The Holy Mosque in Mecca:
The photo shows the crowds of Islamic faithful performing hajj:
At the center of the heritage area was the Al Arsa Souk with rustic coral-stone walls and wooden walls. We had walked by it earlier today but we decided to wander inside after visiting the Museum of Islamic Civilization. The souk's winding alleyways were lined with small antique and other shops selling souvenirs and some unusual curios. The market was one of the oldest popular markets in the UAE. We just wandered through for a few minutes before heading to the new Sharjah Heritage Museum.
The Western term Bedouin is actually a double plural; in the Arabic language the people we know as Bedouin refer to themselves as "Bedu". The Bedu were able to survive in the harsh desert environment by leading a nomadic lifestyle and by using local resources. Camels provided the Bedu with both sustenance and transportation. Men used rifles, falcons and a particular breed of dogs to hunt gazelles, hares and birds. They also looked after domestic animals by leading them to grazing land. Women used animal hair to make tents, carpets and crafts and also made dairy products. The Bedu' primary sources of income came from selling livestock, wool products, charcoal, dry buttermilk and tree honey.
Emirati Taboos and Etiquette: I don't ever remembering visiting a museum where there was information on taboos and etiquette. A taboo is something that a culture has determined to be sacred or forbidden. Taboos are often based on morals and religion while etiquette is based on social behavior. The museum described the consequences of poor etiquette or breaking a taboo may be embarrassment, shame or social exclusion.
In Sharjah (or possibly throughout the UAE?), girls aren't supposed to wear makeup in the same way married women do. It is inconsiderate to eat from the middle of a shared plate; instead people must start at the edge of the plate closest to them. If a person is upset and refuses to join the family for dinner, they will be given a cooking pot with a large rock inside! Boy, how I wish Steven and I knew of this umpteen years ago when our four children were young!
On the first or third day, the father chooses the child's name based on the names of family members, religious figures or desired characteristics. A celebratory meal, consisting of two animals slaughtered for a boy and just one for a girl, and head shaving commonly take place when the baby is seven days old.
The baby's hair is weighed and the weight is equivalent to the amount of silver, gold or money that the family will donate to the poor. During this time, a softened date is rubbed along the newborn's gums according to Islamic teachings.
Muslims are buried soon after they die, normally within 24 hours. Before being buried, the body is washed by members of the same gender, either by a family member or by someone whose job it is to prepare bodies. Dead bodies are wrapped in a clean, white and perfumed shroud and buried in a cemetery with the head pointing toward Mecca. Before burial, funeral prayers are performed, typically inside a mosque. Only men are allowed to enter cemeteries. Elderly people usually have their own shroud stored away for when they die. However, they will often give it away if someone dies unexpectedly.
In the past, people's wealth was often measured by the jewelry they owned. Instead of keeping money in banks, people invested in silver, gold, pearls and precious stones.