•June 23, 2008 • 10 Comments
The Ottoman Empire built a railroad from Damascus,Syria to Medina, Saudi Arabia for their Muslim followers to travel to their holy shrines in Medina and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Part of the railroad ties were made in Pennsylvania by a U. S. railroad manufacture in 1885. In this part of Arabia the “Arab uprisings” in 1916-1918 against the Ottoman Empire were partly led by a British soldier later referred to as Lawrence of Arabia. He was famed for his exploits in blowing up the Hajaz railroad among other daring encounters with the occupying Turks.
Hijaz Railway Northern Saudi Arabia 10 miles South of Jordanian border lies the remains of a locomotive blasted from it’s tracks and laying on it’s side. The left front drive wheel was shattered laying in pieces on the sand. None of the metal parts showed signs of rust in 1976.
Graves of 9+ deceased with wrecked locomotive in distance. The Arabs/British/Turks had buried the dead.
Looking North near the wreck an old railway station of the Hijaz Railway located 20 miles South of the Jordanian border in Saudi Arabia crumbles in the heat and wind of the desert. Picture taken in December 1976. The rails rust free from the sand and wind look like trains passed over them daily in the 90 years since the last train came this way.
Wild Camels in Nefud Desert near the Hijaz Railway
I am building a larger photo blog with many more photos of Arabia at 70images.com .
The new photo blog of Saudi Arabia will be expanded with new photos not seen before… check it out now.
•June 22, 2008 • 1 Comment
Oral tradition in this area of Saudi Arabia (near Khamis Mushayt) report that the Queen of Sheba (now named Yemen) traveled past here 3000+ years ago on her way to visit King Solomon from the Old Testament. The local Arabs claimed Solomon sent word to her to delay her visit as he was not ready to see her. The Queen is said to have stopped here for two years and waited until Salomon called for her. Two years does not mean what it means in western culture, maybe 5 years or 3 years? All of this is oral tribal history without calendars and watches. Oral communication in Arabia has been very reliable and proven accurate on more that one occasion.
There are artifacts of some type of settlement still present at the base of the ‘hill’ and something on the top, an altar for worshiping? In any case the site is guarded by the antiquities police so no one can look around.
There is much discussion as to whether the “Queen of Sheba” was from Ethiopia or South Yemen – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_of_Sheba
The location of the mountain or hill pictured above is located in the Asir Province of Saudi Arabia about 10 kilometers East of Khamis Mushayt. This area is accessible from Yemen by using the very old road/path South of Najran, Saudi Arabia which carried commerce (incense, figs, gatt-a chewable narcotic, etc.), in ancient times between Arabia and Yemen. It is conceivable that the Queen could have come from Ethiopia and crossed the Red Sea into Yemen traveling North into Arabia and after the delay on to Jerusalem.
•June 22, 2008 • 1 Comment
Mud home Asir Province, Saudi Arabia. Located in village near Khamis Mushayt
Mud house near Abha, Capitol of Asir Province. House has deep well for water to grow trees and maintain garden.
•June 21, 2008 • 4 Comments
New stone/mud house next to older mud house probably built many decades ago. Straw roofed round building in foreground likely a pen for goats or sheep. Significant is an ancient tower near by which was common near the land owned by an Arab tribe (family). These towers were used to alert inhabitants living and working nearby that an ‘enemy’ or threat was approaching.
These mud houses are cool in the daytime having captured the cool desert night air. The walls are very thick and repel heat. Days often reach 130 F. Nights can see temperatures fall to 50 degrees.
Stone and Mud Houses in old village with ancient watch tower, Asir Province
Straw huts on the Jizan Plain near the Red Sea. Temperature here can reach 140F in daytime with humidity at near 100%. Village is located direcly West of Asir Province at the bottom of the escarpment or nearly 8,000 ft below the towns of Abha and Khamis Mushayt.
Straw huts similar to those in Africa directly across the Red Sea to the West.