• Saturday, May 08, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:24 am

Saudi Arabia's city of roses blooms in Ramadan

  • Published at 05:58 pm April 16th, 2021
Damascena (Damask) roses
A worker at the Bin Salman farm tosses freshly picked Damascena (Damask) roses in the air, used to produce rose water and oil, in the western Saudi city of Taif, on April 11, 2021 AFP

Taif is known as the city of roses, with approximately 300 million blooms every year

Every spring, roses bloom in the western Saudi city of Taif, turning pockets of the kingdom's vast desert landscape a vivid and fragrant pink. 

In April, they are harvested for the essential oil used to cleanse the outer walls of the sacred Kaaba, the cubic structure in the holy city of Mecca towards which Muslims around the world pray.

This year, the harvest falls during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which observant Muslims devote to prayer and reflection.

Workers at the Bin Salman farm tend rose bushes and pick tens of thousands of flowers each day to produce rose water and oil, also prized components in the cosmetic and culinary industries. 

The perfumed oil has become popular among the millions of Muslims who visit the kingdom every year for pilgrimages. 

Patterns of plants and flowers have long been part of Islamic art. 

Known as the city of roses, with approximately 300 million blooms every year, Taif has more than 800 flower farms, many of which have opened their doors to visitors. 

While workers pick flowers in the fields, others labour in sheds, filling and weighing baskets by hand.

The flowers are then boiled and distilled.

"We start boiling the roses on high heat until they are almost evaporated, and this takes around 30 to 35 minutes," Khalaf al-Tuweiri, who owns the Bin Salman farm, told AFP.

"After that, we lower the heat for around 15 to 30 minutes until the distilling process starts, which lasts for eight hours."

Once the oil floats to the top of the glass jars, the extraction process begins.

The oil is then extracted with a large syringe to fill different-sized vials, the smallest going for $106.

51
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail