Saturday, 23 October 2010

Nassief House trip

Hi Folks,
As you know, on Monday, we will be going to Nassief House in Old Jeddah. What do you already know about the place and what would you like to find out when we go there?

Here's some information I found on the Internet about the house:

Saudi Arabia offers a visitor the rare opportunity of exploring a country where tradition and modernity are still working out how to accommodate one another.

Intriguing outsiders for centuries, it maintains a mystique today because it is so incredibly difficult to visit. Moreover, it is a new nation, created only in 1932, and has transformed itself from a country once roamed largely by bedouin tribes into an oil-producing giant and forced to be reckoned with on the world stage in little over half a century.

The Naseef House is symbolic of this transformation. Situated along the old city of Jeddah's main street, Suq al-Alawi, it is one of the city's most famous houses. The Naseefs are one of Jeddah's old-line merchant clans. The tree depicted in the picture was, as recently as the 1920s, the only tree in all of Jeddah and thus an indicator of the family's wealth and importance. The founder of present-day Saudi Arabia, King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, often stayed in this house when he visited Jeddah.

Once a modest port living mostly off the pilgrim trade, Jeddah has evolved into one of the "Arab world's most important commercial centers. Within its walls, Jeddah occupied just over half a square mile of land. Today it is approximately one thousand times that size.

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