The next day Brandon took us out to see the man-made islands in Dubai, called "The Palms." Here is an internet stolen image with an aerial view of The Palms so you can get the idea of it being created in the shape of an actual palm tree. There are three "palms" in Dubai.
We saw "Palm Jameirah."
They built up the islands, and then built on top of them. I will say this about Dubai. They do not do things half-assed over there.
It is go big, or go home.
They have a monorail that takes you right down the center of the palm.
The beauty of the set-up, is that each house, townhouse, building or whatever- is waterfront property.
So sad in Dubai. A good portion of Dubai is unfinished. Lots of bare scaffolding, and cranes standing unused. Lots of half-finished condos that are unoccupied.
Here is a prime example:
Atlantis is finished,however, and man, that thing is huge!
My kids were salivating.
For the low price of $319.00, we could have taken them there...
The monorail gave us a pretty good view of a couple more famous hotels in Dubai, the one that looks like a sailboat is called the Burj Al Arab. It is the world's only 7 star hotel.
After the Tour de Palm, we headed over to the Muslim Mosque.
I like to learn about religion, and it is always interesting to me to pick out religious similarities and differences.
This mosque in Dubai is the only one in the UAE that allows non-Muslim folks to tour it. It was called the "Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding." I loved that. They highly encouraged questions and photos.
Religious animosity could be completely prevented with good old fashioned tolerance and understanding.
Our Muslim hostess was a convert from Christianity, and she was awesome!
We started outside the mosque, where she explained that to enter the mosque for worship,(not for our general tour)required a specific washing. This was a way for them to prepare themselves physically, as well as mentally for prayer.
My boys were picked to be demonstrators.
The washing includes feet to the knees, hands to the elbows, nose, mouth, and head.(just a quick washing up and behind the ears) This is done five times a day- before each prayer. You do not have to re-wash, however, if you stay "clean" between prayers. "Clean" meaning, if you do not use the bathroom, have uh, "adult relations", vomit, have a bloody nose, or fart.
If you are clear of that list, your previous washing is still valid and you can skip the washing thing for the next daily prayer.
That is some commitment.
Just paying attention to if I farted or not would make me quit being Muslim after a day.
The women were required to cover their heads to enter the mosque.
The provided us scarves.
They were freshly laundered, folded and pulled out of boxes.
They also handed out water to everyone. I thought that was a thoughtful touch.
See how cute we are?
It was very pretty inside.
In fact, it is not old at all...now that I think about it, considering *some* of us were born in 1972, and could still be mistaken for a super young almost teenager...
Our cute hostess taught us about the different garments worn by Muslims, and why they wore them. Here she is explaining that the Burqa (head/face covering for women) was originally worn to keep the desert sand out of your eyes and mouth. Now it is worn more for tradition, and style.
The hostess explained that when Muslims pray, wherever they might be, they must face Mecca. Mecca is the Holy City of Islam located in Saudi Arabia.
Muslims pray five times a day.
At any given place in Dubai, you can hear the "call to prayer," usually from two locations at the same time. They have mosques on every corner, kinda like Starbucks in the states.
The "call to prayer" is a reminder that it is time to roll.
To wrap things up, and get over to the mosque, or to a prayer room.
There are prayer rooms everywhere in Dubai. Usually located conveniently next to the public restrooms, so you can quickly wash up, and then enter the adjoining prayer room.
The "call to prayer" is broadcast over loudspeakers.
It is a pretty, and almost like a song sung in Arabic.
The prayer times coincide with the rising and setting of the sun.
The mosques have a time board, that change slightly with the seasons, to let you know exactly when prayer times are.
I liked this one with the blue tile:
These photos are so very painfully slow to upload.
You better appreciate this! You hear me, Hollie?
That is all I have for today, I have to go and scrounge something up for dinner.