My first trip to the middle east is in 2004 to Jordan, Syria and Saudi. Around 10 years later, I finally made it to Dubai (2104-separate blog entry). On my first visit, I was attending a medical conference as a student. Me being me- could not stay in the conference for too long. What I remember most about Jordan was their fashion style (already blogged), the Petra, and sand handicrafts. I loved the food ( I always love food) and also the fruit cocktail drink. yums~ They also have a beautiful queen (Queen Rania) and their currency is so expensive ( i think the same as the british pound).
I loved trying to speak arabic as most of them spoke little english. I had so much fun on taxi rides. Pictures paint a better picture.
We had a day trip to Syria. Remember this was 10 years back. We couldn’t squeeze in a historical visit (usually people go there to see history), we went there for shopping! (ha ha typical). Even the big market was full of history. I throughly enjoyed my visit at the market. I loved seeing the fashion forward muslimah styles. I wish we had stayed longer than more than just a day. I am not sure what has become of that place. It makes me really sad that a wonderful place has to endure war. PIctures I took, there wasn’t much since I was too busy shopping…The market is called al-Hamidiyyah, more pics on the virtual tourist. My collection does no justice.
Next was Medinah and Mecca. We went there to perform our umrah. I loved this Holy City MasyaAllah. I loved how during prayer times, the sellers would just leave the stalls without anyone minding them and not feel there’s a need to worry about people stealing. I loved the beautiful Mecca. It was so peaceful. I loved how there were so many people from so many parts of the world mixed in one place wearing the same garment doing the same thing. I loved drinking the pure (free) zam-zam water. At the time I went, no pics were allowed to be taken so I have no pics here. It was also good I didn’t have time to take pics as I could concentrate on the umrah itself.
What I didn’t like was how the places outside of Medina and Mecca were not quite as well maintained.
Visiting a place outside home, makes you realise how lucky you are. I have seen extreme wealth and extreme poverty. I have seen extreme politeness and extreme rudeness. I have seen extreme cleanliness and extreme filth. If anything, travelling opens the mind..and makes you think. After all- Travel is living