October 4, By Anurag Roy Travelling plays an important role in our education. Our education remains incomplete without travelling.
Well, in Saudi Arabia they do just that. There are very few places that welcome you less. In Jeddah there are ancient coral houses, as in houses made out of sea coral but they are not looked after and are hard to find.
You are not supposed to take pictures of basically anything. The mosques are the most ornate and impressive structures in Saudi Arabia but you are not supposed to take any pictures although you can sneak a few from far away with the risk of being thrown in jail for a month or two.
Not a pleasant thought. To cut a long story short there is no tourist industry in Saudi. No tourist in the sightseeing tourist sense. They have huge religious tourism for Mecca and Medina but that is where it ends.
When working Jeddah I planned a trip to Taif which is a few hours away on the other side of the city of Mecca. Taif is in the mountains and the king has a big palace there and used to stay there during the summer to escape the heat of the plains below.
With the advent of air conditioning it is not used as much. It also has baboons, wild baboons! In Saudi Arabia there are wild baboons, hamadryas baboons living on the switchback road up the mountains to Taif and outside the city itself. They are a big attraction for drivers and cause a few traffic jams.
Although every other foreigner I talked to at the time had never been there even though they had been in Saudi months, even years despite it only being a 3hr drive. I was very used to the Saudi way of driving Extremely crazy.
So setting out into the unknown I had hoped to visit Mecca. This is the holiest mosque in Islam and currently occupies 88 acres and construction is underway to increase the capacity to 2.
Yes 2, people for the Hajj pilgrimage. Considering a big football stadium holdsthis is quite the mosque! I had also heard less founded rumours of non-Muslims not being allowed in Mecca as the city is holy in Islam but as nobody had bothered leaving Jeddah, nobody could verify this.
So off on my merry journey I went wondering how would anybody verify that you were Muslim or not. Now being white would be a sign but there are plenty of white Muslims in the world so if I tried to keep a low profile and with my darkening tan maybe I could pass for a Moroccan or something!
Yeah, that must be it. They do check everybody. How do they do it? By putting huge checkpoints across the motorways exactly like tolls. And they also put a huge sign over the road to say if you are non-Muslim then get off.
It seems crazy but in Saudi anything is possible. You feel very unloved and rejected. The city is the holiest in Islam and hence Mecca is forbidden for non-Muslims, Medina further north also has this restriction.
They are surprisingly few different names in Saudi as they are all named after the prophet or his followers so you end up knowing tens of people with the same name.The Importance Of Personal Development Education Essay.
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THE SPIKE. It was late-afternoon. Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much.