Today is Easter Sunday. However we live in Saudi Arabia where Easter is not recognized, and so this weekend has been exactly like every other weekend. But before my husband left for work this morning, we sent each of our three children a traditional Easter greeting, The L is risen, and then received back the expected response, “He is risen indeed. The L’s name be praised.” You see, Easter's always been a very special part of our family life. Even in Saudi Arabia.
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
From Riyadh to Jeddah is an hour and a half by plane. By car it’s a full day’s journey. Travelling by camel as the ancient Nabateans did would take a couple of weeks. We flew, and as soon as we stepped off the plane we noticed the humidity, so very, very different from Riyadh.
Jeddah's a port on the Red Sea and is believed to have been founded as a fishing village in 522 BC by the Quda’a tribe. This nomadic people travelled from Yemen, choosing eventually to settle in the Makkah region of Arabia. In the first century AD it became a post on the Nabatean trade route. Camel caravans from Yemen would stop at Madain Salah and then Jeddah, laden with spices, frankincense and myrrh. The derivation of Jeddah is Jaddah, which is Arabic for grandmother. The tomb of the Biblical Eve, the grandmother of everyone, is meant to lie in an unmarked grave in a cemetery in Al Balad, Jeddah’s old city. So many stories and so much colour.