Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Special Mention in Iskandarian

I made a debut in Iskandarian when a brief article written by my brother about our experience living in Saudi Arabia was published in his school's annual magazine. The pre-Merdeka primary school in Alor Setar was founded by Master Mohamad bin Iskandar, the father of our beloved ex-Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir.
Sempena tahun baru 2009 yang bakal menjelang, kami doakan anda semua selamat panjang umur, murah rezeki dan sihat walafiat sepanjang tahun 2009.

Update on 1 Jan. 2009 (2.00 pm): Here are some photos which show the exterior of our Al-Kindi apartment in Diplomatic Quarter (DQ or Hayy Assafarat in Arabic). The apartment is adjacent to the central mosque (indicated by the two minarets) and the Al-Kindi plaza where my brother and sister used to cycle or skate, under the watchful eyes of Papa and Mama while sipping their latte. The apartment and the surrounding structures won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 1989. All images are taken from Archnet.
And this is how Papa waxed lyrical to the beautiful and kind-hearted Mithali blogger, Nuraina A. Samad, about those mesmerising days in DQ:
"Our two older children and I did a lot of cycling together when we were in Riyadh. But Arab drivers are even more notorious, I hear some of you say. True, but we're very fortunate to be provided a decent accommodation in the Diplomatic Quarter (DQ), which is conducive for cycling and walking ... security around the clock and the vibrant views that do not weary the eyes with sameness … boulevards flanked with kurma trees, contemporary buildings designed by world-best architects juxtapose with the arresting reproduction buildings that exude the old world charm of the Najd architecture, landscaped gardens after landscaped gardens, no Mat Rempits … oh I can just go on and on …"

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cherating Revisited

Papa visited Cherating for the first time in the late 1980s, before he met Mama, and instantly felt like a modern day Robinson Crusoe, far from the maddening bright lights and big cities. He stayed in a spartan beachfront hut, and spent most of the day sleeping on the beach and daydreaming with eyes wide opened. The beach vista and the refreshing sea breeze induced him to sleep effortlessly. The night was spent listening to reggae music at the local bars scattered around the paradoxically conservative yet hip village, and at the countless cafes sipping Nescafe or teh tarik whilst flying on the magic carpet of Pico Iyer’s spellbinding Video Night in Kathmandu. That travel book singularly made him want to experience One Night in Bangkok, and the wild, wild world on the Prospero’s Isle of Bali, and more. But let’s not digress.

Back then, Cherating was popular among the globetrotting backpackers and hippies and local couples, married, soon-to-be married or unmarried. After he met Mama, they went there again and again, without and plus the kid(s). Although Cherating is now dotted with modern hotels and boutique villas such as top of the range Villa Tab, one can sense that the place has lost the magic that prompted Club Med to open up its first holiday destination in Asia.

We arrived here from Kuala Terengganu late into the night, and had to leave for Kuala Lumpur the next morning. So it was considered obscene to be splashing money just to have a modest bed to rest our tired bones, and not using all the other facilities including a well-maintained beachfront. My family decided to stay in a budget motel in Kampung Cherating Lama that provides the basic amenities such as clean bed, attached bathroom, air-conditioning and a TV set, which remained off.

At the crack of dawn the next day, while the others were happily dozing off, Papa strolled along the beach and later had breakfast at the stall located opposite the horse stable belonging to the Penn Endurance Equestrian Club, and across the private road leading up to Villa Tab. The stall is run by Mak Cik Dah, with the help of a lady assistant who was overly decorated so early in the morning.

Mak Cik Dah is a chatterbox and a repository of all the comings and goings in Kampung Cherating. While preparing the orders from the diverse customers, she engaged in small talks which led to who, what, when and where. By listening to their conversations, one is drawn, albeit unwittingly, into their dramatic little world; who are involved in the latest road accidents, who are tying the knots, etc. Alas, no tittle-tattle on local or national politicians.

A group of small boys and girls stopped by to order their breakfast of nasi lemak, nasi dagang and nasi minyak, with their specific likes and dislikes ”Jangan boh timun”; “Hok saye, boh telo mata kebau”; “nasi dagang lauk ikang, bukang ayang”; etc etc and concluded with a collective “Sipang dulu Cik Dah. Kite nok gi pata belake”. Mak Cik Dah, noticing an unfamiliar face among the kids, asked “Ni anok sape?” and his cheeky friend tartly replied “Anak Bangla”. Makcik Dah told him off “Sedaq ngata oghang teh. Kena keja anjing kak pata baghu pade muko”.

Then a group of lithe young surfers parked their car, and ordered their breakfast to be consumed at the stall. Although they hardly look Malaysian, but they all spoke in Terengganu Malay. The one with the darkest complexion and Bob Marley hairdo wore a t-shirt that screams “Horror unleashed, Terror unmatched. The ultimate in human agony”. Mak Cik Dah asked them “Tak main ombak pagi ni?”.

After serving them, Mak Cik Dah asked her assisitant “Ah sudoh la weh. Tok ingat budok-budok hok gi pata tadi orda lauk gapo”. Her assistant with lips painted so garishly, just shook her head.

Before continuing our journey to Kuantan, my other family members had their breakfast at Mak Cik Dah’s happening stall too, whilst I was busy doing tawaf round and round the stall, like a spinning wheel.

Dreaming of Morocco

Selamat Menyambut 1-Muharam 1430H to all, from all of us.

"... sesunguhnya pada tahun baru ini aku memohon daripada engkau perlindungan daripada nafsu amarah yang sentiasa mendorong ke arah kejahatan dan melalaikan aku dengan perkara yang tidak berfaedah daripada mendekati diri kepada engkau ..."

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Short Visit to Terengganu

The month of December is constantly filled with travel, lots of travel. On the second day of Raya Korban we drove to Kota Bharu. It was a Tuesday and a public holiday in Kelantan, like all the other Malay states of Perlis, Kedah and Terengganu. The traffic was surprisingly light. The damn famous White House cafe was not opened for business, and so we had our drink and snack at McD. On the top floor of McD, a few of the customers were simultaneously having their meals and surfing the internet .

The following day, we took the coastal road to Kuala Terengganu. which was almost a repeat of the trip we made last year to attend the riveting Monsoon Cuppa, and saw the late Datuk Razali Ismail there who we later found out was a neighbour of Mama’s Tok Ayah in Kuala Berang. Our first stop was Kuala Besut to enquire about the speedboat services to Pulau Perhentian but there were none at this time of the year as it was monsoon season.

Next, we stopped by the roadside stall at Rhu Sepuluh beach for a satisfying bite of the crunchy seafood fried in batter. We then checked out The Aryani Resort in Merang, and the place is secluded and really deserted. We did not see a single soul dining or sunbathing there. We spent the night in Kuala Terengganu at a brand new hotel overlooking the glittering Crystal Mosque by the Terengganu River. The iconic Burj-Al-Arab-Jumeirah-look-alike hotel is owned by a major plantation company whose Chairman is a politician from Terengganu. Our dinner at an almost full house restaurant in Jalan Hiliran, not very far from the hotel, consists of nasi minyak, rojok and laksa Terengganu.

The next day was spent mainly in the vicinity of Masjid Zainal Abidin, Istana Maziah and Bukit Puteri, which are  featured in the best seller Growing Up in Trengganu, and at the newly opened Taman Tamadun Islam (TTI). Surprise, surpise, we actually spent almost four hours wandering aimlessly around TTI. Of all the 21 iconic Islamic monuments from around the world built in the Edutainment Park on Pulau Wan Man, we decided to spend more time at the Masjidil Haram and the Taj Mahal.

My siblings opted to cycle from one mini monument to another, but we chose to ride on the tram. We overheard one elderly lady passenger telling another in local dialect: “Tepak ni best. Dok pahang bak pe oghang kutuk”. Papa noticed that the developer left a few matured trees on the small island untouched. Before we left Terengganu for Cherating, my parents made sure I had my first taste of beronok, a bright red sago pudding coated with grated coconut. I loved the small portion Mama gave me as it is so like strawberry.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Scrapblogging @ Belum Rainforest Resort

We are now in this speck of a man-made island which is surrounded by man-made Lake Temenggor with Gerik in Perak to the West and Jeli in Kelantan to the East. Pulau Banding is home to the Belum Rainforest where the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, blooms, the extinct Sumatran rhinoceros roams and large flocks of hornbills can be spotted. Papa made a brief stop for the obligatory teh tarik (and scrapblogging, needless to say) before continuing the next leg of our journey via the scenic and tollfree East-West highway to Mama’s kampong in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan to celebrate Raya and Korban with all the folks there.

Papa remembers when he first travelled on the East-West highway in the early 1980s, during his A-Levels break and after his family has just moved to Kedah from Kelantan in 1981, the highway was closed to public between dusk to dawn, for safety reason. But now the highway has unrestricted access, and other attractions for the road users. For a brief history on Banding and the Temenggor Basin, please read here, here and here.

To all who celebrate Aidil Adha, Selamat Menyambut Aidil Adha 1429H dan Selamat Berkorban, from all of us.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cameron Highlands - Now and Then

The opening line of Joget Malaysia “Dato Panglima pergi membajak, Ke Tanah Rata senja pulangnya” echoed in Papa’s head as the sight of the ubiquitous sellers plying their agricultural produce by the roadside stalls became more commonplace as we approached the principal town in the cool hilly resort of Cameron Highlands.

And immediately after we passed the main thoroughfare in the town centre, we were greeted by the unforgettable sight of an imposing pre-WWII colonial building perched on the hill overlooking the vibrant town centre. It was once a British Military Hospital, providing services largely for the British Army personnel, but now converted to a primary Convent school for the local kids. The exquisite building, at times enveloped in misty vapour, does not look out of place, even in the cobbled streets of Chester or Sandringham.

We were here in Tanah Rata last weekend to bridge silaturahim with the families of Pak Ngah’s girlfriend who are the early residents of Kampung Taman Sedia. Kampung Taman Sedia aptly got its name when a group of pioneering settlers discovered that all the essential herbal plants like serai, kunyit, lengkuas, pandan, etc. were already planted when they first arrived here during the period of The Malayan Emergency (i.e. war against communism) in the late 1940s. Were these herbs planted by the Orang Bunian?

Pak Ngah is Mama’s younger and only brother. Our entourage includes Tok Ayah and Mama’s siblings and brother-in-laws from Kelantan and uncles and aunties who are living in Kuala Lumpur. Mama’s relatives in Kuala Berang could not attend the majlis menghantar tanda, a ceremony to mark the engagement of Pak Ngah and his girlfriend whom he has known for many years. We brought with us several trays of hantaran (gifts), including the
engagement ring for the bride-to-be.

After the doa selamat, the spokesman for the bride-to-be asked our delegates our purpose in coming here, as a formality. Pak Teh, our spokesman, peppered his reply with flowery words like tanda ikatan, kumbang and bunga di Taman Sedia. After our indirect expression of interest through the usage of metaphors was understood, the tray containing the ring, as a marker of engagement, was presented. The families of the bride-to-be happily accepted it, and Pak Ngah’s girlfriend is now officially his tunang (fiancĂ©e). The representatives of the two families then discussed the preferred date for the wedding and the terms for the bride settlement and exchange, highlighting specific requirement such as hantaran serba satu. Alas, no pantun-memantun were exchanged. Papa had this little pantun in mind to wrap up the ceremony, but decided to keep it to himself:

Dato Panglima pergi membajak, Ke Tanah Rata senja pulangnya, Alhamdulillah kedua keluarga telah sepakat, Semoga ikatan silaturahim kekal selama-lamanya.

When it was time to menyarung cincin, Mama, Mak Teh, Cik Yin and Mak Su were visibly teary. This role of placing the ring on the hand of the bride-to-be is normally performed by the groom’s mother, but Tok Ma has left us to rest in eternal peace in August 2007. Wan Cu, Tok Ayah’s younger sister, did the honour. After it was over, the mother of the bride-to-be congratulated her eldest daughter “Tahniah Kak Long” and they were in tears too, but of immense joy.

A sumptuous lunch was then served. Later that afternoon, we took the 2km narrow and precipitous road to the Sungei Palas Boh Tea Estate, and were duly rewarded with breathtaking vista of rolling hills carpeted with manicured tea bushes. Visitors can enjoy fine views of the undulating valleys while sipping tea and nibbling assorted cakes and snacks at the spanking new tea centre. Before returning to Kubang Pasu, we stopped by at Wan Long's and Tok Long's cottage in Tapah.

Cameron Highlands is special in many ways. Thirteen years ago, Mama and Papa spent their perfect, albeit slightly delayed, honeymoon here. They only had each other then, as there were no blogs and adorable kids clamouring for their attention. And this time, with an enlarged group of five, no prizes for guessing who is the centre of attention. And right here in Cameron Highlands, I had my first taste of the dainty strawberries and could finish the full cup sekali hadap.

Friday, November 28, 2008

From Blogger to Scrapblogger

This morning, slightly over one month after he stumbled across scrapblog in Kak Teh’s choc-a-bloc blog, Papa is fiddling with that creative thingy which was launched nearly 2 years ago. He rummaged through the family photographs taken in Cambridge, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, St. Andrews, Cornwall, Lake District, Stoke-on-Trent, Cardiff, Bath, Cotswold, Blackpool, Brighton, Bournemouth, Norwich, Leamington Spa and of course London, to name some of the fine cities they had visited in the UK during their stay in Coventry from 1997 to 2001.

After several attempts, he managed to figure out how to embed the scrapblogs with this post. These are a couple of UK scrapblogs he has designed so far. Alas, you won’t see me in any of them. But not for long, I hope. With Air Asia new KL-London services, more people can now fly to Europe. Yay!

UPDATE: At 10.30 pm, Papa has just completed a third scrapblog, which incidentally is my personal favourite - Day Out With Thomas.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Unloved Planter's Bungalow in Jerai Estate (Harvard)

Yesterday, on our way to visit Opah, Papa stopped at the Harvard Golf and Country Club, which is only 10 minutes' drive away from Opah's place. Papa was curious to see the bungalow that is briefly profiled in the delightful coffee table book The Planter's Bungalow. It was once owned by the Malayan American Plantations Ltd, the only US plantation company in the Malay Peninsula. At the time the book was published in 2007, it was occupied by the staff of the golf club.

In a brief span of less than two years, so much has changed for the worse. The bungalow lays abandoned, but the old trees near it are still standing tall with the leaves on the creeping branches and lush foliages of the epiphytes providing a welcoming shade. Papa went inside the dilapidated bungalow. It is in such a terrible state of neglect. He only saw the living hall and did not have the heart to see the kitchen, and the bedrooms upstairs. But he can imagine the views of the graceful Mount Jerai from the bedroom balcony.

What can be done to restore the hitherto low profile bungalow to its former glory? Surely its owner (a deep pockets corporation?) can think of a suitable Corporate Social Responsibility project. Perhaps, it can be converted to a People's Restaurant with BBQ facilities for the public at its magnificent sprawling lawn overlooking Mount Jerai.

Note: In July 1925, 6,300 acres known as the Harvard Estates, were purchased in Kedah, Malaya. United States Rubber Plantation ran these estates under a subsidiary known as the Malayan-American Plantations Ltd.(MAP),which was incorporated into the Federated Malay States (FMS) in 1920. These acquisitions and the cost of their development were financed by the income from United States Rubber Company plantations in Sumatra, which by 1919 had the largest rubber plantations in the world.
Extracted from Yacob, Shakila. Model of Welfare Capitalism? The United States Rubber Company in Southeast Asia, 1910-1942

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Picnic and Feast @ Bujang Valley

The picturesque country road to Bujang Valley, with green emerald paddy field, and the imposing blue Mount Jerai.
Tupah Recreation Park - my territory.

Tupah Recreation Park - encroaching the Big Boys and Sisters territory.

Anjung Muara in the villagey Tanjung Dawai - celebrating seafood dinner of lala in chilli and oyster sauce, steamed crab with lemon grass, grilled red fish, stir-fried baby kailan with salted kurau and teochew paste, and crunchy deep-fried squid in batter served with spicy sauce.

The soul of Malaysia probably resides in Bujang Valley, or Lembah Bujang as it is more affectionately known to the locals, opined the award winning travel writer Gavin Young. In Malaysia: Heart of South-east Asia, he categorically wrote:

“I am certain it is hovering very happily under Mount Kedah where Kamaruddin tends his ancient temples among whistling birds and rushing waterfalls.”

Yesterday, my family made a short visit to that place where the soul of Malaysia is crouching, according to the famous author of Slow Boat to China. Leaving Kubang Pasu at 4.30 pm, we first took the North South highway. From the Alor Setar South exit, we took the almost unbending country road that passes through the never-ending panorama of lush emerald-green paddy fields against the majestic backdrop of Gunung Jerai (also known as Mount Jerai or Kedah Peak). The road then snakes through little towns such as Yan, Singkir and Merbok.

The Lembah Bujang Archeological Museum which has received more than 100,000 visitors so far this year was already closed by the time we approached the site, so we headed straight to the nearby Tupah Recreation Park. When Papa dipped my feet into the refreshingly cold and surprisingly clear stream, I was not intimidated at all. Rather, I took to it like duck to water. However, Papa soon noticed my discomfort after submerging my feet inside the icy cold water, and water splashing with gay abandon, for 20 minutes or so. He quickly took me out of the water for Mama to towel me dry and put on my brother’s old clothing, for our (or my rather) next fun activity. Just when we were about to leave the place, we heard rustling noise in the branches above, and by the time we reached our car, we saw a group of monkeys rummaging through the rubbish bags left by picnickers, looking for scraps.

From the picnic spot we drove to Tanjung Dawai for fresh seafood dinner at Anjung Muara, the most popular eateries among the lot. All the seafood that we ordered turned out to be exceedingly delicious. It was fine dining, no doubt. Alas, it was not refined dining. I took the water splashing experience a bit too far, and attempted to splatter the juicy lala and crab with ladles and all. They all had to find other ingenious ways to keep me entertained and amused throughout the dinner.

For more information on Bujang Valley, please click here, here and here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Today is the start of the long school holiday. Mama and my brother deserve a long relaxing break after working so hard over the last few months. Papa also has 22 days of paid leave still unutilised for this year. Since everyone is in a jolly mood, it looks like we are going to be doing a lot of travelling leading up to the New Year 2009.

On Thursday before the holiday, my brother made my parents proud by getting excellent result in the UPSR public examination. There are 46,640 other students all over the country who obtained straight As like him. In Kedah, the three top schools based on the most number of students with straight As are SJKC Keat Hwa in Alor Setar, SK Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin in Kubang Pasu and SK Ibrahim in Sungai Petani. My brother’s school, which is named after the grandfather of our Father of Modern Malaysia, is no longer one of the State’s premiere schools, which is rather sad really.

After he got back from school, his former Standard One to Three classmates from SK Bandar Baru Darulaman came over and later they all cycled to the eaterie by the murky river near our house to celebrate their exam success.

To kick off the holiday, on Friday we made a day trip to Penang, and had a jolly good time at the cinema. My siblings watched Madagascar 2, whilst my parents and I watched Wayang, and we were the only audience in Box 4 for the 4.30pm show. And that was a shame really because the movie is good, albeit the dialogue is almost exclusively in Kelantanese. It tells the story of Pok Awe, who keeps the dying art of wayang kulit alive in a quaint little kampong by the sea. Together with his wife, they raise up two orphaned kids, Awi and Melor, who have not only developed a special affinity with the fine art and each other, but are special in their own ways. Awi, the blind boy, is able to “melihat tanpa memandang” and Melor, the girl with sengau voice, later surpasses Pok Awe in the intricate craft of puppet-making.

The acting by the main casts is superb all-around. Particularly Ida Nerina, Best Actress at the 13th Malaysian Film Festival in 1997 for Layar Lara, who plays the loyal and serene wife of Pok Awe to the hilt. She is amazingly versatile as a Kelantanese Mak Cik and gorgeous without any make up. Papa chuckled when she uttered do-oh. Mama chuckled too at some other instances.

Unfortunately the movie has its fair share of cringe moments. The most glaring is the brief but unnecessary cameo appearance by the producer. The silly antics shown by the UiTM undergraduates during the fine art lectures given by Pok Awe, Melor and Awi are too much to bear. Their blur and terpingga-pingga (bewildered) looks are irritating, to say the least, and dredge the awful memory of Cinta Antara Benua.

One of the subtle messages that Wayang exudes is this: Do not be fooled by the lebai appearance (or tudung lingkup for that matter). The holier than thou appearance may be all wayang.
Note: Wayang kulit is a shadow puppetry play theatre. The two-dimensional shadow puppet is crafted from cow or buffalo hide and is gently presses on the translucent screen. The light bulb suspended behind the white cloth screen emanates a bright glow to project the shadows of the puppets on the screens. The shadow master cum storyteller, or tok dalang, conducts the whole show from behind the screen by sitting cross-legged and reciting the tale by moving the figures to the sounds of drums, gongs and flutes that, at dramatic moments, rise to a crescendo. Hearing the storyteller change his voice to suit the different characters is one of the highlights of the show. The puppet characters and stories are usually adapted from ancient epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, and thus the art is often associated with Hinduism. In 2003, UNESCO recognized wayang kulit as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. There has been call by Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, a spiritual leader and the present Chief Minister of Kelantan to “mewayangkulitkan” local personalities such as Tok Kenali, and perhaps Tok Janggut.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hajj Akbar 1427H

Children Enjoying Ice Cream After the Gruelling Tawaf and Sa'ee

Children None the Worse for Wear and Tear

As Malaysian pilgrims started leaving for the Holy land beginning last week, Papa’s mind constantly wanders off to that singularly absorbing, overwhelming and uplifting experience that happened nearly two years ago. The year 2006 was about to draw its curtain, and Mama had settled down into the second trimester of her pregnancy.

The family was about to embark on what is dubbed as “the once in a lifetime journey”. At 20+ weeks pregnant, and after consulting widely among the gynaecologists in several hospitals in Riyadh, Mama felt assured of the fact that the risk of miscarriage was considerably reduced during the middle trimester. I was comfortably ensconced inside Mama’s tummy – and could twirl like a little astronaut, and not tightly crammed into a ball, inside her. As Mama was not lumbering towards the finishing line yet, so to speak, Papa also felt pretty confident to bring along my brother and sister, who were respectively 10 and 7 then, for this gruelling but rewarding spiritual journey.

My family joined the Malaysian Embassy Riyadh Hajj Group, led by Ustaz Hassan Abdul Kadir of Patani, who has been residing in Saudi Arabia for more than 20 years and is co-owner of the Mutiara Malaysian Restaurant in Riyadh. The group comprised mostly of staff from Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad who were constructing the swanky Al-Faisal University campus, designed by Hijjas Kasturi Associates, who also designed the exquisite 38-storey hour glass HQ of the Lembaga Tabung Haji (Pilgrim's Fund Board) in Kuala Lumpur.

A few weeks before the pilgrimage, they attended Hajj classes conducted by Ustaz Hassan at the Ambassador’s Villa in the charming Diplomatic Quarter, which is not far from where they lived. Essentially, during the classes, intending pilgrims were drilled on the rites of performing Hajj according to the Quran and Sunnah; what is Rukun and Wajib, what is Haram during ihram, the need to pay dam, the different types of hajj - ifrad, tamattu and qiran, and the realities and what to expect in Arafat, Makkah, Mina and Muzdalifah.

Alhamdulillah, they were so grateful that they could perform the Hajj with millions other pilgrims from around the world smoothly and witness the greatest gathering of humankind on planet earth. The tawaf around the Kaabah amidst a sea of humanity stood out as it symbolises unity in diversity - race, age, gender, language and culture comingle perfectly without any notions of superiority (or ketuanan, as some persistently insist).

In short, the 7-day Hajj journey can be distilled as follows. The group left Riyadh on December 27, slept in Mina – the Tent City the following day, and continued sleeping at the same venue until January 3. And during their stay, they observed the rituals of Wukuf in Arafat (which happened to be on a Friday), stoning the three Jamrats, circumambulating the Kaabah, walking briskly between the foothills of Safa and Marwah, and tahallul. On the day of the Eid-al-Adha, December 30, many Muslims were outraged when Saddam Hussein was hanged by the American regime in Iraq.

To all the Guests of Allah this season, may your Hajj be accepted by Him, and please remember us in your deepest prayers at Arafat.

For a complete narrative of the journey written by a member of the Hajj group, please read here.

A Pictorial Journey:
1. Days and the Night Before ...

Hajj classes at the Ambassador's Villa, The meeting place in Riyadh prior to departure, The exterior and interior of the bus, First stopover.

Day 1: Ihram at Miqat and our camp in Mina (8 Zulhijjah)

Day 2: Wukuf in Arafat (9 Zulhijjah)

Day 3: Stoning Jamrat Aqabah (10 Zulhijjah - Eid-al-Adha)

Day 4: Tawaf Ifadah and Sa'ee (11 Zulhijjah)

Last 3 days: Winding Down in Mina, Stoning the Jamrats and Tahallul