This is an extraordinary restored Ottoman era house which was originally constructed in 1648 AD and then further extended by Sheikh Ahmed as-Suhaymi (he named this house). The house then fell into disrepair but over the past few years, has been painstakingly restored back to its original glory. It is absolutely fascinating, one rarely sees this kind of structure elsewhere in the world, how a rich merchant actually lived. You get to see how princes and kings lived, but not the hoi polloi.
After paying the entrance fees, I enter into a corridor which leads into..
Its surrounded with a set of intricately carved mashrabiyas on the windows. A little garden in the middle provides an oasis of green in the middle of the ochre's and browns and sandy colours around the courtyard. Then I moved into a room.
Very tall ceilings which made the house very cool and dim. Lovely feeling of peace and quiet.
Wonderfully carved cupboard doors.
This is what it looks like from inside the mashrabiya, There are several panels embedded inside each other, so you can open the mashrabiya as much as one wants, either the full window, or a smaller part or just a tiny bit. So the women can look out but the men cant.
Highly decorated and painted ceilings.
Check out the internal wooden fixtures, highly carved and polished to a high patina.
Sitting at the gazebo and looking out at the trees in the courtyard.
the rooms also had wooden highly carved intricate furniture. One can see a throne, a couch, chairs and the one at the bottom is a quran reader. You put the Quran on the left and sit on the right.
There were several rooms which had marble fountains in a sunken area, usually in the living room. Lovely idea, no? would have cooled down the rooms and also would have provided a great tinkling background. I would have loved to check out the plumbing….I so wanted to check out the bathrooms, but was unable to find them. It is my firm belief that progress of a culture and its civilisation can be measured by the state of the bathrooms.
That was the end of the trip to watch this fascinating house (here is the view of the alleyway outside the house), but for some reason, I was not able to get it to talk to me, I was standing in the middle of the rooms and wanting to feel the patter of children’s feet, or the whisper of conversations in corners, or the sounds of food being cooked. But no, did not get that feeling. Perhaps the restoration was too much change, but still, something to see..Here is the slideshow with many many more photographs and bigger resolution.