Friday, August 7, 2009

Although the weather has been much cooler recently, we decided to stay in town today and go to the Museum of Islamic Art as Derek had only been there for a short time and he wanted to see more of the museum. I think it will take a few more trips for him to see it all. It was hard to get him away from his seat in front of the huge fountain as he was enjoying sitting in the spray, getting cooled off! Some friends went on the desert trip this weekend after it was cancelled last weekend as it was too dangerous to go. It had been really hot and humid, plus there had been a sandstorm and you could hardly see the buildings out of our window. Really though, I haven't found the heat too bad for the last while, although I am told this has been a really cool summer. A bit earlier in the day I had gone back to the silk shop in the area where all the workers congregate on a Friday. This time we found the place in a complete mess as the block near the shop is apparently going to be torn down. The little tailor shops are all moving to another part of town and the place where I get my threads etc. said they are turning off the electricity today. This place is certainly in a state of flux! I had read about it in the newspaper but hadn't realized it was to be quite so soon.

I have been interested recently in all the different styles of woven designs found in the Islamic culture - the similar design is found on windows, doors etc. in fact you find it everywhere. So this time I went to the museum, I focused on looking for the different types of this design and on this little box it looks almost similar to a celtic design.

This is a closeup of a door and the design has 12 points, although they are not really points, the windows of the mosque I put in the last blog had 10 and you often see 8. I tried sewing one and it actually is a continuous line if you sew it in a certain way. Something for me to explore further.

The same design is found on the circular light found in the museum - very modern, but using the same ancient design, using 8 this time. It always forms a star in the centre and you often see the same type of star on pottery or tiles. By the end of the day, my ankle was starting to complain, but it is definitely on the mend and the swiming I have been doing seems to be helping.

If the temperature stays down next Friday, we are thinking of doing more of a day trip somewhere as it has been a while since we have wanted to risk getting stuck in the heat. Pretty soon we will be off for our holiday and when we come back we will be in the middle of Ramadan. Everyone is getting ready for it and the grocery store is full of all kinds of dates; fresh, dried, honeyed, you name it. There is also a huge display of nuts and all kinds of ingredients for cooking. I understand after the fast during the day, the meal in the evening becomes a party and people stay up really late. At the end of Ramadan, Eid there are parties and gifts etc. The mall is decorated with giant swags of fabric in maroon, like the flag, with giant gold tassels. I understand there will be spectacular lights in the town centre, and during the evenings there are tents set up along the corniche serving food and there are firework displays by the water. Should be an interesting time.
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