Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Sahara Desert, a few miles outside of Ouargla, Algeria

The Sahara Desert is the world hottest desert and covers an area of thousands of square miles and the average temperature is 109 degrees. Its pretty hot but readers will be surprised to know that 100,000people live in this vast hot desert.There is a thriving oil industry and also a university.

The desert sands have their own beauty and when the sun sets it's breathtakingly beautiful. There is also the Great Arabian desert now green on its edge by Dubai.The Sahara, however, takes the cake as the most beautiful desert.

The peace is now disturbed with militancy, but hopefully, it will pass and the desert will regain its tranquility and timeless peace.
The camel remains the mainstay here a veritable "Ship of the desert"

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Richard Burton was a Famous Visitor to Mecca

A documented visit of the British writer adventurer Sir Richard Francis Burton in 1853 to Mecca looks more like a fairy tale. Burton had spent considerable time in India and had mastered Arabic. In India, he was part of the British Indian army and was a Lieutenant Colonel of the 36th regiment. He is also celebrated as the translator of the Kama Sutra, the Arabian Nights and the Perfumed Garden.

 Burton decided to visit Mecca knowing fully well the dangers involved in visiting Mecca and the holy Kaaba. He disguised himself as an Afghan and traveled to Medina. Burton records that the caravan mostly traveled at night as the day temperature touched 120 degrees.

 Burton entered Mecca twice. The first time he just visited the city, but he came back a week later and entered the quadrangle which is home to the Kaaba.  He was not detected and later he recounted his travels in a book that became a best seller. By no means was he the only non-Muslims who visited Mecca. There are records of 25 European visitors who visited Mecca from 1503-1931, but Burton is the more famous.