From the religious tourist attraction at Al Quran Al Akbar to Kampung Kapitan 7 Ulu Palembang, a Tinghoa settlement, we then made our way to Kampung Arab al-Munawar/ Kampung Munawar to be immersed with the Arab culture of the community that originated from Hadramout, Yemen. They have been living in Palembang for 300 years to spread the Islam. Maneuvering the small road through the morning market, we alighted at the alley leading to Kampung Arab al-Munawar. The alley was just enough for one vehicle to pass. Despite the narrow alley, there was ample parking to accommodate more than 5 cars.
The traffic on the way to Kampung Munawar. Driving is not for the faint-hearted.
We proceeded to the house near the parking area for arranged special luncheon. The luncheon was prepared by the Arab community in Kampung Munawar based on their traditional Arabic menu comprises of flavoured ghee rice (nasi minyak), grilled lamb, gado-gado (salad with peanut sauce), beef curry, pickled vegetables (acar) and local fruits.
The food was delicious and highly recommended to all. I helped myself to few servings of the rice. According to Ka Ali, the traditional eating way is known as ‘munggahan’ where guests would sit surrounding the cuisine served on a piece of clothes, normally in a group of 8.
After we finished our meals, Ka Ali served his famous brewed Arabian coffee.
If you are interested for the luncheon, you can contact Ka Ali through his Instagram @kampungalmunawar.
Either you prefer having the luncheon first or after checking out Kampung Munawar, you should not miss the walkabout at Kampung Arab Munawar. They are the most instagrammable in the whole of Palembang against the backdrop of the old-age mansions.
Just walk straight until you reach the Musi River, where there are also houses with beautiful exterior design. At the corner, there is a mosque which is used by the Arab community in the area.
While the current generation may have blended well with the local culture, most of them can converse in Arabic language with Yemeni accent.
Another common trait of the Arab community is the facial feature. They have white to brown skin, big eyes, dense brows, cursive eyelashes and long nose. Even the kids playing on the street looks more Yemeni than you can imagine. Some were very shy of having their pictures taken and if they refuse, just leave them alone.
According to the online sources, the women from the Arab community is not allowed to marry outside the Arab community to preserve the bloodline of the prophet Muhammad, pbuh.
Address: Kampung Munawar, Jalan KH Azhari Kelurahan 13 Ulu, Palembang