farasan islands


Old Ottoman architecture in Farasan island - Saudi Arabia by Eric Lafforgue


Ottoman architecture in Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia

A group of 84 islands in the Red Sea lying 40 km off the southern coast of Saudi Arabia,the Farasan (farazan) Islands Reserve is especially rich in seabird life. The uninhabited islands serve as breeding sites for large numbers of birds and the adjacent marine feeding grounds attract varieties. The reserve also protects the Farasan Islands Gazelle, within what may possibly be the largest population of gazelles left in Saudi Arabia. The waters surrounding the islands are equally important for marine life including dugongs, sea turtles and numerous Manta Rays.

The geographers and historians referred to the importance of the Farasan Islands. It was revealed at Wadi Matar is the biggest archaeological site on the islands where large number of circular, rectangular and other buildings were 30 x 15 m long and were probably used for official purposes. There is also a rock art site on the island and some foundations of the buildings of the Ottoman period such as a big watchtower called Al- Awadi.

The antiquities of the Farasan islands vary in date between the first millennium B. C. and the Ottoman period.

by Eric Lafforgue