A Virtual Tour of Saudi Arabia • Iris Fields of Sha'ib Tumair, Saudi Arabia

In the spring the desert of Saudi Arabia near Tumair comes alive with color.

There is much to enjoy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For those who are interested in history, nature, wildlife and desert there truly is a lot to discover. Something not to be missed is the Tumair Iris fields. It is a beautiful day out, and perfect if you get to catch a glimpse of the irises opening!
People waiting for the iris buds to open in the desert of Saudi Arabia.

Waiting is serious business.

People waiting for the iris buds to open in the desert of Saudi Arabia.

Worth the wait.

A single beautiful purple fully open iris flower.

Flowers in the desert?

Many years ago farmers built small retaining walls across the narrow wadi (valley) beds which cut into the escarpment to catch the silt washed down by the spring rains. The farms are now abandoned but the rich soil is perfect for lush growth of flowers during the spring.

I found one!

The year the pictures to the right were taken had been very dry even for Saudi Arabia. This meant that the iris plants were few and far between. It was funny to watch about 25 people bending over trying to find a little iris plant to watch with cameras ready to capture the moment the iris buds open.

Witness the irises come alive with color

It is fascinating to wait and watch the iris buds open. This happens simultaneously around 1 PM on a sunny day and later on cloudy days. Do not try and force the iris buds to open by shinning a bright light from any source on them. Many people before you have tried and failed using several artificial light sources. Only natural sunlight will open the buds so just sit and enjoy the moment as it naturally happens.

A photo of an iris closed bud, a slightly opened iris bud and a fully open purple iris flower with the sand of the Saudi Arabia in the background.
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Structure of Muslim Names

An Arabic name begins with a given name, followed by the name of the person's father, perhaps followed by the names of other ancestors, and ended with a family or clan name.

    Male Name - Irfaan bin Haashim Al-Saud
    Irfaan son of Haashim of the family Al-Saud

    Female Name - Faatina bint Ammar Al-Wahed
    Faatina daughter of Ammar of the family Al-Wahed

A Muslim woman will maintain the complete name she was given at birth and not change her family name to her husband's family name after a marriage.
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Copyright 2005 • Jane L. Smith • All rights reserved
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