Monday, November 03, 2014

Girls and Baking

Sun, Sept 28, 2014

One of the moments my one and only girl awaiting for.  Her love for baking with her great friends. Alhamdulillah, the bless of living in Saudi  having your children and yourself around with friends who bring lights in you, in good times and bad times.
For is a great bless having wonderful friends all this year who tough and inspire me not only in cooking but bringing up beautiful children.
Jazakallahukhairan Kak Tini and family.  Love her lovely kids which is also great friends to my kids as well.  Boys and girls.  At first, moms was enjoying the cooking class...nasi maghlubi, home made kue teow, bakhlawa and so much more and now the girls with baking.  Usually while the girls bake, the boys got the chance to play :-).
As for this baking class..they are making 'Black and White Wagon Wheel' and pavlova.  The result was MASYAALLAH....beautiful and yummy.

In the making black n white wheel biscuit..
Sweetie Aishah showing her handwork to auntie Jun :-)

Final Outcome....lovely n yummy!!!

When kakak came back home bringing her bakes...everyone was jumping to try.  The comments were "Wow...yummy", "macam choco pie la!", "sedapnye pavlavo".  When mommy taste..."yummy!  Tulis resepi tak?"(did u write the recipe??).  And the answer is "no! Don't worry, nanti kakak mintak"(don't worry,i'll ask later".  Well...its a chance to see each other again...i guess.
Surely the activity will be memorable to the kids and the parents.
May the ukhwah will last till jannah.  
Tq girls! The sweet treats as sweet as you all!

Friday, May 02, 2014



Akhirnya jumpa juga dengan lagu R4BIA untuk Mesir yang dinyanyikan oleh penyanyi dari pelbagai negara beserta sarikata dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Lagu yang menyentuh hati ini pada masa yang sama melambangkan penyatuan dari umat Islam dari seluruh dunia kepada penderitaan rakyat Mesir turut dinyanyikan oleh penyanyi2 dari Palestin, Mesir, Jordan, Turki, Yaman, Lebanon, Syria, Spain, USA dan juga Malaysia.

Marilah kita bersama-sama doakan agar Allah memberi jalan keluar kepada penderitaan saudara seIslam kita di Mesir, dan juga penderitaan umat Islam lain2nya di seluruh dunia.

Terima kasih kepada Mesir Kini yang telah  menghasilkan semula video berserta sarikata ini yang membolehkan kita lebih menghayati lagu yang hebat ini.

RIHLAH 7 : Day 4 -> Duba, Al Dissa

15 Oct 2013



Camping was always fun to the boys. Seems that everyone had a good night sleep. We woke up for our “sahur” around 4.30 am with some leftovers and snacks available. The air was very cold. After Fajr, we decided to continue with our nap while waiting for the sunrise. Seems like everyone had a good night sleep and didn't realize the sun was already up. Only mommy was up caused she was playing with game on iPad while everyone was sleeping...haha (this a secret...trying to break my kids record ;-))!

Once everyone was up, the weather was too cold for a swim. The kids still insist on swimming but we were scared they might catching cold by swimming in the cold morning air. Comparing to the other beaches of Red Sea that we have seen, this one is nice but incomparable to the other beaches that we have seen so far of the red sea.  It is clean and nice but nothing compare to Maqna beaches that we were there yesterday.  After the kids gets to finds some sea shells and stone throwing competition, we decided it is time to pack our tents and heading for Duba.

Our humble camp by the seaside.

The ready made tents for hire.

Throwing stones competition…the boys favorite activity before saying our goodbye

DSC_2404 Pack to go…



On the way to Duba we stop over another historical spot in Tabuk, Al Muwaileh castle.  It is about 45 km before reaching the town of Duba.  The castle is from the Ottoman empire which was built in 968H/1560 AD.  The castle is built on 120,000 square meters surrounded by a protecting wall.  It was strategically built and became a main Hajj station on the highway for the Egyptian pilgrims and it was the largest station on the road.  The castle was build by Sultan Sulaiman the Magnificent.

The castle is very near to the Muwaileh/Muaileh/Muailih (choose any spelling you like, its all referring to the same place :-)) beach.  Even the beach here are very unique with its own beauty.  It is a gorgeous beach with gradated sands and many palm trees. From the crystal clear water, we can see that the beach is partly stony and partly sandy.  As we are catching up time, we couldn't stop for water playing again at this coastal area.  Supposedly we find from the net, there should be a Prophet Mousa (a.s) Water Spring nearby the area but after a drive around, we failed to find one.  So, it is the right time for us continue our journey to Duba.
DSC_2450 In front of fenced Muaileh Castle

DSC_2449Al Muaileh Castle


DSC_2455Side view of Muaileh Castle 

It doesn't take long for us to reach Duba. Duba is a small town and a port city where ferries and ships operate from here for Egypt and Jordan. The Hurgada and Safaga ports of Egypt can be reached within about 3 hours (minimum) by ferry. It is strategically located at the starting point of Gulf of Aqaba that ends at Ellat (Israel) and Aqaba, Jordan. Local citizens describe it as The Pearl of the Red Sea.

It was another great surprised to find such a beautiful town in Saudi Arabia. The small town is very well kept and decorated with varieties of miniatures from seashells, pearls and sea creatures. The port with the masjid on the background gave a spectacular panorama. Bridge, shops, fish souq and boats makes the place looks 'happening'.  We are sure the place would be full of people after Asr as the afternoon was quite a heat when the sun top on your head.  Another place where you don't expect to be in Saudi Arabia! The more we explore the northern, the more we are in love with it.

After driving around the town taking a glimpse of the town surrounding, we continue to our next destination which is Wadi Dissa.

Is this in Saudi? So peaceful, green and clean.

Only see one or two people around…probably because it is Zuhr time..


DSC_2609 DSC_2622 DSC_2623DSC_2613 DSC_2616 DSC_2633 DSC_2634 DSC_2637

This Duba surely have many interesting and unique arch to be seen.

DSC_2632  Another interesting structure, combinations between nature and man-made.

DSC_2642A park on top of a hill overseeing the port…

DSC_2673 Huts in the park

Wadi Dissa

DSC_2713We continue our journey to Wadi Dissa which was another attraction by seeing the beautiful pictures posted on the net. Driving to the place itself was a splendid experience. We felt like driving in the village in our hometown since there were green trees and grasses by the roadsides. Until we reach the end of the road...the real beauty lays down right in front of your eyes. Everyone were excited. This is the best place in Saudi Arabia! We have awarded Wadi Dissa to be number one place in Saudi!

The road leading to Wadi Dissa.

DSC_2787 Mountainous backdrop.

DSC_2729Dissa is a stunning oasis lying in a beautiful plain of sand. It is surrounded by striking sandstone mountains and dramatic peaks. A four-wheel drive vehicle is a must to navigate in deep sand before reaching the entrance of a red sandstone gorge. Unable to control the lust of exploring its beauty, we couldn't resist to make an effort entering the wadi as far as we can.

The soft thick sands were really challenging. We manage to passed the first portion of the entrance where we had to go through small streams and quite big puddle. One side of the high rocky mountains were full of 'art graffiti's. The graffiti's were so obvious until we miss what lays behind it....fresh water comings from the rocks of the mountain! Masyaallah!

Both sides of the hills were covered with papyrus and dates tree which add the green color to the orange, brown rocky mountains. We already fall in love with the beauty. The landscape is like a postcard. The combination of colours were just perfect. Thus, we decided to make an effort to pass through another phase of the soft thick sand. However, we weren't so lucky this time :-(. The moment we wish we didn't dare to proceed..OUR 4WD CAR STUCKED!!!

We have minor gears with us in case of stuck but wasn't hoping of using it. Seems we have to opt for a little more adventure to our trip ;-). Me and hubby start digging sands from under the car to place the slipping mat under the tyre. First attempt...FAIL! Second attempt...FAILED! there's a bit of tense sense in the air. It was already Asr and we are stucked in the sandy Wadi and we're fasting! In about two hours time it will soon gets dark.

We started to ask our son to survey around the area in case we need to camp here if we'll stucked till night. At least there's stream of water for our use. While we were struggling to dig more sands and taking out the air tyre, a 4WD pick-up on its way out stopped. They were two of them and one of them which is the older one was deaf or mute. They used sign language asking whether our car is a 4WD. We nod telling them its an automatic 4WD.

They started to reduce further the tyre pressure for all 4 wheels. The car got stucked more and seems to be hanging on the sand. Without giving up, one of the guy took his gear and attempt to pull the car with their pick-up. They tried a few times and it still failed. One of the guy seems like giving up but the older one insist on trying. Together with hubby they were digging, pulling, pushing and putting every effort they could.

There were 2-3 pick-ups and 4WD passed by us without stopping or even asking, that gave us more pressure since we felt being neglected :-(. Anyhow, what were we expecting, right? Its good enough that these two guys are helping us with all what they had.

As our hopes getting lower and the pressure intensified, came this big Chevrolet Navara pick-up with 3-4 shababs (young Saudi) on their way to camping (with all the usual camping gears) in the wadi and being stopped by the two guys that were helping us.

MasyaAllah, when our hopes almost gone, there is still people that come to our help and put our hopes high again. That's the reality in this life, we should never feel hopeless, especially as a muslim. We have to keep praying and keep trying. After all, we have Allah, the best Helper of all.

With this mighty beast, with one pull… that's it, our car got out from the “sticky” sand, Alhamdulillah...what a great relief! We were so thankful to Allah for the assistance we got. The shababs quickly continuing their way further into the wadi after giving us an advice in Arabic, but we still understand it which is “get one like our pickup, only then can enter the sandy wadi, otherwise no-no with your AWD SUV”. My husband just smiling and nodding at them.

As for the other 2 guys, we tried to gave them some money as a gesture of appreciation for the assistance but they politely refuse.. and asked us to pray for them instead.   MasyaAllah... may Allah bless their sincerity in helping us. 

Stopping by the water spring stream for our Asr prayer…

Full of papyrus grass by the mountain…an experience for the kids getting to know papyrus from their social study lesson…

A bit of the mountain magic…

We turned back and getting out of the wadi and quickly went to find a spot where we could pray for Asr as it is getting late. We took wudhu' from the stream flowing along the road. Very cool and refreshing. It was a meaningful day of Arafah for us.  We remind our kids not to forget making du’a asking blessing for the people who had sincerely help us today and how grateful for everything that has happened to us today.

P1230185 The scenery is just.. amazingly stunning.

DSC_2771 The greens and the mountains..

Now it is time for us to find food to break our fasting.  We have less than an hour to find food. The challenge was not able to see any restaurant on our way here!  Anyhow…at least we had some water, a few box of juice and biscuits.   Since we had our car air tyre releases while back in the sand…now we had to take our time to fill in the air tyre.  As the air pump machine we had could only used for 15 minutes at one time..we had to make four stop to fill in as much air as we can for a decent ride until we reached a petrol station for a proper air tyre filling…which makes longer time for us to get food!

DSC_2786 By the roadside stopping to fill in air tyre

The mountains shimmered like a mirage from inside our car along the way…

After properly filling up the tyre pressure at the first petrol station that we found, we continuing our journey, with a music in our stomach :-). Our drive for tonight will get us out of Tabuk Province which is a lovely province.  If it wasn't that far from Riyadh, surely we would love to come again for a visit.  Tabuk offers so many attractions for anyone who love to explore the kingdom.  From sandy rocky mountains to coastal beaches.  There are more than 10 islands and shores offered by Heqel, Duba and Wajh district. Not to forget on the heritage of historical places right here in Tabuk. So many that we haven't covered though so many that we felt grateful for having the opportunity to visit.  Prophet Muhammad s.a.w in a hadith about Tabuk said, "if you were destined to live a long life you will see in here fields full of vegetation."

Our destination for tonight is Sakaka, one of the hitorical and archelogical city in Jouf province.  From the GPS, it will be another more than two hours drive before we reached Sakaka, which that means another two hours with our starving stomach.  Wow.. what a challenging day for the family.  A day of fasting with great energy to pull out our car out, no bath yet from our camp day, but blessed with a beauty of god’s creation and the beauty of heart.. Subhanallah.

As we reached Sakaka, we bought some foods and directly looking for any nearby hotels that we could found at an acceptable rate.  At least Sakaka gave us a better option compare to other towns we have been thru.  Finally we end up the day with a decent hotel which insist us taking two rooms though actually the four bedded room was big enough for all of us.

All in all, what a day.. another interesting day to be remembered in our life. Tomorrow is Eid-ul-Adha. This is going to be our 6th time spending Eid without our extended family. And in that every Eids, we really missing the air, sounds, feels and looks of Eid in our home country. This is something that we are trading with what we are looking for here. How long we could keep our missing feeling, we will see…  -tw&eth

DSC_2828 1st room: 3 beds room for ladies and kids

DSC_2841 2nd room: 2 beds room for Abah and Abang

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rihlah 7 : Day 3–> Al Ba'ad - Maqna - Sharma

14 October 2013

Al Ba’ad

DSC_2189 It was a long day yesterday and today we are excited to explore another place which is Madaen Shuaib. Any places that relates to all of our beloved prophets always gave a great feeling for us Muslim.
We want our kids to keep on the love and respect to all the prophets deep in their heart...learning a great deal of virtues left by them in spreading the words of Allah.
We never knew there was Madaen Shuaib in Saudi Arabia. When we find there was one from Google Earth....we were excited to get there. The hotel apartment we stayed were only about 5-10 minutes drive to the sites.
At around 9 am, we reached to the area. There was SCTA office in front of the site. After asking the officer inside, we were told to enter the site via the gate opened by the side of the office. DSC_1886
Once enter, seems like SCTA is still constructing the place to make it more convenient for tourist. As we have been to Madaen Salleh, Madaen Shuaib offer some similarities in its design  except smaller in size.
Some info on Madaen Shuaib :
"Madyan-Maghabir Shuaib means 'Small Madein Saleh', and like its namesake further south, Maghair Shuaib has 30 well-preserved and unadorned Nabataean tombs cut into the hill-side. It was an agricultural settlement from 700BH-75H (100BG-550AG) when a 20 year long drought compelled the Nabataean inhabitants to move north to the Fertile Crescent. Al-Bad is an ancient oasis at the end of Wadi Afal which was mentioned by Ptolemy as "Al-Uyaynah". The presence of the tombs and town provide evidence of the continued settlement of different nations in different periods in the oasis when it flourished as a trade and agricultural center." - source

Entrance to Madaein Shuaib…

There were stairs build to ease people in climbing to the caves or tombs. The difference of the tombs just that the room tomb places horizontally compare to Madaein Salleh which is built vertically.  
Madaien Shuiab tombs were comparatively small to Madaein Salleh.  The carving of the tomb are simpler.  Seems there are still recovering more tombs around the area.  Wish SCTA could put up sign boards explaining historical details of the tomb i.e. meaning of the carving, reasons etc.  It would help very much for tourist to appreciate more of the visit.
This visit gave us the opportunity to relay the story of Prophet Shuaib to our kids and a reminder to us as well. Alhamdulillah, we had a book title “The People In The Quran” with us so they can relay the story to what they see in their life. We felt that this will give a bigger impact to them.
We asked our kids to recite the name of 25 prophets that they need to remember in order to know the sequence. The nasheed that they have memorized really is a big fun help.
Some lesson from the story of Prophet Shu’ayb a.s :

A Prophet Shuʿayb was appointed to be a prophet to the people who lived east of Mount Sinai, the people of Midian. The people of this land were said to be especially notorious for cheating others through dishonesty and for idolatory. Shuʿayb's prophecy mainly involved calling the Midianites to the correct path and forbidding them to worship false gods.
He told his people to stop being dishonest in their daily activities. Although he preached and prophesied for a sustained period of time, the majority of the people refused to listen to him. Shuʿayb, however, remained steadfast. He consistently preached powerfully against the wicked, telling them of the punishment that had befallen the sinful before them. Shuʿayb warned the people that their ignorance would lead to the destruction of Midian, giving historical examples of earlier prophets, including Noah, Hud, Saleh and Lot, all of whose people had been destroyed by God.
When the Midianites refused to believe, they were destroyed by a mighty earthquake. Only Prophet Shuʿayb, and his believing companions, were rescued from the thunderous punishment.

Among the tombs….similarities with the design at Madaen Salleh


Some tombs close to one another…


Inside the tomb..


One tomb was with a big hole front below it…not sure what is was for….

A great lesson learned for our kids...Subhanallah. As the place was not that big, it didn't take us long to end the tour. 


Later on we decided to explore Magna...a costal beach not far from Al Ba’ad. We decided to explore another attraction as well near the Maqna beach which is Tayyeb Al Ism Passage. We have seen great pictures from Google Earth for this area but wasn't aware of its name. The brochure really was a big help in clearing out our 'unknowns'.

dolphins roundabout to Magna Dolphin roundabout, marked the road to Magna 

Driving along the beach of Maqna to Tayyeb Al Ism was a great experience. We were speechless witnessing the scenery.  MasyaAllah...we just couldn't believe Saudi Arabia have these kind of places. One side is the blue, green sea view and the other side of road with rocky hills and mountains. The combination of the colors to complete the view was spectacular. Wondering why the Saudi's go far away to find a beauty where they can have it all right here in their country. Opposite of the red sea we can see the mountains of Egypt so clear. Maybe we can swim across to get to Egypt ;-)!

DSC_2013MasyaAllah… blue ocean with mountainous background in front of us, magnificent! 

DSC_2033Nature’s view.. 

We drove straight further up along the coastal beach of Maqna until we met we the signboard of Tayyeb Al Ism Passage. Upon reaching there, our end of road were stop by a National Guard who were guarding the area with a stop post right after Tayyeb Al Ism Passage. So...we do not know where this road end.

[At the beginning we were planning to go to “Scenic View” based on the GPS coordinate that we found in internet. Our assumption was that “Scenic View” is the high ground location like a top of a hill overseeing the Magna beach. But, we were not allowed to go beyond the post guarded by National Guard which leading to the top of the hill. This post situated just in front of the passage “entrance” to Tayyeb Al Ism. So we just settled with Al Ism.]

Tayyeb Ism Tayyeb Al Ism 

P1210929 Back there (where the pick-up is) is the National Guard post

To enter the passage, we drove into very high tall mountains which was just opposite the red sea. In just a few moments you are inside a passage of a stone mountain. MasyaAllah...what a great creation by Allah Almighty. We drove our car until we couldn't go further in. Seems like people have tried to commercialise the area by building a wooden path by the rocky hills but was later on abandoned. A small stream can be seen from far flowing down between the hills but sadly trash was along the streams.

We are certain the view will be much magnificent if we can omit the trash along the stream. It sadden us to see some people who just couldn't appreciate the beauty of nature. We hope all the journey we went teach our kids of appreciating and taking care of the nature which is part of a Muslim commitment.

We decided to walk further in to see where the path ends. After walking about two kilometres in, a few of us gave up. Hubby and the bigger boys continue. The walk in was worth while since there were no more trash once further in which gave us the actual picture of the natural beauty. Sitting in the middle between mountains with small streams running fresh water from the rocks, and palms trees giving the colors to the scenery was just relaxing. We sit on a big rock while waiting for the boys splashing our face with the running water to refresh ourselves.


Driving in the valley heading for the entrance….

DSC_2160 DSC_2213

Water spring from the mountain which can also be used to take wudu’..

DSC_2206 DSC_2188

MasyaAllah….beauty and serene….

Not knowing how long the passage will go, the boys decided to turn back. We took our wudhu' at the water spring further up with no thrashes around.

Its time for us to feel the splash of the ocean water which we have restrain ourselves from stopping before reaching here. The kids are excited to choose their spots caused everywhere is a beauty.

P1210953 Soo tempting…

At the end we decided to stop by at a beach area which its bay were very calm. There were also huts build for picnickers. Quickly the kids change into their swimming cloth to rush into the sea. The moment they were waiting for. The sea is all ours with no one to share. Scream, run, whatever we like with no one to bother.
Done with the swimming, it's time to find food. There we so many beaches to stop by with the limited time. We are sure all the beaches offers a different looks. The brochures we got at the museum really inspired us to see more than what we have planned.

DSC_2046 A beauty just for us to savour overseeing Egypt mountains across the sea…


Sea colour in different layers…kids really enjoy having the beach on their own…


Mountainous view opposite the beach while sea view on the other site….

View opposite of the beach


We decided to add up one more beach before heading to Duba which was Ras Al Sheikh Humaid. The guy at the apartment we stayed last night was mentioning us this name as well when we asked for any interesting places to see. We though it must be a great place like Maqna which was a beauty and not in our trip plan.

The drive to Ras As Sheikh was another route of about 40 km going in from the main highway. We didn't find any cars pass by while driving in. Surrounding the road was just a plain desert until we reach the coast. We reach there when it was nearly sunset.

DSC_2363 DSC_2361

Red sea offers different looks from different places in Tabuk…

 DSC_2341Waiting for sunset…

The sea with the tip forms a rocky armlet, giving a silver like color shade sprung by the sun gave its own specialty of its beauty. The wind and the sea were very calm. There supposed to be a boat trip to an island nearby but we do not know how to get there. From far we could see a few cars parked with tent ready for a night stay probably.

We promised the kids for a night camp during this trip. If we had food ready, surely we will camp here but sadly restaurants were nowhere to be seen. We head out from the Ras Al Sheikh heading to Duba.


Dinner before settling for the night…our campsite…

It was already night on our way out. Along the way we saw a few signboard showing Sharma Corniche. We found a few numbers of khabsa fish restaurant but looking at how they cooks the fishes doesn't tempted us (it reminds us of the “magnet fish” dish that we had for our dinner in Hill of Magnet (Bukit Magnet), Madinah – another story to be told). Not far going forward, we found broasted chicken restaurant which offered rice as well. As tomorrow is also the day of Arafah which Muslim are encourage to fast, we decided to get extra food for dinner and our sahur.

Driving to the corniche, we can see so many camps ready built along the coast of Sharma beach. A LOT! Seems like this is a good place to camp! We drove until the end of the camp and found a few other people put up their own tent. Kids were excited pledging us to camp up by the beach. With all the gears and lamps that we had, we settle down with dinner and a camp to sleep. Lets see what the beach looks like in the morning when the sun shines our day! –tw&eth