Al-Rajajil, the Stonehenge of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia encloses heritage, history, culture, and ancient archaeological sites. Placed near the ancient oasis town of Sakakah in al-Jawf province in northwestern Saudi Arabia, mysterious finds have been discovered, a collection of some 50 groups of stone columns erected called al-Rajajil standing stones that represent a very enigma that very few have heard of….

Khamerernebti II, the Pyramid of the Queen

After visiting all three pyramids of the Giza plateau, I was absolutely struck by the majesty of the Pyramid of Cheops and by the perfection and, if you can so define it, the refined interior architecture of the Pyramid of Menkaure. For millennia, the Pyramids of the Giza Plateau have observed the historical events flowing…

Bosra, an amazing Syrian heritage

Bosra, (meaning citadel in Aramaic) is an ancient town in southern Syria, close to the border with Jordan. Bosra boasts a prestigious past: it was mentioned in the Egyptian documents 1400 years B.C and it was the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom and capital of the Arabia Province under the Roman Empire at the time…

Al-Nafud, Saudi Arabia Sands

Doughty, Thesiger, and Burton fascinated us with their tales about Arabia and its deserts in their books Travels on Arabia Deserta, Arabian Sands, and Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Makkah. In my library these books are always in the foreground, ready to be read again and again. The desert is the most…

Al-Uqair, by the Uqair Protocol the Modern Saudi Arabia

Al-Uqair, located in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, is an ancient port—the first seaport in the Arabian Gulf, dating back to the Ottomans period but the site’s history extends back at least 4.500 years; it is the gateway to Al-Ahsa from the Arabian Gulf. The importance of Al-Uqair is testified by the fact that…

Unayzah, the “Paris of Najd”

Unayzah is an ancient city located in Central Arabia, in the historical region of Najd, in the south of Al-Qassim province and of the Wadi al-Rummah (Rumma Valley), which is the longest valley on the Arabian Peninsula. Historically, Unayzah was an important stopping point for Muslim pilgrims from Mesopotamia and Persia on their way to…

Ghardaia in the M’zab, the Pentapolis of the desert

I first traveled to Algeria in 1984 on my motorcycle BMW R80GS. I crossed the border between Tunisia and Algeria through the border post of Hazoua, I passed the fascinating town of El Oued, known as “the city of a thousand domes” and reached the city of Ghardaia, stopping there for a few days. Ghardaia,…

Suakin, starting point on the Sudan Hajj Route to Makkah

Suakin, also called Sawakin (Arabic, meaning population), is placed on the Red Sea coast of Sudan and lies in a stunning natural position; it is inscribed on the Sudan tentative list of Unesco as well as on the World Monument Watch list, as evidence to its historical and strategic importance as a trading port and…

Al-Diriyah, where it all began

The Al-Masmak Fortress, (Masmak means a high, strong and thick building), a clay and mudbrick fort located in the center of Riyadh, occupies a place of honor in the history of Saudi Arabia. From a military stronghold in the past, it was converted in 1959 into a museum showcasing one of the most important landmarks…

Zubala, reviving the Darb Zubaydah Hajj Route

Zubala is one of the most important historical villages in the Arabian Peninsula (the word “zubala” literally means a place that keeps water in it). It is an old station on the way from Hijaz to Kufa in which Banu Ghadira, a clan of the Banu Asad tribe, had several strongholds and a mosque. It…