Country gears up for National Day

Updated 02 October 2013
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Country gears up for National Day

Jubilation is around the corner for Saudi society, which will be celebrating the country’s National Day on Monday. A myriad of cultural and recreational activities will be held to express their patriotic fervor for the nation.
Riyadh, considered the foundation for the modern Kingdom, is at the forefront of celebrations, but people in various regions are also getting ready to celebrate. Governorates are chalking out displays of Saudi heritage.
Establishments are expected to go green on the day. Hundreds of shops are busy selling merchandise to children and youth, ranging from bracelets to portraits of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
Gift shops are going green and have removed regular items from their shelves until Monday. The general price rise syndrome has not hit National Day items, as most Chinese-made items are being sold in the range of SR3 to SR150, the same prices that prevailed last year.
Caps, flags, badges, T-shirts, bracelets, rings, nontoxic facial decoration items, portraits of King Abdullah, wall posters, hand bags, shopping bags, cups, plates, large-sized eye-wear and most importantly, balloons and gift items in green, are selling out fast.
Shops in Jamiah, Kilo 5, Safa and the Balad districts sell such items and women are also flocking to these places.
Seasonal street vendors have also risen to the occasion, positioning themselves at roundabouts and intersections around the city to display their goods. Most of them sell flags, stickers, shumagh and scarves.
Ahmed Omar, a salesman at a leading general store in downtown Jeddah, told Arab News: “Shopping has begun much earlier this year compared to previous years and the response has been overwhelming, with customers coming even during the morning hours.” The Corniche in Jeddah will hold a series of activities over the weekend, with attractions and competitions for residents and visitors, although the Jeddah Municipality has not yet specified a venue for the celebrations.
The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry has extended support to 40,000 students and a Saudi artist in their efforts to establish a world record by creating a 10,000 square meter map with hand prints.
Beaches in Alkhobar and Dammam will also put on firework displays on the eve of the National Day.
In Riyadh, the municipality has earmarked seven different locations for festivities.


A man and his dog — bonded through Arab history

Updated 6 min 52 sec ago
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A man and his dog — bonded through Arab history

  • The image is the earliest evidence for the use of leashes to control dogs, with the earliest records previously found in Egypt, dating from 5,500 years ago
JEDDAH: Recent engravings discovered in northwestern Saudi Arabia depicting a man with a pack of hunting dogs are thought to be among the oldest records of man domesticating animals in the world.
Estimated to date back more than 9,000 years, the engravings, found at Shuwaymis and Jubbah, show a man drawing his bow and arrow surrounded by thirteen dogs, each with unique coat markings, and two on leads.
The area is home to over 1,400 rock carving panels, but these are now considered to be the crown jewel for the subject they convey, according to Maria Guagnin, an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, which is overseeing the site in partnership with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.
Despite the fact that Guagnin and her team cannot precisely date the panel, the condition of the rock and the sequence of the engraving suggest they date back at least nine millennia. However, there remains conflict over when domesticated dogs first arrived on the Arabian peninsula, and whether these animals were descended from the Arabian wold, or dogs tamed by other peoples abroad, somewhere between 15,000 to 30,000 years ago.
Certainly, the image is the earliest evidence for the use of leashes to control dogs, with the earliest records previously found in Egypt, dating from 5,500 years ago. 

Speculation for their development is also unclear — perhaps the leashed animals were more valuable than the others, or maybe the images depict a way to train new dogs.