Umrah in Ramadan

First of all Ramadan Mubarak !

I always end up missing Gergion but it’s ok, there’s always next year…. or is there?

My husband and I flew to Makkah last week to make Umrah. Alhamdu lillah I hope all Muslims on this earth are able to make Umrah or Hajj once in their lifetime. We landed in Jeddah and drove to Makkah.

By the way, I highly suggest that you take a taxi, careem or Uber to Makkah because if you rent a car you will be stuck at the checkpoint as they don’t allow rentals in Makkah. We took Careem, it was fast, friendly and efficient.

Once we got into Makkah, we checked into our hotel room. We stayed in Al Kiswah Towers, it doesn’t have direct access to the Masjid Al Haram but they do provide loads of busses that can take you any time of the day. The hotel was really nice inside and the service was great. We had a view of the city of Makkah.

The hotels right by the masjid are very expensive but the again you have foot access to the masjid. Our cost was about 700 riyals.

We decided to make Umrah after Asr. Luckily we were Inside most of the time because me, fasting, and heat don’t do well together.

As soon as I entered the masjid, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. The view was beyond spectacular. It is actually indescribable.

It’s amazing how so many people from different countries can come together in peace under one roof. This is the Ummah that we all strive for.

We walked around the Kabba 7 times and then back and forth from Staffa and Marwa 7 times.

Alhamdu lillah

By the end of the day, my calves and feet were killing me. Thai goes to show that I am very unfit.

We went back to the hotel after Maghreb and had amazing Indian takeout that was plentiful for only 50 riyals.

The next day, which was Thursday, we slept in, rested, and went to the masjid around asr to pray and then did some shopping at the clock tower mall.

We broke our fast at the masjid and I was crazy as to say that I wanted to go back to the mall and get Starbucks. There were SOOOO many people on the grounds that that time, shoulder to shoulder. We finally got to Starbucks and thank God that I did because that coffee was soo good it helped me stay up all night so that we could catch our plane the next morning.

It was an unforgettable experience but there is one thing that bothered me a bit. People would bring their small children, even babies and make Umrah. Ma Shaa allah they will be rewarded for that but for me, I could never do that, it was hard enough to even walk through the crowds of people and I could see those children having to suffer holding on tightly so they wouldn’t get lost. I would wait until my kids are at least double digits to make Umrah with them. That’s just me and my opinion. Everyone is different.

I would like to know your Umrah story, comment below and share your experience.

This is Makkah many years ago…

Makkah now….

Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family.

Ma Salama

A Day Full of Food

Oh my goodness!

Today was a day full of food.

My son made french toast for breakfast.

We usually just whip up eggs, dip the bread in them and fry them in a pan and eat them with Ketchup. (No sugar involved)

For lunch, I made muttabak with meat, onions and cheese. It’s really easy to make when you have the muttabak leaves already made for you. All you have to do is fill and fry them.

I’ll give you my recipe in another post.

For dinner, I made Waraganab. Waraganab is my all time FAVORITE Saudi food. It’s so comforting and delicious. It takes along time to cook but it’s so worth it at the end.

I’ll also give you my recipe in another post.

My kids made Gluten Free, Vegan Peanut Butter balls for dessert.

It’s really easy to make. Here’s the recipe:

1 cup (really good ) peanut butter

2 tsp vanilla powder or essence

1/2 cup oat flour (you can use gluten free)

5 tsp maple syrup or agave syrup or date syrup or honey (honey is NOT vegan)

*I used agave syrup in the recipe*

*I also used Vegan chocolate protein powder from IHerb*

1) Mix the peanut butter with the vanilla, syrup, and oat flour and any other ingredients you may want to add.

2) form into balls. It will be soft and your hands will get sticky so don’t worry.

3) refrigerate the balls for about 30 min. Until they are a bit harder and then form them into balls again. ENJOY !!

Today was different because I don’t usually cook a lot during the day. My housekeeper makes food for my kids (breakfast and lunch) and I make dinner. I also cook on the weekends as well.

I was in the kitchen all day and sometimes that is frustrating because I don’t get to relax and spend time with my kids.

I also had to have a shower and wash my hair again because my kitchen smelled like fried food almost all day. ๐Ÿ˜ซ

I remember your trick Amal, boil cinnamon and cloves with water and it did take away some smell but my older son didn’t like the cinnamon smell that much so I burnt bakhoor and he enjoyed that.

When I’m in the mood to cook, I will spend all day in the kitchen but when I’m not, don’t expect anything from me ๐Ÿ˜….

How about you?

How do you feel about cooking?

What’s your favorite dish to cook?

COMMENT below ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

Ma Salama,

Carmen

Saudi Vegetable Market

Hello to all of you, I hope you’re having a good weekend so far.

We went to to the veggie market today.

We like to buy our veggies and some fruit from the market and farms because it’s fresh and from local suppliers.

You can find lots of different fruit and vegetables here and Al Ahsa seems to specialize in Watermelons ๐Ÿ‰ because you see people selling them everywhere.

I took some pics from the car to show you a glimpse of what it looks like, it’s not proper for a woman to walk around so many men and you don’t see any women here anyways, just men. It’s kind of strange, because I’m so used to picking my own food and groceries because I’m the one who cooks the food, but here, you will see a lot of men doing the grocery shopping and outside domestic duties. Yes, of course woman do it, but you will see a majority of men doing a woman’s job.

If you’re ever in town, I would recommend going to the market for your vegetables.

Happy weekend and Jummah Mubarak!

Ma Salama.

Carmen

Happy 88th birthday KSA!

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Dear Saudi Arabia,

Over the year and a half that I have spent with you, you have been good to me.

Your peopleโ€™s hospitality has amazed me.

Your food has made me gain some weight ย which obviously means that itโ€™s great.

Your land is unique and beautiful.

Your life is simple and pleasent.

I hope that you will continue to allow me to enjoy your beautiful country.

Happy Birthday

Sincerely,

Carmen

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