Accident Monument Jeddah - low res - 2000

Oh, The Places We’ll Go

by Connie Brisson ~

Traveling…

It’s the thing I’ve missed the absolute most since this pandemic began (even though I just couldn’t resist going to a few places anyway.)

But as we’ve just completed our Universal Laws of Creation oracle deck, I’ve been musing about featuring a fun topic for you as the reader, but also for me too.

After tossing around a few different ideas, and being house bound for so long, let’s go traveling!  Well, not really traveling until we can do that easily again, but instead I’ll feature a photo each week (that I’ve taken) of some of the different places I’ve been and things I’ve seen, along with a little description of it.

I feel like it still fits under “The Energies of the Week” section as each place I’ve been does have a different energy and feel to it.  So, I’m excited to share these photos and memories with you (and I will also feature past travel articles I’ve written too).

My first photo goes all the way back to 1993 when I lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with my husband, Marcel (and Saudi Arabia will tie in with my Spirit article too). Little did I know at the time, but this ancient city near Mecca is home to one of the world’s most spectacular displays of open-air, modern sculptures.

The experience of living in Saudi Arabia, even for just a year, was one of the travel highlights of my life as most people could not travel there just for tourism (however, that’s changed in recent years).  Marcel had a job as a Construction Manager at Aramco’s Luberef Refinery in Jeddah and that is how I was able to be there and experience a dynamic new world.

Accident Monument Jeddah - low res

At that time, women could not drive in Saudi Arabia, and to be honest, I was a little thankful for it.  Many of the roads had no names or addresses posted, so you had to have good navigational sense to get to different places, or know the landmarks (like their sculptures). 

Thankfully, Marcel was great at that.  In fact, I remember one time when I was directing him (following a map) through the city and all of the sudden the road just abruptly ended (even though it continued on the map to the location we wanted).  But Marcel just did his thing and we found the place we were looking for.  And (although not as crazy as Cairo’s traffic) the other drivers didn’t always follow the “rules” and it was a bit crazy on the roads at times.

So, when we came upon the sculpture, “Accident! (Crazy Speed),” with all its colorful cars set into concrete in the middle of a round-about, it was a humorously large exaggeration of what it was like to drive on Jeddah’s roads. Located along the Red Sea coastline on Jeddah’s picturesque Corniche, the “Accident’ sculpture is one of Jeddah’s most famous artworks and consists of five cars which appear to have crashed headfirst into an enormous block of solid reinforced concrete.

Created by Spanish architect, Julio Lafuente, (1921 – 2013), he was one of many commissioned to create sculptures back in the 1970’s by Mohamed Said Farsi, the mayor of Jeddah.  Farsi embarked on a huge “beautification project” having artists create monumental sculptures to decorate Jeddah’s expanding urban spaces, with the style of the sculptures ranging from traditional Arabic designs to abstract works of art.

As Jeddah was a growing city, by erecting large and interesting monuments/sculptures at major intersections (many at roundabouts) it made it easier to navigate one’s way around the city, while exposing impressive art to Jeddah’s residents.  At the time, most Jeddah businesses and residents were not found by street addresses – for the most part, addresses did not exist.  In fact, when we lived there, I quickly created a map (for other expats) that showed where we lived as it was difficult to explain how to find us with an address.

It has been estimated that there now are up to 600 sculptures placed around the squares, streets and avenues in Jeddah.  However, by the 2000’s, after being exposed to the local climate, some of the sculptures were beginning to show signs of disintegration.  A new initiative then began to restore and move a number of the sculptures to a newly created Jeddah Sculpture Museum, along Jeddah’s Central Corniche area.

It’s been almost 30 years since we were there and I would dearly love to go back, maybe even find our old apartment building.  I do remember it was in the Al-Rawdah district… 

I would need to find my map! ♥

Connie-Brisson-Mosaic-Magazine

Connie Brisson is the publisher and editor of Mosaic Mind, Body and Spirit Magazine since 2004. From a simple black and white newsprint format that began in 1996, she transformed it into a beautiful full color, gloss magazine that was distributed throughout Alberta, Canada until the end of 2018 (with a readership of over 100,000). It’s now evolved into an online magazine that continues to help people heal, transform and live their best lives. www.mosaicmagazine.ca