SkyWatch: Dusk Over New Buildings

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New construction is everywhere in this city of nearly 4 million, and this photo shows buildings that have gone up in one part of town in the past year. These are all residential buildings that may have one or two apartments on each floor. All Saudi housing is designed with at least two living rooms, usually with its own separate entrances. This is so that when guests are received, women can enter without being seen by men and vice versa. There is strict segregation between the sexes here – no mingling or socializing between men and women.
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About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Architecture, Buildings, Photo, Saudi Arabia and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to SkyWatch: Dusk Over New Buildings

  1. Jeddah has 4 million people? I didn’t know that!

    I can’t imagine buildings with separate entrances for men and women. But you know what! Many early 20th century schools in Canada had separate entrances for boys and girls, so it really shouldn’t sound all that foreign to us.

    Life in Jeddah sounds so complicated, but I imagine life in Canada sounds crazy to Saudis.

    • Many restaurants here have separate entrances and eating sections for families and single men. Many doctors offices also have separate waiting rooms for men and women. There are separate banks for women too. To me, it is all very inconsistent and contradictory. Men and women can shop in grocery stores and malls together. It’s one of those things that I really just don’t get here. You are right – it is very complicated.

  2. Louise says:

    Although I don’t like the reason, two living rooms with separate entrances is a great idea to me!

  3. Another sky photo and another great bit of info on separation of th sexes in Saudi Arabia. Does your 14 year old son have any girlfriends and does he date?

  4. Geogypsy says:

    Sure makes for huge apartments. The sky is gorgeous.

  5. Interesting, almost makeral kind of sky. Cultural points noted with interest!

  6. fishing guy says:

    Susie: A beautiful look at the skies over your new buildings.

  7. yogi says:

    Very nice picture and an interesting cultural lesson. I had read of course about the separation of the sexes but didn’t realize the ramifications in housing design.
    Are the rooms decorated similarly or is one kind of a “man cave?”

    • The Saudi taste in decorating is generally extremely elegant, and quite often, over the top. Gilded gold, enormous cystal chandeliers, uncomfortable looking antique style French furniture that looks too formal to sit on or touch, beaded and fringed satin pillows – very different than the comfortable and inviting American style I am used to. The men’s parlors are very elegant, just more masculine looking in darker, maybe striped fabrics, while women’s may be in lighter more feminine colors using floral fabrics.

  8. Gwendolyn says:

    Great picture. Thanks for sharing your insights into living in a different culture. You are very courageous. I enjoy following your experiences.

  9. Sorry, I meant to write “separate” ….

  10. Seprate living rooms? I would never have guessed that.

  11. Bill B says:

    Certain things must be very hard for you to deal with in your new country. I find your journey most interesting and informative to me. How are your offspring adapting?

    • Well, Bill – it’s definitely been much harder on my teenaged son. Imagine coming to a place like this at 14! But he is a real trooper and he makes me laugh every single day. If it weren’t for him, I don’t know that I would make it here. We have each other. I’ve written more about his experiences lately in a couple of posts on my other blog if you’re interested:

  12. Rinkly Rimes says:

    Great shot! It’s like a filleted fish in the sky!

  13. Lovely pastel skies, beautiful colors! And that’s interesting about the apartments! As I’ve said before, I do enjoy learning more about the culture!

    Have a great week!


  14. owlfarmer says:

    Nice shot–and very interesting blog. I’ll recommend it to my Visual Anthropology class when it begins in October. Meanwhile, I’ll try to catch up with your posts on both blogs.

  15. J Bar says:

    A wonderful dusk sky.

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