Oud with me here in Pakistan. I haven’t used it as yet. I am waiting for a special moment. It’s only now that I am here I realize there are so many little things and details that I know of the Arabic culture. I mean obviously I am born there but it’s only now that these things seem different to me, because they aren’t here. People rarely know stuff called Oud.  Plus here, like my neighbours, use Agarbatti on special occasions. But it’s not the same. I don’t like Agarbattis! 

Agarbatti

Anyway, this isn’t what this post’s about. I used to travel everyday to school and then to college passing by The Perfume Roundabout in Fujairah. I used to think it’s called The Perfume Roundabout because there are perfume shops near by but recently I saw it’s pictures on facebook and realized this is not the reason! And I thought I was observant about things. 🙂 I remember I used to wonder why it’s made this way:

It’s only a few days back I ‘noticed’ that the hand is sprinkling perfume! This is what Arab people often did at their place. They used to use the above object and sprinkle it on people and their homes. Beautiful isn’t it?

The Perfume Roundabout as it looked at night during the UAE 40th National Day celebrations:

Najma Aijaz, 21-2-2012

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Last year during Eid Al Adha holidays I went with my family to visit The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, popularly called the Grand Mosque by local residents. It’s said to be one the most beautiful in the world-  initiated no less by the late president HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who is fondly thought of as the father of the UAE.

Natural materials were chosen for its design and construction due to their long-lasting qualities, including marble, stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics.

An equally impressive interior design complements the Mosque’s awesome exterior. Italian white marble and inlaid floral designs adorn the prayer halls and the Mosque’s interior walls have decorative gold-glass mosaic features, particularly delicate on the western wall. The main glass door of the Mosque is 12.2 metres high, 7 metres wide and weighs approximately 2.2 tonnes.

The 99 names (qualities) of Allah featured on the Qibla wall exemplify traditional Kufi calligraphy, designed by the prominent UAE calligrapher – Mohammed Mandi. The Qibla wall also features subtle fibre-optic lighting, which is integrated as part of the organic design.

I remember praying here (pic below). Since it was quite hot outside so coming in this room for prayer was pure bliss. We prayed here our Asr prayer:

The best thing I found about the mosque were it’s chandeliers. In fact, one lady (a visitor too) at the mosque told me they were the largest chandeliers in the world. Now, I am not sure whether it’s true but anyway I don’t mind believing that I saw the world’s largest chandelier 🙂 . The Mosque features seven 24-carat gold-plated chandeliers which were imported from Germany, all designed with thousands of Swarovski crystals. The largest of these chandeliers, which hangs from the main dome of the Mosque, is considered the biggest in the world; it measures 10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height, and eight-to-nine tonnes in weight.

Since it was the holiday season there were many tourists at the mosque. We didn’t really got much information about the mosque and just headed there randomly due to which we had to go through the same places of the mosque 5 times! The mosque’s quite big – The Mosque can accommodate up to 40,960 worshippers from its prayer halls and courtyard.

Najma Aijaz, 20-2-2012

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