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Mecca - Medina (Saudi Arabia) December 2008 & August 2009

24119 Views 92 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  luci203
Pelerinajul la Mekka e unul din cei 5 stalpi de baza ai Islamului, ultimul de fapt, si e obligatoriu pentru musulmanii care isi permit din punct de vedere financiar si fizic calatoria.

In trecut, musulmanii din Dobrogea calatoreau cu carutele pana la Constantinopole, apoi luau corabia pana in Egipt, dupa care se inscriau in caravanele care mergeau pe Taramul Sfant. Caravanele in acele vremuri erau un fel de tren, numai ca in loc de compartiment, fiecare avea camila sa, iar in loc de popasuri, existau caravanseraiuri, care erau atat locuri de cazare si masa, cat si de comert, socializare, tratament.

Apoi au aparut vasele cu carbuni, care plecau de la Sulina daca nu ma insel, facand drumul pelerinilor mai usor.

Noi...am facut doar 4 ore si ceva cu avionul, o ora pana la Istanbul, si mai mult de trei ore Istanbul-Medina.

Am facut doua calatorii, una in decembrie 2008 si alta in august 2009. In total mai mult de 5 saptamani. Mi-am atins si ultimul stalp al Islamului, as putea spune ca sunt implinit. Mai ramane sa imi fac o familie si sa imi construiesc o cariera.

Revin cu primele poze, dupa ce le incarc pe photobucket.
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On the road to Mecca:







Muslim women from Romania:


On the road:


Mountains around Medina, with dates orchard in the valley





Some men:
^^ Foarte tare reportajul. E cred primul din Orientul Mijlociu de aici. Ai apucat sa vezi mai multe din Arabia Saudita? Cum ti se pare ca tara? Mereu am avut o opinie, sa zic, nu tocmai pozitiva...
Great thread :cheers:
My brother has been working On&Off all over Middle East for the past 15 years. He loves it ! Well, not only because the money is very good:), but because the people, he says, are very friendly and respectful; especially with Romanian engineers;)
Keep on posting. Here is another orange juice from me. Thanks! :cheers:
Am petrecut mai mult de 5 saptamani insumat acolo, dar nu am fost decat in marile orase Mekka, Medina si Jeddah.

Nu stiu ce sa zic ca e ca si tara :) Ca un cuptor urias in iulie, ca vara la noi in decembrie :) Initial cand sa coboram din avion, ne-au preluat niste utilaje, pe care paseai iesind din avion, si apoi coborai pe scari. Niste camionete modificate, asa incat sa coboare pasagerii. Am zis ca e caldura de la motoare, cea care m-a bufnit in fata.

Dar aceeasi caldura am simtit-o si la iesire din aeroport, dupa ce statusem la formalitatile vamale.

De 5 ori pe zi se face chemarea la rugaciune, care se poate auzi si in Constanta (e drept, de 3 ori vara si de 4 ori iarna) si in acest timp toata lumea inchide magazinele si se duce sa se roage. Exista fantani publice unde ne spalam pe maini, pe fata, pe picioare si mergem sa ne rugam.

E interesant ca orarul zilnic e setat in functie de aceste rugaciuni, iar in timpul rugaciunilor, toata lumea se opreste.

Au foarte multe lucruri importate din SUA si Japonia, si impresia generala pe care ti-o formezi initial, privind pe geamul masinii foarte spatioase si care consuma 18%, dar la care alimentarea e totusi mai ieftina ca apa, [am dat mai mult de 7-8 dolari sa bagam motorina], este ca te afli undeva in sudul desertic al SUA. Chiar te-ai crede acolo daca nu ar fi mai colorati si imbracati specific.

La unele benzinarii am auzit ca se ia plata la plinul masinii, o suma fixa, dar nu stiu daca e adevarat.

Mi-a mai placut ca au mulat perfect tehnologia peste traditiile vechi de mii de ani. Moscheile mari de exemplu au aer conditionat care vine de undeva din subteran, sau il sufla de pe acoperis prin niste fante aflate langa coloanele de sustinere. Nici acum nu mi-am dat seama cum au facut, insa racoarea se simtea de la 50 de metri inainte de a intra in moschee. E ca atunci cand treci pe langa rafturile frigorifice din supermarket si simti racoarea, numai ca aici e alta diferenta de temperatura :)

Am ajuns si in cartiere mai sarace, unde toata lumea avea aer conditionat [explicabil, din cauza climei] si antena parabolica.
Nici macar acolo nu am gasit caini, si nici prin curti nu am auzit. In schimb am vazut pisici vagaboande, care nu sunt speriate de straini cum sunt cele de la noi :) M-au lasat sa le mangai. Regret ca nu am facut poze.

Ce am vazut iar si a fost ceva inedit, o groapa cu petrol. Acolo, inainte de a ridica o constructie, se face o expertiza pentru a observa la ce adancime se afla...nu panza freatica, ci petrolul :) Ca de iesit, sigur va iesi, asa cum la noi, la orice adancime sapi, vei da de panza freatica.

Si langa groapa, niste movile din saci de ciment, si alaturi, sute de bucati de otel-beton. Fara imprejmuire,fara paznic, fara nimic :D

Iar usile de acolo au fie zavor, fie lacat. Nu sunt multe cele care au cheie, si pe acelea am vazut ca nu le incuie nici macar noaptea.Iar cand se indeparteaza de masina, lasa cheia in contact. Urma sa aflu de ce:

In anumite zile, se anunta la TV si la radio ca va urma aplicarea legii intr-un anume oras, dintr-o anume regiune, pentru o anume infractiune. De exemplu taierea mainilor hotilor.

Toata lumea are masina, insa e ilegal pentru femei sa conduca. De aceea, ele se duc in desert si fac off-road pe nisip :D Cea mai veche rabla din anii 80 are aer conditionat. Te astepti ca rablele abia sa se poata misca,nu sa mai si dea aer conditionat, dar torc foarte lin, sunt foarte spatioase si cu suspensii foarte bune. Sau or fi drumurile bune...?

Supermarketurile, hotelurile si mall-urile poarta numele clanurilor locale care le detin. Nu toate, dar sunt destule si e reprezentativ. De exemplu exista hotelul Bin Laden, care e familia renumitului terorist.

La achitare, femeile au casa separata, ca sa nu astepte la coada si sa se amestece cu barbatii. Chiar si la KFC exista acest sistem.In mijloacele de transport in comun, femeile au prioritate sa stea jos.

La restaurant, exista 2 zone: family si men. Cele family nu sunt altceva decat separeuri.

Desi nu au verdeata ca si cadru natural, si-au creat un fel de topoclimat in jurul parcurilor sustinute artificial. Fiecare petic are un program de udare, si un ****, bengali sau indian care se ocupa de acel spatiu verde.

Politistii de acolo sunt foarte slabi, as zice chiar rahitici. I-am intrebat ce fac ei in timpul unei zile de lucru, si mi-au zis ca patruleaza pe un anumit sector, iau masa, fac rugaciunea, patruleaza mai departe si se duc acasa.

Evenimente la care participa relativ des sunt urmariri cu masina ale pustilor care iau masina parintilor, sau supravegheaza chiulul de la scoli si licee, sau observa daca cineva se imbraca indecent, si intenteaza proces de puscarie, ceea ce se intampla rar.

Va mai zic si altele, alta data :)
^^ Foarte tare reportajul. E cred primul din Orientul Mijlociu de aici. Ai apucat sa vezi mai multe din Arabia Saudita? Cum ti se pare ca tara? Mereu am avut o opinie, sa zic, nu tocmai pozitiva...
So basically it's a beacon of modernity, secularism and freedom. What a surprise!:nuts:

The pictures themselves are great though! :cheers: I don't think I'd last too long in that heat, but at least it's a dry heat, unlike HK and Taiwan, so basically you roast instead of boil.
In Jeddah the air is more humid, being a main harbour on the Red Sea coast.
During the winter the temperatures are quite bearable,even pleasant,it is like our May or June for instance.
So basically it's a beacon of modernity, secularism and freedom. What a surprise!:nuts:

The pictures themselves are great though! :cheers: I don't think I'd last too long in that heat, but at least it's a dry heat, unlike HK and Taiwan, so basically you roast instead of boil.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, October 2001 / 2002 up to 2006

@cadir,

Wonderful travelogue, thank you! Especially since for us (infidels :eek:kay:) it's not possible to get - not even near - to the holy cities... (on the highway there are check points; you cannot travel further if not muslim).

Some outstanding items in your travelogue:

- inside / outside of the mosques - especially the animated photos;
- the giant umbrellas - I know them; they have been made here (Montanhydraulik GmbH has supplied the hydraulic cylinders for these, which also form part of the tall umbrella poles; both extreme temperatures and sand storms put the motors to the test)
- street pictures - all of them;
- your comments;

Now you've given me the idea to post some of my pictures as well (I've been appr. 6 months - in total - between 911 and 2006 in the Eastern Region):

- Al Khobar, Dammam, Al Quatif, Al Hufuf, Bahrein with Manama, etc.


To be continued,

dan

PS: keep up posting your pictures !
  • Like
Reactions: Cadîr
Oww, nice to read this :)
I'd like to see images from Eastern Arabia, as well as personal opinion regarding this country, especially a person who has not many in common with the population there :) Because I tend to bring a subjective note to my arguments many times, and I'm sorry about it. However, I am sincere and I confess it :D

Ok, pictures coming soon :)
- Al Khobar, Dammam, Al Quatif, Al Hufuf, Bahrein with Manama, etc.


To be continued,

dan

PS: keep up posting your pictures !
How do they check? I mean it's not like every muslim speaks arabic and such. I also doubt that every muslim even has a firm grasp of the koran. Or what if you're a recent convert for example?

BTW: Nice pics Cadir.
@cadir,

Wonderful travelogue, thank you! Especially since for us (infidels :eek:kay:) it's not possible to get - not even near - to the holy cities... (on the highway there are check points; you cannot travel further if not muslim).
You declare your religion when applying for a visa.
The most of the vizas are of religious type, and grant you access to the Holy Cities. The others are for business/diplomatic purposes, and don't allow your entrance to Mekka and other places nearby.

However, there is no checkpoint or something like that.

Thank you for your appreciation. The Mekka series coming soon.
How do they check? I mean it's not like every muslim speaks arabic and such. I also doubt that every muslim even has a firm grasp of the koran. Or what if you're a recent convert for example?

BTW: Nice pics Cadir.























Makkah check points

However, there is no checkpoint or something like that.
The check points are far away from the city - so one cannot see it from this distance...

This is a picture of the check point at the Makkah Gate,,after the non-muslims exit,to ensure that all non muslims have exited the higway leading to Makkah. If you are a muslim make sure you have all your identity papers(passport,ID). The Monument represent our holy book,,The Noble Quran.



This is a picture of the boundry gate located at the higway,just few meters after the check point,Non Muslims should not be driving after this point.


Local_Customs-Makkah


dan
I was simply saying that nobody looked after my documents, while entering the Mikat [boundery]. And it happened twice.

Those gates and signs on the road are for religious purpose, so that a pilgrim should know the moment he enters the sacred area. For instance, while in pilgrimage, one shouldn't enter the area without having taken a bath and dressed according to the pilgrimage regulations: 2 pieces of white cloth for men, and normal Muslim outfit for women.

It is compulsory for the religious ritual.
The above gate is imitating the 'rahle', which is a piece of furniture we use for reading books while sitting on the floor/carpet/pillow.

From the internet:




hmm...conclusions:
-first congratulations for your trip from us infidels:lol: but honestly I think that the Saud house is not succeeding in maintaining Islams holliest places at the top of islamic...culture;other mosques and places in the islamic world look more...complete and diverse(but its just my taste)my favorite is sheikh Zayed mosque in UAE.saudi arabia looks like a weird breed between USA and Islam
-second you dont look at all to be tatar but rather turkish-like,I have tatar neighbours and they all look like they just arrived with Genghis yesterday:lol:
That's an interesting New York-like style of construction blended of course with oriental/arabic architectural themes. But it has something special. It surprises me to see such construction there.

Thanks again Cadir for the interesting pictures! :cheers:
^^
That's the Abraj Al Bait Towers, it's going to be a hotel for pilgrims. It will look like this:


It's source of inspiration was, of course, Minas Morgul :D
@kayanathera:
The mosque in Mekka doesn't look like any other because it has the Kaaba inside of it, and also the Safa and Merwa sites, which pilgrims use to run between them, in the ritual. So it had to have a special shape... And yes, not many agree with its architectural style.

Hmmm...I was actually asked whether I were Chinese, while sitting an exam in Bucharest :D

Here, maybe while having my hair short cut will underline my Asian traits :D



@Le Clerk: You're welcome :) I had the same feeling most of the time, I was either in Iraq, or in USA :D

The actual name of the holy mosque in Mekka is 'Mesjid el Haram', which means 'the forbidden mosque', because only Muslims have access to it, the hunting, cutting down trees or vegetation is forbidden, and also fighting is strictly forbidden. Not because in other places would be allowed, but if done here, one must pay the poors an amount of agricultural products.

The Kaaba is the builduing towards which Muslims turn their faces during the prayer. We, the Muslims in Romania, turn our faces towards S-E, but those in Indonezia turn their faces to sunset, and those in Sudan turn their faces towards East.

It is a symbolic building, built by Abraham [Ibrahim] and rehabilitated during The Prophet's time, but before his being a prophet. The Prophet helped solve the dispute between local clans, regarding who should put the stone in it's place, by putting it on a carpet and carrying it.

The stone [hajer el eswed= the black stone] is a rock that Allah sent to mark the place where Muslims should gather, meet othe Muslims and pray. So, everything during the pilgrimage is symbolic.

Kaaba during the pilgrimage, photos taken from Ebraj el Beyt tower, shown by vinterriket earlier, more precisely from the Burj Zam-Zam tower, floor no. 38.
We had to climb 11 floors through a mall, then shift the elevator and climb 27 stories further.

The black cloth you see on the Kaaba is replaced every year. Earlier before you've seen parts of it being sewn with golden wire.









I also made fun of the Saudi policemen or military, they were so skinny:













The King's speech broadcast on the National TV



Arafa Mountain. See the umbrellas ? It was mid December :D



Going to Mina, where we stoned the devil :D



It is a religious ritual, involving throwing stones towards 3 symbolic pillars



These are the pillars:



@kayanathera:
The mosque in Mekka doesn't look like any other because it has the Kaaba inside of it, and also the Safa and Merwa sites, which pilgrims use to run between them, in the ritual. So it had to have a special shape... And yes, not many agree with its architectural style.

Hmmm...I was actually asked whether I were Chinese, while sitting an exam in Bucharest :D

Here, maybe while having my hair short cut will underline my Asian traits :D



@Le Clerk: You're welcome :) I had the same feeling most of the time, I was either in Iraq, or in USA :D

The actual name of the holy mosque in Mekka is 'Mesjid el Haram', which means 'the forbidden mosque', because only Muslims have access to it, the hunting, cutting down trees or vegetation is forbidden, and also fighting is strictly forbidden. Not because in other places would be allowed, but if done here, one must pay the poors an amount of agricultural products.

The Kaaba is the builduing towards which Muslims turn their faces during the prayer. We, the Muslims in Romania, turn our faces towards S-E, but those in Indonezia turn their faces to sunset, and those in Sudan turn their faces towards East.

It is a symbolic building, built by Abraham [Ibrahim] and rehabilitated during The Prophet's time, but before his being a prophet. The Prophet helped solve the dispute between local clans, regarding who should put the stone in it's place, by putting it on a carpet and carrying it.

The stone [hajer el eswed= the black stone] is a rock that Allah sent to mark the place where Muslims should gather, meet themselves and pray. So, everything during the pilgrimage is symbolic.

Kaaba during the pilgrimage, photos taken from Ebraj el Beyt tower, shown by vinterriket earlier, more precisely from the Burj Zam-Zam tower, floor no. 38.
We had to climb 11 floors through a mall, then shift the elevator and climb 27 stories further.









I also made fon of the Saudi policemen or military, they were so skinny:













The King's speech broadcast on the National TV



Arafa Mountain:



Going to Mina, where we stoned the devil :D



It is a religious ritual, involving throwing stones towards 3 symbolic pillars



These are the pillars:



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