An Ordinary Rooftop in Al Izdihar is in the Spotlight


When the coronavirus pandemic hit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world in March this year, we were mandated to confine to our apartments or houses. The stifling room environment every day made me look for a way to get some fresh air and just be outside, safely, from time to time. Our house doesn’t have a garden, a terrace, a balcony, or a patio but it has a rooftop.

That random day I set foot on the rooftop to sunbathe, after realizing that I’ve gotten pallid, was the day I discovered another set of mundane wonders I never knew were there.

Going to the rooftop became a craving. It also became my most-wanted space since, not only because of the fresh air and its go-to place offer for a break but isolation from crowds while being able to run, walk, play badminton, watch the sun sets or rises, drink coffee or tea, and marvel at the doves and other birds cloud the sky or simply hover over on a hot day.

Thank God the rooftop is big and wide enough to do many activities. Well, this is just an ordinary rooftop covered with dust; some metal panels on the side; unused pieces of furniture; and a few tar butts. The quarantine era has turned this spot into, other than a craving, a haven for my itchy feet and mobile nature nevertheless.

It has such a familiar vibe we all can feel and relate to. No wonder so many people around the world were brought together up on the rooftops during the height of this pandemic to pay tribute to our frontline workers. This endeavor was called “#ClapBecauseWeCare“. People applauded, cheered, and banged pots and pans to express their gratitude to our essential workers particularly in the medical field.

This rooftop is now my kind of go-to spot whenever the urges creep in: bathe (for Vitamin D) run, walk, sightsee, breathe, play badminton, marvel at the doves and other birds clouds the sky or simply hovers over on a hot day, and, yeah, supplicate! The most favorite among these is catching the tail end of the sunset. That’s what I meant when I said breathe.

This outside space is now where I feel like time seems to slow down. I needed a place like this—somewhere I can peacefully digest the changes that entered our doors. I’m just so glad I come across this part of the house. Those changes, collectively, are now a culture. It was hard to accept nine months ago, but it’s all there is. Might as well take it and leave the complaints behind.

The urban life has come back for most countries. Well, not fully but at least…For us here in Riyadh and other parts of the world, vaccination against COVID-19 has already started. This is a big step towards the looming better days.

Until then, let’s not forget that the rooftops have provided us with a sense of tranquility, control, and normalcy during the lockdown days. Living through this pandemic opened my eyes to the fact that they’re not only a place for my itchy feet and mobile nature a few months ago. They meant so much more than that when people around the world used them as a special place to do that act of goodwill — #ClapBecauseWeCare.

In case you haven’t been to your house, apartment, or even the office’s rooftop, it’s high time for you to do so. It’s high time to revisit it if you haven’t been there recently. It’s high time to rethink of how to utilize the space. Remember, there’s always something beautiful out of the mundane. You’ll sure see a thing or two of these mundane wonders. Sunsets, clouds, steeetlights, and sunrises will never look better than from the top of a roof for starters.

Related Articles

#ClapBecauseWeCare: World cheers for frontline workers (csmonitor.com)

Photographer captures New York’s spirit thriving on rooftops in a pandemic. Watch (hindustantimes.com)

Best Rooftops For Social Distancing In New York City (essence.com)

8 Comments Add yours

  1. vinneve says:

    Happy Christmas to U. Stay safe!

    Like

    1. Likewise, Vinneve! Looking forward to a more active presence here on WP in 2021. Also, to give time to reading which is someyhing I’m not really into. Bought a kindle for this to give it a go. Talking about fragments of my new year’s resolutions there. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Boots says:

    Merry Christmas Sonyboy! Been missing here on WP but I’m back with my last post of 2020. Glad to see you more active writing blogs again! Hope you have a great 2021.

    Like

    1. Happy New Year, Boots. I hope things are a lot better for you and the family and the same wish for 2021. Let’s just face the years ahead without overhyping it.

      Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mabel Kwong says:

    This is such a reflective post, Sony. COVID-19 has certainly changed the world this year. For many of us around the world, this has meant we are staying home most of the time. As someone who likes to travel, it must have been a big change for you to stay home. That is amazing you can go up to the rooftop of your house and get some fresh air up there. Also amazing that you can do sports and outdoor activities up there. It sounds ordinary but seems like you made the space your own.

    I don’t have a rooftop here to do roam around. Here in Melbourne we have been allowed to go out for short walks when we were in lockdown. I don’t like heights so going to a rooftop is not the ideal way for me to spend my time lol.

    Like you when all this first started, I found thing hard to accept. But then I decided to go along with it and everything just fell into place. Life is pretty normal here in Melbourne except for social distancing and mask wearing, and still working from home for quite a few of us. Hopefully we can manage this all and things get better around the world soon.

    Take care.

    Like

    1. Hi, Mabel. Thanks for your complementing words as always.

      I still make it a point to go the nearest green park every now and then. I crave that smell of the grass and the oxygen from a few trees there. Nothing beats nature’s abundance.

      Like

      1. Mabel Kwong says:

        That is good to hear you still make it a point to go to a green park now and then. Ah, the smell of grass is lovely, especially if it’s freshly cut or mowed grass. Hope you are doing okay over there. Take care and stay safe.

        Like

      2. Yes, the smell of the grass is one of the reasons. All is well here, Mabel. Praying the same thing is the case for you there💐

        Like

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