Wednesday, September 15, 2010

All arrows point to...

During the Eid Holiday my husband and I decided to hit the road and spend a couple of days in a nice resort located close to Ruwais, a small city in the western region of Abu Dhabi.
We’d been to the hotel before so we were quite familiar with it. However, as I was lying in bed, relaxing after a nice long day at the beach, I saw a small detail up in the ceiling: an arrow pointing to Mecca.
I am not sure why it did catch my attention - it’s not like I have never seen it before. When I first moved here, all these little details would immediately pop into my line of vision and I used to react to them somehow. Now, they have become so natural to me that I hardly ever notice them anymore.
Bottom line is the little arrow was an eye opener to me. It made me realize I am starting to get numb. It’s like I am walking around anesthetized, no longer stopping to take in my surroundings.
I guess this is a good thing in the sense that I am probably very well adjusted after four years in the country. I am used to things. They have become a part of my reality. But, on the other hand, it means I have also become sedated, unable to see or feel certain things. And I don’t want that.
So, I’ve decided to pull myself out of this zombie state and get reacquainted with the UAE and all its specificities and curiosities. I guess this is good news for you too since I will be sharing all this here at BurCArioca…
Well, now that I was able to vent, let’s get back to business, right? After all you are probably wondering why an arrow pointing to Mecca was painted in my hotel room ceiling.
The answer is simple: to pray – and they pray five times a day - Muslims must follow a protocol. This includes establishing the qibla (direction of prayer). When praying, Muslims will always face the direction of the Ka’aba in Mecca (if they are inside the Ka’aba, or the exact opposite point on earth, they are allowed to pray facing any direction).  
For this reason you will always find the image below in hotel rooms and other specific points around the country, to ensure people know which direction they should face in times of prayer.

1 comment:

  1. Mari, eu acho isso está adaptada ao lugar. É a sua casa. Não se preocupe! Bjs