Saturday, July 23, 2005

I touched next year's Kiswah

Photo: A visit to the factory where the covering of the Kaaba is made. The entire process costs US$5 million and takes 8 months. A new kiswah is made every year. © Fareena Alam. Please do not re-use without permission and proper credit.

The visit to the factory where they make the cloth for the Kaaba was my favourite field trip. When we walked in, the workers were already sowing and embroidering the cloth. They first sewed on yellow stuffing onto the letters. Then they covered the stuffing with real gold and silver wire. It was awesome to see each letter embroidered by hand.

Then we walked over to the next room where they weave the black cloth. Everywhere around the room were pieces of black silk. They used to weave this cloth by hand but now they use a really complicated looking, self-automated machine. Turn it on and it automatically weaves the beautiful black fabric with words in praise of God.

As we left, most of us were given a little piece of yellow thread or gold or silver wire, or even a piece of black silk.

I got to touch the Kiswa that will cover the Kaaba next year. Most people don't get this opportunity even if they have been living here for years. For this opportunity, I am truly grateful.

Reema Lateef
Age 11


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