More middle-eastern promise

I dropped-in at Sands of Time at the weekend, a marvellous region which offers a heaven of peace and tranquility – as well as a host of beautiful vistas – for the footsore and weary seeking shelter from the rush and excitement of SL10BCC.

Jordan First
Jordan First

Well, I’m staying with things of an middle-eastern flavour, because in playing catch-up with my explorations, I’ve opted to cover Jordan First, the home of Kingdom of Jordan, another stunning and very photogenic build; this one with a foot planted firmly in history (and one Ziki Questi visited about the same time I did, but beat me to the post, so I opted to hang back a while before Pressing an article of my own). A homestead region owned by Farah Loordes is described as a “hangout” area – which grossly undersells it.

The default arrival point kind-of gives away the secret of the build from the moment you arrive, so I’ve opted to give a SLurl that will bring you to a little wooden pier over the sea next to a sand-kissed beach. A long stone stairway leads up the cliffs to the top of the island which, if you’ve visited Hazardous, will immediately appear very familiar – not that Jordan First is in any way a copy of the latter.

Jordan First
Jordan First

Climb the steps, and you’ll find places to sit, chat and pass the time in a landscape which is again reflective of Hazardous (and which includes elements by Wendy Xeno and Mandingo Quan). On the far side of the island is another set of stone steps leading down to a further beach and more places to sit, relax and share. There is even a mix of table-top games to sometimes be found as well.

It’s another of those beautifully minimalist landscapes that speaks volumes, especially when there are just two or three of you there, and it is  – as ever – a place I think is utterly suited to the eye of the camera, and which really invites time and effort spent playing with the viewer’s windlight settings & fiddling around with things in post-process.

Jordan First
Jordan First

But that’s not all. Follow the beach (from either set of steps) and you will eventually come to a deep gorge cutting into the island, with stepping-stones leading you into it over the water. Follow them and you’ll find a reproduction of Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”), rightly regarded as one of the most elaborate temples in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra, and famed throughout the world thanks to numerous films and documentaries.

Catching a glimpse of The Treasury through the narrow ravine is a genuine “Oooo!” moment, and doubtless one which has / is / will be the subject of many SL snapshots…

Jordan First
Jordan First

The inclusion of Al Khazneh in the build wonderfully straddles the RL / SL divide; bring a genuine piece of historical culture into Second Life and presenting it in a manner which is visually appealing in an environment which is a pleasure to visit and enjoy.


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2 thoughts on “More middle-eastern promise

  1. And here’s the song I was talking about earlier.

    And here are the lyrics (translated)…

    Hear now the story of Kemal,
    A young prince of the Orient,
    Descendant of Sinbad the sailor,
    Who thought he could change the world.
    But bitter is the will of Allah
    And dark are the souls of men.

    In the lands of the Orient, once upon a time
    The purses they were empty, the water it was mouldy
    Down in Mosul, down in Basrah, underneath the old date-palms
    Filled with bitterness and sadness do the desert’s children cry.

    And a young man born of noble and royal line
    Hears the weeping and the crying and rides away to them.
    The Beduins look at him with a sorrowful gaze
    And to Allah he swears before them, that the times are going to change.

    When the lords heard of the lad’s audacity
    Moved forth with wolf’s fang and lion’s mane
    From Tigris to Euphrates, from the Earth to the Skies
    They hunt the rebel to catch him alive.

    The mob falls on him like a pack of rabid dogs
    And to the Caliph they take him to put the noose on him.
    Black the honey, black the milk that he drank on that dawn
    Before leaving on the gallows his last breath.

    With a couple of old camels and a bay stallion
    At the gates of Paradise the prophet awaits.
    Hand by hand they go among the clouds so dense
    But the Star of Damascus kept them company.

    In a month, in a year, they see Allah before them
    Who, from his throne so high, tells the foolish old Sinbad:
    “My defeated smart lad, the times they never change,
    With fire and with blade the world always moves forth.”

    Goodnight Kemal. This world will never change.


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