Saturday, 16 October 2010

Saudi Arabia

One more card for today.. and it's from a new country! It doesn't seem to be too easy to get postcards from Saudi Arabia. I suppose it's at least partly due to the fact that it's difficult for Westerners (or non-Muslims) to visit the country, or that's the impression I've got anyway.

Here you can see terraced slopes in Asir Region of Saudi Arabia. Asir is a province located in the southwest of the country, named after the confederation of clans of the same name. It has an area of 81,000 km² and an estimated population of 1,563,000. It shares a short border with Yemen. Its capital is Abha. Other towns include Khamis Mushayt and Qal'at Bishah.

Geographically, the Asir region is situated on a high plateau that receives more rainfall than the rest of the country and contains the country's highest peaks, which rise to almost 3,000 metres at Jebel Sawdah near Abha. Temperatures are very extreme, with diurnal temperature ranges in the highlands the greatest in the world. It is common for afternoon temperatures to be over 30 °C (85 °F) yet mornings can be extremely frosty and fog can cut visibility to near zero percent. As a result, there is much more natural vegetation in Asir than in any other part of Saudi Arabia, with sheltered areas even containing areas of dense coniferous forests, though more exposed ridges still are very dry. Asir is home to many farmers who chiefly grow wheat and fruit crops, though irrigation has greatly expanded production in modern times.

The stamps are from a set of 16 stamps issued in 2003, depicting Mosques of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

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