Tag Archives: islam

In Awe: The Sheik Zayed Mosque

After a week spent in Dubai, I think we were all begging for a change of scenery – and my cousin for us to go home so she could clean the mess that had piled up. Since I wasn’t expected to be in Turkey until the end of September, I had extended my stay by a few days, which gave us enough time to fit in a day’s trip to Abu Dhabi. We hopped on a bus to Abu Dhabi in the morning and 90 minutes later, we were in the capital of the UAE. I’m not sure quite sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t a completely normal bus station which could easily have been one in Turkey or any other place in the world. Yes, a week in Dubai had really skewed our imaginations about how the whole Emirate kingdom should look like.

We grabbed literally the most expensive breakfast ever and then got on a bus to go to the Sheik Zayed Mosque – the only reason I had been able to drag the lazy bums all the way to Abu Dhabi. Since we weren’t quite sure when the mosque actually was, we ended up following an Asian couple but at some point, it somehow ended up with them following us.

The Mosque, from outside
The Mosque, from outside

Continue reading In Awe: The Sheik Zayed Mosque

Retracing the steps of the Prophets

After a hearty breakfast – including a very hot and spicy scrambled egg (the waiter introduced it as pepper jam) which definitely gave us the wake-up call we needed – we set off for some more exploration. The plan for the day: go to Harran, a small village nearby, which once used to be a major city in Mesopotamian times and after. Aside from being one of the continuously inhabited spots on Earth, it is also famous for being the place where the prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) lived for a few years during his life.

Stuffing ourselves before our tiring day ahead
Stuffing ourselves before our tiring day ahead

At first, we were going to get the hotel to arrange our visit to Harran, which would have been quite at an affordable price but given the expenses accrued from our organised tours and the fact that due to road construction and renovations, we wouldn’t have seen much of what we wanted anyway, we decided against. Continue reading Retracing the steps of the Prophets

The City of Prophets

When we started this trip, it was more curiosity than anything that led us to South East Turkey. At the time, only a few months ago, there was none of this unrest that is currently happening in the region right now and it saddens be so much to read about all that is going on there at the moment. Şanlıurfa, or Urfa as it is known, is definitely one of my favourite places in Turkey and I cannot wait for when I can go back there again. It definitely has this Middle East atmosphere that most of Turkey lacks, that there are times you do tend to forget that you’re still in Turkey, especially since Arabic and Kurdish seem to be more prominent than Turkish itself in the city.

No Turkish? No problem.
No Turkish? No problem.

We went down to the first shop we saw to grab some kurabiye, which served the purpose of lunch, or was it dinner? – we could hardly keep track of time by that point By the end of the whole trip, our eating and sleeping patterns had been thoroughly messed up and we didn’t even taste the famous kebab from Urfa that everyone kept talking about. Not that I’ll be able to now, since I’ve recently turned fully vegetarian. I digress. Continue reading The City of Prophets