Picture-Heavy Tour of Hanifa Valley, KSA
Nestled inside the outskirts of Riyadh near a posh area called the Diplomatic Quarters is a semi-manicured landscape full of date palms and--surprise!--water called Wadi Hanifa ("wadi" means "valley" in Arabic).
Being the huge fan of nature that I am, I spent a wonderful afternoon with a close friend wandering through green shrubbery mixed with vanilla-colored sand in the warm embrace of the sun. Since women don't get out much around here, the experience was refreshing and soothing at the same time. I wanted to share some of the photographs I took on Instagram:
The name of the valley is probably in honor of the man who founded one of the four main schools of thought in Muslim jurisprudence, called the Hanafi school of thought, may He be pleased with him (but this is not confirmed-just a guess). Imam (which means "leader") Abu Hanifa was known for teaching the "as7ab al-ra2ee," or "owners of opinions," literally translated, meaning that they used logic to arrive at conclusions regarding Islamic jurisprudence issues not clarified during the lifetime of the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him.
I couldn't resign myself to the well-paved roads and pathways, and instead, in the spirit of my free soul, I wandered through the lush green. I felt the healing powers of the landscape comforting me as the only thought that remained in my mind was an awed and awkward praise of the Creator. Beauty in its rawest form, magnified by its rareness in Riyadh. Thank you, Dear God. I needed this.
Families, mainly Saudi, Sudanese, and perhaps Yemeni, were hanging out with kids splashing in the filthy water and barbecue smoking over dry rocks and oil. It was beautiful.
I currently live in a small apartment overlooking this valley. I am not able to go often, but I hope to more in the future, God-willing. This is definitely a site that expatriates typically miss out on.