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Photo Samples, Middle East

Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Oman,
United Arab Emirates, Kuwait & Turkey

 

This, the most unstable and unruly part of the world, is to most people synonymous with political violence, Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. However, if you venture beyond the politically charged speeches of the imams and presidents, chances are that you'll enjoy a perfect stay, meeting nothing but friendliness and hospitality, and it certainly doesn't reduce the value of the experience that, even outside Egypt, the Middle East contains some of the most fantastic archeological monuments on earth.

I know the countries such as Egypt, Iran, Yemen and (some might say) Afghanistan belong to the Middle East as well, however, to make things simpler, I have chosen to give them their own list of photos; just check the list to the left.

As usual, all photos are, of course Claus Qvist Jessen, and none of them are to be used without my permission.

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All over the Middle East, elderly men seem to spend most of their daylight hours sitting in small tea houses, playing "tablas" (backgammon). This gentleman is from downtown Damascus, Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

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Damaskus tea and bucket seller. Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

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One of the most important mosques in the region is the Ummayad Mosque in Damascus. Surprisingly, there is no seperation in between the male and female parts of the huge room, and even toursists are permitted to enter. Claus Qvist Jessen

To the outsider, Islam is very much a question of discipline. The common prayers almost look like military exercise, here from the Ummayad Mosque, Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

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And down they go; Ummayad Mosque, Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

Arab lady from Central Damascus; Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

Arabs praying inside the elaborately made Roqqaya Mosque of central Damascus; Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

Magnificent details from the ceiling of the Roqqaya Mosque of central Damascus; Syria. This mosque is Shia rather than Sunni and receives lots of Iranian pilgrims. Claus Qvist Jessen

The Maluula Monastery close to Damascus is one of the very few remnants of the Christian past of the region. Actually, there is a whole complex of monasteries, each representing different lines of Christianity. Claus Qvist Jessen

The impressive and unconquered 11th and 12th century Crac de Chevaliers in western Syria, the most impressive of all the crusader forts in the Middle East. Claus Qvist Jessen

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A vaulted arch of Crac de Chevaliers; western Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

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The entrance of Palmyra, the best preserved Roman ruins in Syria,  and certainly among the best in all of the Middle East. Claus Qvist Jessen

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Palmyra sunset; Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

The Citadel of Aleppo; Northern Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

Inside detail from the Citadel of Aleppo; Northern Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

Young boy reading the Quran, supervised by his father; Ummayad Mosque of Aleppo, Northern Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

Four venerable (and almost blind) gentlemen at the Ummayad Mosque of Aleppo, Northern Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

Time for prayer; Ummayad Mosque of Aleppo, Northern Syria.
Claus Qvist Jessen

A family f pilgrims at the Ummayad Mosque of Aleppo, Northern Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

     

The covered bazar of Aleppo is definitely on of the best and most colourful of the whole region; Northern Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

Goats heads from the Aleppo Bazar; Northern Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

Camel head; Aleppo Bazar, Northern Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

Coffee vendor at the Aleppo Bazar; Northern Syria. One cup costs a few cents and it tastes delightfully. Claus Qvist Jessen

Clothings merchant; Aleppo Bazar, Northern Syria. Claus Qvist Jessen

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Some of the buildings in central Beirut still bear the scars of decades of civil war. Most are still inhabited, but the right one, the Holiday Inn Hotel, has been like this since the eighties. The picture is from 2008. Claus Qvist Jessen

Slightly confusing signboard; downtown Beirut. Claus Qvist Jessen

Modern mosque; downtown Beirut. Claus Qvist Jessen

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Bread vendor, Beirut Corniche, Lebanon. Claus Qvist Jessen

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Another important site of Roman ruins lies at Baalbek, eastern Lebanon. This is the famous Jupiter Temple. Claus Qvist Jessen

The tiny and cosy harbour of the Christian town of Byblos, north of Beirut, Lebanon. Claus Qvist Jessen

Roman amphitheatre; Byblos, Lebanon. Claus Qvist Jessen

One of the most important mosques in the whole world, The Dome of The Rock is supposed to have been built on the site where Mohammed rose to Heaven. Unfortunately, it's less than 200 meters away from the Western Wall, holiest site of the Jews; Jerusalem, Israel. Claus Qvist Jessen

The old town; Jerusalem, Israel. Claus Qvist Jessen

Elderly Orthodox Jew praying at the Western Wall; Jerusalem, Israel. The Western Wall is the only remnants of the Second Temple of King Solomon and is regarded as the holiest spot on Earth - to the Jews, that is. Claus Qvist Jessen

     

Orthodox Jew and Israeli soldier praying in fromt of the Western Wall. Claus Qvist Jessen

Old Rabbi embracing the Torah during a Bar-Mitzwa ceremony; Jerusalem, Israel. Claus Qvist Jessen

Three young boys during their Bar-Mitzwa; Jerusalem, Israel.
Claus Qvist Jessen

     

Scenes from a Bar-Mitzwa ceremony; Jerusalem, Israel. Claus Qvist Jessen

The basement cave in the Church of Nativity, Bethlehem, Israel. According to the legend, this was built on top of the birthplace of Jesus. Claus Qvist Jessen

The Catholic cathedral; Tunis, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

Craving a tombstone; Tunis, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

Local book-store; Tunis, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

Outside airbag; Tunis, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

Playing cards at a cafe; Tunis, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

Lazy cafe man; Tunis, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

The local fitness studio. Schwartzie go home! Tunis, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

Veggies for sale; Tunis, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

Local bread vendor; Tunis, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

The Tunis suburb Sidi Bou Said is extremely beautiful. Blue and white colours all over, but very touristic; Tunis, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

Sidi Bou Said door, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

Roman amphitheatre; old town of Karthango, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

"Alexanders Baths" at Karthango, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

The ancient, circular harbour of Karthango, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

French style church; Karthango, Tunisia. Claus Qvist Jessen

The landmark of Kuwait, the mighty Kuwait Towers, central Kuwait City. The towers were designed by a Swedish architect company and the upper ball of the middle tower is accessible to the public. Claus Qvist Jessen

Inside the Kuwait Towers; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

Kuwait City sky-line. Claus Qvist Jessen

The dome of the Great Mosque; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

Local butcher at the central market; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

Burqa shop; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

Young Kuwaiti couple, very traditional and very much in love; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

 

Pakistani taylor of Kuwait City. Most of the labour of Kuwait is imported workers on short-term work permits. Claus Qvist Jessen

 

Hot lunch! How to heat the food at the taylor's shop; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

Fixing the measuring; a taylor in action; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

The fishing harbour; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

Unloading the fish; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

 

Puffing the shisha seems to be the national sport among Arab gentlemen (and women!); Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

     

Two more happy smokers; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

Arab perfume pusher; Kuwait City. Claus Qvist Jessen

By far, the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa measures a grand 880 meters to the top; Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Claus Qvist Jessen

The worlds first 7-star hotel - or so they say. Burj Dubai; Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Claus Qvist Jessen

The "Creek", the old center of Dubai; United Arab Emirates. Claus Qvist Jessen

Looking inland at the Creek; Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Claus Qvist Jessen

Local transport across The Creek; United Arab Emirates. Claus Qvist Jessen

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In the Arab world, there is always time for another cup of chai (tea), here from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Claus Qvist Jessen

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Even in Dubai, Manchester United's got some fans. Here Christiano Ronaldo painted on a local bus; Dubai, UAE. Claus Qvist Jessen

The Maydan Arean, the site of the greatest horse race on the planet: The Dubai World Cup; Dubai, UAE. The prize fund of the last and most important race is 10 mio $, and it costs 100,000 $ just to enter the race. Claus Qvist Jessen

The most devoted horse-man of the world's gotta be the leader of Dubai and vice president of UAE: Sheik Mohammad bin-Rashid al-Maktoum. This photo was taken from a 3-4 meter distance! Claus Qvist Jessen

The final fireworks after the 2010 World Cup. Claus Qvist Jessen

Night music after the Dubai World Cup 2010 has to be just as lavish as any other detail of the arrangement: Not a small blues band but an intimate concert starring two of the biggest stars ever made: Elton John and Carlos Santana. Claus Qvist Jessen

     

Senor Carlos on stage after the Dubai World Cup 2010; Dubai, UAE. Claus Qvist Jessen

The east coast of the Emirates, UAE. Claus Qvist Jessen

Oldest mosque in the country, somewhere on the east coast of UAE. Claus Qvist Jessen

Headgear for sale; Dibba, the east coast; UAE. Claus Qvist Jessen

One of the most touristy thing to do: Desert fun driving; UAE. Claus Qvist Jessen

A short break in the desert driving; UAE. Claus Qvist Jessen

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One of the highlights of the Middle east, and now elevated to be one of the "New Seven Wonders", is Petra in southern Jordan. Built in the 1.st century AD, this temple, "The Khazneh" ("Treasury"), was made famous in the third Indiana Jones film. Claus Qvist Jessen

"The Monastery", the largest building in Petra. You can climb all the way to the top. Claus Qvist Jessen

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Amman, Jordan, is a very cosmopolitical city with lots of people from anywhere but Jordan. This Saddam Hussein look-alike gentleman comes from Iraq. Claus Qvist Jessen

     

The Arabs love sweets and desserts, as shown here from Amman, Jordan. Claus Qvist Jessen

Outside The King Hussein Mosque; Amman, Jordan. Claus Qvist Jessen

Fishing boats close to Muscat, Oman. Claus Qvist Jessen

The undisputed ruler of Oman, Sultan Qaboos. Aged more than 60, not married and with no kids, his succession is the cause of much worry among Omanis. Claus Qvist Jessen

One of several Medieval forts in the central Oman. Claus Qvist Jessen

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In central Oman, the dry mountains are cut through by a number of fertile "wadis". These wadis are normally dry, but during rain, they flood and a river of more than 2-3 meters of mud and water moves rapidly through the valley. Claus Qvist Jessen

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The top of the mosque, Nizwa, Oman. Claus Qvist Jessen

Detail from the tiles of the mosque, Nizwa, Oman. Claus Qvist Jessen

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Before the invention of the right angles! Teenage girl from the central highlands of Oman. Claus Qvist Jessen

Sunset fishing at Ras Madrakah; Southern Oman. Claus Qvist Jessen

A nice bluefish from Ras Madrakah; Southern Oman. Claus Qvist Jessen

Very concentrated domino player from Salalah; Southern Oman.
Claus Qvist Jessen

A cosy, Turkish get-together in an Istanbul cafe. Claus Qvist Jessen

Mobile drink-seller, Istanbul, Turkey. Claus Qvist Jessen

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