Contest puts spotlight on Jeddah heritage

Published — Tuesday 26 February 2013

Last update 26 February 2013 1:56 am

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Prince Turki Abdullah Al-Faisal, president of the Society of Architectural Heritage Protection in Jeddah, and Hani Abu Ras, the mayor of Jeddah, inaugurated the society’s exhibition on Saturday at Naseef House in the city’s historical district of Balad. The event included an award ceremony in honor of the winners and participants of the “Save the heritage of Jeddah” photography contest.
The Society of Architectural Heritage Protection, in cooperation with Jeddah Municipality, organized the photography contest three months ago, encouraging Saudi artists to highlight the city’s beautiful heritage, culture and traditions. The organizers sought to use the power of art as an effective tool in promoting the rich heritage of the city’s old districts and in promoting the country’s culture.
“We organized this contest and exhibition at Naseef House in Balad to draw the public’s attention to the precious heritage present in the old Jeddah area. This is a call for authorities to help us protect and preserve our national treasures,” said Ahmed Al-Shareef, founder of the society.
Meanwhile, Prince Turki praised the efforts of the society and artists for delivering a powerful and artistic advocacy call toward saving Jeddah’s heritage.
Around 70 artists and photographers participated in the contest. The winner of the photography contest was Nada Yahya Aqeel, while Hissa Salaman Al-Moald and Nesreen Jafar Al-Moald were awarded the second and third place respectively.
In the professional artists’ category, Abdullah Nawawi took home the first place prize with Maryam Baflah next and Mohammed Kahal in third place.
Esa Engawi, a famous Saudi photographer and the chief jury of the contest, said that the initiative was a significant step toward protecting the old houses in Jeddah’s historical districts and simultaneously enhancing the tourism activity in the area.
“The plan was to have a record of the old houses so in future the houses can be repaired and refurbished for the purpose of tourism and saving the city’s heritage,” he explained.
Engawi revealed that the society is anticipating the municipality’s help in restoring the old houses.
Mohammed Al-Khosa, an artist, and Sameer Gumaysani, the president of the tour guide society in Saudi Arabia, both agreed that the photography contest has succeeded in drawing greater attention to the downtown area and will help in improving domestic tourism.

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