It was the last weekend of January. The weather was cool, the air was dry and the wind was strong enough to wash away the usual foul stench of decaying sea matters that’s usually lingering around the area on hot humid days. It was the perfect day for a quick morning jog on the esplanade along Jeddah floating mosque, Masjid Al Rahma.
We parked our vehicle at the north end of the walkway and started walking, though jogging was not really my top priority this time. It was a part, but I really intend to take photos of the area that day. So I told everyone not to wait for me in case I won’t be able to catch up, but they still kept stopping for me all throughout.
Not long after we started walking did I realize I could have someone cosplay as the Little Mermaid Ariel and recreate the scenes. I was imagining a red-haired woman (in full abaya, of course so the red hair won’t really matter) perched on the huge rocks, belting “Part of Your World” while the waves crush endlessly behind her. And just like the mermaid’s hair, the woman’s Arabian garb won’t get water-soaked as well.
Volumes of seaweeds were being washed ashore by the strong water current. A worker was endlessly taking truckloads of the severed vegetation at bay. But everyone else was enjoying watching the waves breaking on the shore.
A helicopter was hovering around the area since we arrived and I was lucky to be able to capture a close-up photo. It was a two-seater open-top helicopter, don’t know what it’s called though. The guy on the back seat was busy tinkering with his mobile phone and we suspect he is searching for a strong mobile network coverage.
Further away, a man was so excited to pull the reels of his fishing rod, expecting a big catch. Only to be disappointed later for, instead of a fish, a huge bunch of seaweeds was what his fishing hook caught.
Seagulls were competing for the pieces of bread being thrown to the water by a woman in her abaya, Saudi women’s traditional clothing.
On a spot near the stone railing, a large family was eagerly waiting for the huge waves to come crashing on the barricades. Their clothes were completely sea-soaked but they seemed to be enjoying every moment. I was trying to take a photo of them with the biggest wave but the man of the family noticed me and gave me a look that speaks volumes so I had to pretend to be photographing the pigeons, instead.
Oblivious with the waves crashing the boulders in front of them, two women sitting in their director’s chairs must have been there all morning. Or that was what their source of marvel. A couple were standing on the shore, enjoying the same view.
A mother was taking photos of the sea with her smartphone, while reprimanding her two young daughters for standing so close to the water, which was the very same spot she was standing on and she was wearing longer clothes. Meanwhile, two young boys were cheerfully soaking their pants in the salt water without anyone scolding them.
There are the usual scenes that await you whenever you’d visit the area. As noted above, our visit to the floating mosque happened on a cool, windy day but the scenes almost never change even on hot humid days. My question though is how are the locals able to enjoy the above-mentioned activities when putrid smell coming from the seaside is almost unbearable.
Jeddah floating mosque, also known as Masjid Al Rahmah and Fatima al Zahra Mosque, is located in the north coast of the Red Sea in Jeddah. It is a fine piece of modern Islamic Architecture and is very popular among tourists.
The floating mosque isn’t really floating, though. It is built on a strong foundation and is supported by several columns above water. During high tides, the mosque seems afloat when the water level touches the base of the mosque, which explains the name.