Old arabic man naked

The annual hajj pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, predates the faith by centuries, tracing its roots to the biblical patriarch Abraham - revered by Muslims as a prophet and the first preacher of their religion.

And as some 2.5 million people gather in this western Saudi city for the hajj, a must for every capable Muslim at least once in a lifetime, they begin rituals said to follow millennium-old instructions by Abraham, or Ibrahim, as he is known in the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Primarily exploring the relationship between men and women in contemporary Saudi society, the novel examines the tension between the old, strict traditions, and the effects of modern thought and technology in granting women wider intellectual and sexual freedom.

Through her work, Rajaa Al-Sanea sets out to correct the stereotypes of women in Saudi Arabia, depicting strong, complex characters whose quest for love and passion mirrors many of Western literature’s greatest heroines.

Muslims believe that a "sacred house" was built in Mecca by Adam, the father of the human race, in the same spot where Ibrahim and his son Ishmael are said to have rebuilt it and where the Kaaba, a massive cubic structure, lies.

The Koranic version of the story is that Ibrahim travelled with Hagar, the mother of their infant son Ishmael, to a barren valley and left both of them near the sacred house with some food and water that soon ran out.

tells the tale of left-wing, progressive thinker Yousef Al-Firsiwi who wakes one morning to find his only son Yacine, who he believed to be studying engineering in Paris, has ‘died as a martyr’ in Afghanistan as part of the Islamist resistance.

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eloquently depicts the widespread devastation, both physical and emotional, of the recent Iraq war through the eyes of Zeina, an Iraqi-American who returns to her homeland as an interpreter for the US army., Raja Alem explores Mecca as a religious, social and cultural space, set at a crossroads between deep rooted tradition and evolution towards new customs.Set up as a straightforward detective story – a young woman’s body is found in an alleyway and remains unidentified, sparking an investigation – the novel explores the complexity of life in the holy city through a myriad of intersecting tales and perspectives, some real and some imagined.The Koran speaks of Ibrahim as building the structure as the first house for worship on earth.But the Kaaba was demolished and rebuilt several times, the last believed to be after floods in 1630.

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