Recently in the US we changed our clocks by one hour as part of Daylight Savings. In Saudi Arabia, we don’t change our clocks, but the schedules themselves changed based on changes in prayer times and lengths of the days.
Of course, by default, everything closes for about 30 minutes for every prayer time. But with changing times of sunrise and sunset, schools and businesses adjust their opening hours so that they open after sunrise and close before sunset. My afternoon Quran school, for example, had always closed around 15 minutes before sunset at the latest, so every few months its opening and closing time would change accordingly.
It is very rare for friends or family members to invite you over at an actual o’clock time–no one does that, that’s just weird. Everyone’s schedules runs around the times for prayer, unlike here in the west where Muslims have to find time to pray in their schedules. Informal invitations are usually in the afternoon or evening, so “after asr” or “between maghrib and isha” or “after isha” are perfectly legitimate ways to tell someone when to come over.
This brings me to my next point–most activities that are not work or school related are done at night. It’s just too hot during the day to go out. Weddings, for example, are never during the day. Once, a woman wanting everyone to arrive early to a friend’s wedding, urged everyone to be there by 11:00 at the latest. PM. 11pm AT NIGHT was considered early arrival to a wedding–and they usually last until 2-3am or even later!
Masjids are fuller at night, too. There are always many more women and children at Masjids during the maghrib and isha prayers (sunset and nighttime) than there are during the daytime prayers, like Dhuhr (noon) or even asr (afternoon).
Malls are also busier during the evenings and nights, especially on weekend nights. It’s not like here in the US though, where the latest the local mall stays open is 9pm. If a mall closed at 9pm in Saudi, it’d go out of business! 9pm (or around maghrib to after isha) is when people start showing up to malls.
This brings me to the weekends. When I first moved there, weekends were Thursdays and Fridays, but later it changed to Fridays and Saturdays. Weekend nights are when families and friends get together, go to the park for a picnic, go to the masjid, have the weekly “Friday feast” (which might mean they eat out or order food, probably from a halal fast food restaurant :), go grocery shopping for the rest of the week, or go to one of the several malls to hang out.
a super basic digital version of one of my favorite things to draw! malls are so cool and I have so much to say and make about them. lots more to come ~~~
Mall interiors from the 1970s/1980s.
My mother hated them, but to me, a kid, malls were exciting. They looked like small sci-fi colonies mixed with ocean liners, with their blood-red carpets, gilded railings, jungle plants, and crooked floor patterns. The mall, that’s where you found your precious toys. It’s where humans lived, and promises were fulfilled. Take an 1980s teen flick, and there’s a scene in a mall.
George A. Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD shows one in all its kitschy glory.
I was about 12, when I saw her again: she was hanging out with her friends near the fountain. A blonde elf-like girl, the sun around which the other kids orbited, she laughed a lot. Whenever her friends laughed though, she seemed quiet, troubled even, biting her thumb; that’s when her eyes caught me. In a dark corner, two 16-year-olds, who seemed like real adults to me, were playing an arcade game and eating french fries; I wondered how they could play with greasy fingers. One burped loudly, but they didn’t laugh. Eyes on the game.
Suddenly these two kids rush past you on their bikes. You know one of them, he is an enemy. He gave you the finger once, the first time you saw anyone making that gesture. “Asshole,” he says. Someone tells them they can’t ride their bikes here, they shout something back.
Gino is this thin, moustached hothead with tight stonewash jeans and big white sneakers, and a permed mullet. He doesn’t walk, he bounces, like a Muppet; he moves fast, like someone who’s on his way to punch someone. He smokes and has a gold-colored necklace with his name, but better not joke about it, because Gino is the kind of guy who doesn’t get jokes. Your brother referred to him once as “Evil Freddie Mercury”. He always seems to be everywhere: when you go ice skating, you run into him there; when you go swimming, he’s at the pool; when you’re playing football in the field behind your school you know he’s going to show up. He looks at you—whenever you look at him, his eyes always immediately shoot back—but he leaves you alone and trots out of sight. You’re vaguely relieved to see him go.
The wall with flickering TVs plays an MTV video, you kind of watch as you wait for your mother to return, but not really. The two 16-year-olds have finished their game, they mumble some curses, one smacks the arcade machine, and they leave. You see Sebastian’s mother—Sebastian, the kid who stole money once. She passes you and you feel her eyes, but you pretend not to see her.
The lady in her mobility scooter, her bags of groceries tied to the handlebars. She is rotund and can hardly walk, and always takes the elevator. Sometimes people help her get in, more often they don’t. You cracked cruel jokes about her once when you were here with your brother, but really you just felt sadness.
You realize every kid is there with friends except you, and just when you’re about to discover some great truth about yourself and the world around you, your mother returns and you go home, your toys in the plastic toy store bag that you tried to hide from the blue eyes of the elegant blonde elf, who’s still laughing with her friends, and who, though nobody would have guessed it, would go on to play such a major part in your life years later.
These are just some memories I have of the mall. Stories of my childhood unfolded there, and I remember everything.
I’ve always wondered why a shopping mall is called “the mall,” and all of a sudden it hit me like a John Deere tractor.
It’s called “the mall” because instead of going to one store, you go to “them all.”
Ceiling #LED #animations by @planacreative at @cinemacitybeirutsouks #3danimation #experiencedesign we specialise in large scale #content #production #3dmapping #projection #malls #weddings #events #ksa #bahrain #kuwait #qatar #jordan #morrocco #egypt (at Beirut Souks Cinemacity)
The land of never-ending strip malls. Florida.
Konica Auto S2 - Tri-X 400 - HC110
Some malls are holding on to life.
Night of the Comet (1984)
Clackamas Town Center - Clackamas County, Oregon
The Westfield Fashion Square mall in Sherman Oaks.
Shudder. The white-plastic, sterile, hermetically-sealed look has been chased far into the future from the early seventies, when “Sleeper” and “A Clockwork Orange”, “Star Wars” and “Logan’s Run” were hits. Tired, corporate and soul-crushing as it is, the airless white-plastic style still betokens “the future, right now!” for many.
Eastfield Mall. Springfield, MA
Six New Malls Opening in Qatar By 2019 Dubbed as a mall-friendly country, Qatar is living up to the label with at least six more new malls. Qatar has often been criticised for being too much of a mall-friendly country. However, most of the malls are constantly buzzing with people. Especially during the hotter months, …