I'm up and blogging again from Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia!
The past two months have been super hectic and completely crazy, but now that the dust has settled (literally and figuratively speaking), I've finally got hi speed Internet at home, and I'm really excited to be back in the blogger world.
- I survived the wedding and all the post-wedding parties without too much trouble!
- I managed to haul all my belongings across the globe without any loss or damage!
- I have set up my place and it looks mash'allah very nice!
- I am thoroughly enjoying married life!
Alhamdulillah for the many blessings of Allah (swt) on myself and my family, if it wasn't by His decree, none of this would have been possible.
I am contemplating posting pictures of my new home, but I am not quite comfortable with the idea yet, maybe later inshallah.
I landed in Riyadh on a Friday afternoon, after the Juma Salah, so it was quite peaceful in the city at the time. Our home is close to the airport and it was only a 15 min drive to our place, which was of course completely empty and covered in dust when we entered, due to the prevalence of sand storms in Riyadh, and the fact that its a ground floor apartment, and has huge gaps under the doors, perfect for dust and lil creepy crawly creatures.
The following week, we started driving around the city and ordering our furniture and other necessities. I guess the first thing that hit me was the "no women driving" policy that i found absolutely absurd in the beginning. The second thing that hit me was the vastness of the city. I'm from Muscat, Oman... which by comparison, is just a lil town. Riyadh is a huge sprawling city, similar to Toronto in size and population. After maghrib, the city comes alive with people, lights and lots of traffic. There's a perpetual rush-hour situation on the roads in certain areas of the city, and compared to Oman, everything in Riyadh is "super-sized".
There were times when my husband would have to close my jaw coz it was hanging open at the size of the buildings, malls and grocery stores.
Another thing that i appreciate about Riyadh is that everything closes for Salah, which is fantastic coz it forces you to go to the masjid and pray, even if that wasn't the first thing on your agenda at the time.
I've prayed in many different masajid in the city, from the biggest masjid in Riyadh, to the smallest neighbourhood ones. I've found that the Imams in Riyadh have a very beautiful and passionate recitation style that moves me in a way I've never really experienced. There is a beauty and rhythm in their voice that hits my soul and there are times I've experienced such an imaan high, I've felt like I could just stand and listen to the recitation all night long. During such times, there's a peace and tranquility that descends upon the members of the congregation; it's a very beautiful and spiritual experience. My husband and I make a point of praying at least 1 salah in the masjid everyday, mainly the Isha salah, and I guess I owe it to him coz he knows where all the good reciters are, so we always end up in their masaajids.
Another aspect of Riyadh that I have experienced and loved, is the quantity and variety of their restaurants. Since I'm not the world's best cook, and also since my husband doesn't want to burden me with the prospect of cooking on weekends and when I'm tired, we've been dining out quite a lot! There are some really nice and classy places on Tahliya Street, which is like Riyadh's version of downtown Toronto. The food has always been scrumptious and the waiters are well mannered and very respectful towards women.
I have lots more to say but I'm gonna save it for another post soon. Topics that I'll be discussing are: my views on gender segregation in restaurants and food courts in malls, as well as dress codes in the city, and the answer to the question people have been asking me quite often, "so how is married life treating you?"
All that and more, insha'allah soon.
I'm putting up some pics of Riyadh, not taken by me. I will be uploading my pics of Riyadh, inshaallah soon.