All signs point to Meccah
In many hotels you might notice a sign pointed off in an odd angle that reads "Qibla" or "Qiblah." This sign points to Meccah, and it allows Muslims to know in which direction to pray. The first Qiblah was in Jerusalem, but since 622, the Qiblah has pointed to the Kaaba in Mecca. The Qiblah is not worshiped, rather it is a focal point for all those who are praying and is a symbol of the unity of Muslims.
Ramadan & Iftar
During Ramadan Muslims do not eat during hours of daylight. The meal at the end of the day is called Iftar, and it is often a big community event. The traditional food at the end of the day's fast is dates, but the meal itself consists of sweets and lots of meat.
While I stayed at the Marriott, most of the restaurants were closed until sunset during Ramadan, but most of them eventually opened for dinner. As we waited to eat, the hotel prepared Iftar dinner for guests of the hotel. The cooking for Iftar took hours, and it seemed like all of the local Muslims poured in for the meal. Since the locals had the hotel's Iftar dinner in the Marquee, the restaurants were mostly empty other than a few Westerners.
Previously Quite, Now becoming Lively City
Being a capital, mainly Islamabad is famous for Govt. Offices, Parliament House, Diplomatic Enclaves & Foreign Embassies. Majority of the people living in Islamabad are Government employees. They do have social life in Islamabad but not as much like other cities. On public holidays & weekends people go to their hometowns to see their families/relatives.
During last 10 years this trend has been changed. Lots of restaurants, fast food chains, shopping centers have been opened in the city. Its nightlife has been improved and city has become more LIVELY.Related to:
- Food and Dining
During my last visit to Pakistan I was in the Islamabad Airport while a "Hajj Flight" was getting ready to depart. It was a very interesting event with several hundred older Pakistanis, mostly men, dressed in pure white, all washing, praying, and reading the Koran prior to boarding their flight. They wore two distinct forms of dress, white shalwar kameez with a white prayer cap for some, while most wore the "ihram." The ihram is basically what Gandhi was famous for wearing, two plain white sheets and sandals. The ihram symbolizes the equality of Muslims in the eyes of Allah.
The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, an annual event for Muslims around the world. One of the "five pillars of Islam," the Hajj is a requirement for all Muslims at least once in their lives.
Yes, Pakistan has a number of trained dancing monkeys. The do stupid pet tricks like pushups, "riding a motocycle," a military salute, and other simple tricks. When they do a few tricks, they put a tin cup on their head and request "baksheesh."
Islamabad is a New City.
Islamabad is a newly born city in the history of this world. It hasn't got 'its own' culture. The hills around Islamabad show its culture, which is love, peace and natural beauty!Related to:
- School Holidays
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
The five-star Serena Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan was designed by renowned Pakistani architect...more
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