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….

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

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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.

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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

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