Can You Guess These Arab Landmarks?
By: Yaseen Rashed/Arab America Contributing writer
The Middle East is home to countless iconic landmarks that have defined and influenced culture. From the pyramids in Giza, Egypt to the skyscrapers of Dubai, there’s an array of landmarks that are representative of the Arab world and its unique history and culture. The following are some of the most notable landmarks, can you name them all?
Great Sphinx of Giza- Egypt
This structure predates history and is one of the most easily recognizable structures in the middle east. Built during the reign of Pharaoh Khafre (c. 2558–2532 BC) this structure has stood the test of time remaining intact. Although erosion has chipped away at some of the features of the structure, it is still one of the best-preserved relics of the Old Kingdom. With its body being half lion and half-human, its easy to recognize and has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world.
This is one of the oldest preserved historical sites that the middle east has to offer. This relic is part of the ruins of the Nabataean Kingdom. This kingdom was once the center of trade and interaction among the fertile crescent giving the location immense importance. This site is also known as “the rose city” as many of the caves, tombs, and temples are carved out of a blushing pink sandstone found in the region.
Burj Khalifa- Dubai, UAE
This city is known for its futuristic designs and concepts. This structure stands no different. This is one of the more recent structures built, with the project completed by early 2010. However, since then this has been known as the world’s tallest structure. After is completion, this structure has been home to one of the largest shopping malls in the region. The structure also faces a beautiful fountain known for its water and light shows. If you’re in the area, this is definitely a must-see destination
Hassan II Mosque- Casablanca, Morocco
This structure is a beautiful mosque that outlooks the Atlantic ocean. It’s majestic in its size and structure as it is Africa’s largest mosque and the 3rd largest in the world. The minaret for the mosque stands over 60 stories high and atop there’s a laser light pointed towards Mecca. The mosque could house a maximum of 105,000 worshipers on any given day. Compleated in 1993, this structure stands as essential to culture and religion in the region
The Red Castle- Tripoli, Libya
This structure was once a castle during the Ottoman period. Its located in the center of the city bordering the Mediterranian Sea. It housed a military unit and a port for incoming boats and ships. Its been the center for commerce and still remains one of the best places to shop for a good bargain. Because of its positioning in central downtown, its become apart of the population’s daily lives.
Dome of the Rock- Jerusalem, Palestine
This iconic shrine has been one of the most notable structures in the Levant to date. Constructed around 691–92 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph this structure has been a symbol of resistance to many in the Arab world. With its iconic golden dome, it stands out in the landscape that surrounds it. This structure is also one of the oldest structures containing Islamic architecture and design. Although it’s an Islamic shrine, many of the locals have become akin to its distinction regardless of religion.
The Kuwait Towers
This structure, which was erected in 1979, is rather unique to the area’s architectural landscape. It features 3 long skinny towers; one with two large blue balls impaled on it, one with only one blue ball, and one without the blue ball. In reality, these towers are water towers and the balls impaled on them hold over 9,000 cubic meters (2,400,000 US gal) of water altogether.
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