Backtracking…..the photo that elicited the emotive responses in the last post, taken just before Maghrib a week or so back.
The following photo is the same view but walking up towards the foot of Jabal Sal’a (see the blue dot on the google map below) taken after last Juma’ah. The huge excavation area (yellow area on the map) has remained untouched for almost two years as the company working on this project went broke. Masjid Sabaq, previously to the left of this shot, was demolished to make way for this development several years ago, sadly it seems all too prematurely.
Imagine turning around from the above position, looking up towards Jabal Sal’a, where the remains of an Ottoman structure stands. During the Ottoman times it would have been an advantageous lookout, overseeing the Haram area. Later it became a popular picnic place, but now relegated to neglect and a rubbish dump.
Architecturally it is only small, but the technique with the precision in the brick arches supporting the bluestone walls and two low circular domes forming the roof is quite impressive.
A scan from an older photo showing the dome structure, looking down on a housing area long gone, having been replaced with modern hotels.
These places are inhabited, satellite dishes a standard feature! The bottom left hand corner is the roof of one of the "residences" dug into the side of the mountain along the track up to this Ottoman structure.
An alley way nearby this same area. As the development around the CBD area creeps out over the first ring road all of these older places will gradually be vacted and demolished. It is sad listening to stories of families who used to live beside Haram years ago, who were forced to move further away due to all the expansions. Locals are still being faced with having to relocate even further out as the central area engulfs more land.
A closer view of the above alley, the typical older style low doorways leading down into the first level that has been dug into the ground for coolness. I was amazed to see the letter boxes still intact! The majority are vandalized in so many other areas. Maybe this close living has more of a sense of community with a protective neighbourly spirit.
Note the mud brick extension on the top of this unique home! Any and everything goes, a true do as you please attitude, devoid of any regulations or planning! Soon to be archived into the annals of history.
To return home after this little adventure, we drove south along the ring road, where on the fly-over bridge to the south of Haram (lime line) you can look back to see the Dome of Felicity and our loved Jabal Uhud. (taken from the pink dot) This view will soon too be history, as the concrete and steel supports of the next buliding is visible at the bottom of this photo. When the CBD area is complete Masjid Nabawi will be totally hemmed in.
I am lost for words over many aspects of what is happening to this most Blessed Radiant and Enlightened City. Without a doubt, it is the most treasured piece of land in the entire UNIVERSE….not just world, planet, or earth, but the ENTIRE UNIVERSE. And what I have just heard, and the reason I am posting this google map, is that this current fly-over bridge, the lime green, straight line, is to be replaced by a new curved section (blue line) beacause it will extend the CBD area and more land will be availabe to squeeze more hotels onto! I am speechless….flabbergasted…along with all the synonyms that go with it. The lime green north of Jannatul Baqi also represents all the new buildings either under construction, or soon to be.
May Allah Ta’ala save us all. Ameen.
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.