Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Old Dutch Church in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

American Bedu often has interesting insights in life if Saudi Arabia. Have a look at this one:

If only Jeddah could talk, what deep secrets would it reveal? I for one believe there are many unique stories just waiting to be told about Jeddah if only we are fortunate enough to unearth them.

For example, a few months ago, a good friend of mine, Donna Abu Nasr, who is the Bureau Chief of the Associated Press in Riyadh wrote this fascinating story about Eve and her final resting place at a graveyard in Jeddah: Sadly though if you are a woman and visiting Jeddah and wish to see this resting place, you would be prohibited from entry as women are not allowed in the graveyards of Saudi Arabia.

As a result, my friend Donna was only able to get a photo of the gate leading in to the cemetery and hearing through the words and visions of men who were willing to speak on what they saw once inside. And then just recently I was speaking with an expat who shared another interesting story with me. He was based in Riyadh but on one weekend a Saudi friend took him to Jeddah and proceeded to give him a tour of the out-of-the-way sites.

According to the expat, the Saudi took him to an area to view the ruins of an old 17th Century Dutch church. That’s right…in conservative Saudi Arabia where no other religion but Islam can be openly practiced, there seem to be signs, such as the ruins, that it was not always this way in the Kingdom.Now regrettably I have been unable to verify the location of these ruins.

However I do know the expat well who shared this experience and have no doubt of its validity. Perhaps some of my Jeddah readers may be able to share more information on the location and genesis of these ruins? While I could find little information about the existence of church ruins in Jeddah, I did find this submission proposing that the historical area of Old Jeddah be nominated as a World Heritage Site. The justification states that the history of Jeddah goes back to beyond Islamic times leading credence towards understanding how maybe Jeddah could have been openly an interfaith city so to speak in earlier times.


Observer said...

I found this location In Jeddah if you go to Google Earth search the GPS coordinates 21.495022,39.183842. Its near the lake in an area called Albughdadiyya. actually i was a guest in a near by hotel and i was surprised what this building could be but after asking the locals they told me that its a very old church but they have no other information. I hope this info is useful.

joymalaparampil said...

Yes I watched this building. My accommodation was very near to this building. It is situated the road leading to Balad, Jeddah. Any christian see this ruined building he/she can easily this ruined building was a church.