Arabs were some of the first traders to Singapore. They brought their Islamic religion and converted many indigenous Malays. Many settled in the Kampang Glam area which remains a Muslim enclave in Singapore. Friends spoke highly of the shops and restaurants. We had not yet been there so we set off on Sunday to explore another unique section of the island.
We started at the aptly named Arab Street. Muslim influence is predominant in the area and reflected in the shops Shops owners displayed beautiful fabrics and carpets and the merchants proudly displayed their wares.
There was also the occasional man-made rug. Aidan tried desperately to convince us that this one should end up in his room. Too bad it would be very difficult to ship 😉
Sultan Mosque is the premier mosque in Singapore and a very prominent landmark. It has a long history that stretches back to 1824.
We had read in a guide-book that the mosque was only open to the public in the afternoon. There were many people entering and prayer services were in session. We were standing out front observing from a distance. Soon a docent invited us to come inside. The worshipers were exceptionally welcoming and informative about their religion. Photography was also permitted which is fantastic so I can share some images of the activity we witness and especially the beauty of the women in their headscarves.
After our visit to the mosque we strolled down Bussorah Street and found a place to eat some Middle Eastern food.
Every weekend we try to expose the children to new ethnic foods. This day was falafel and humus. We also let they chose an item. Sydney wanted the “balloon” bread she saw pictured in the menu. I must say she chose wonderfully.
One of the best aspects about living in Singapore is the ease of experiencing different cultures and exposing the children to the breadth of what the world offers. The people in the Kampong Glam and especially the mosque were so kind and welcoming. Tomorrow we leave for Indonesia, which will be the first predominantly Muslim country Aidan and Sydney have traveled. This past Sunday was a great introduction to what may lie ahead.