Fire damages six buildings in Jeddah’s historic center

This combination image from pictures shared on Twitter shows fire devouring adjacent buildings in Jeddah's Al-Balad district and firefighters at work. (Twitter photos)
Updated 16 August 2017
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Fire damages six buildings in Jeddah’s historic center

JEDDAH: A fire took hold of six buildings, three of which collapsed completely, in Jeddah’s historic center Tuesday, forcing 60 people to evacuate, officials said.
“Rescue teams managed Tuesday evening to evacuate about 60 people to safe areas, while firefighters extinguished the blaze that broke out at the front of six buildings, all of which were populated and within the historic area,” Col. Saeed Sarhan, civil defense spokesman in the region of Makkah, said.
Engineer Sami Nawar, mayor of the Al-Balad district, said that the affected buildings included those by the names of Al-Qumsani, Al-Ashmawi and Abdel-Aal. The names of the other affected buildings were not immediately released.
More than a dozen firefighting and rescue teams from Jeddah’s General Directorate of Civil Defense helped in battling the blaze.
By 10 p.m., firefighters managed to contain around 80 percent of the blaze, according to Nawar.
“According to preliminary information available to investigators, the fire broke out in a four-story brick building made of mud and coral limestone drawn from the Red Sea and roofed with wood. The flames extended to two other buildings within the area through wooden beams at the front of the buildings. The two buildings later collapsed,” Nawar said.

The emergency response teams rushed to the scene of the fire as soon as the incident was reported, however, witnesses said the teams were delayed due to the lack of space between buildings in the area.
The buildings in the immediate area were evacuated to ensure the safety of the neighborhood’s residents and firefighters combed the affected buildings — including those which had collapsed — to ensure no one was left inside, Sarhan said.
The Saudi Red Crescent Authority established a medical screening area close to the site in anticipation of any injuries that could have occurred during the attempt to battle the blaze. In addition, security patrols, police and the traffic department are working together with the civil defense teams to secure the area.
Sarhan confirmed that the incident did not result in any injuries or loss of life.
Jeddah’s governor, Prince Mishaal bin Majed, is in touch with the director of Jeddah’s General Directorate of Civil Defense regarding the matter.
Al-Balad is the historic center of Jeddah and the primary gateway to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.


Saudi Cultural Exhibition concludes in Moscow

Seven Saudi films from young local directors streamed during the exhibition. (SPA)
Updated 18 June 2018
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Saudi Cultural Exhibition concludes in Moscow

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cultural Exhibition in Moscow, organized by the General Culture Authority on the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup, has concluded its activities and events.
The four-day exhibition attracted a large number of visitors, who were informed about Saudi culture, art and heritage through short films, traditional costumes, folkloric shows, and books translated into Russian.
There were also various pavilions, including for Arabic calligraphy, Saudi hospitality, Arabic coffee, henna and fine art, as well as one aimed at children. Seven films by young Saudi directors were screened, and were well received by audiences.
Seven Saudi films from young local directors streamed during the exhibition.
The exhibition was part of the General Culture Authority’s efforts to inform people about Saudi culture, art and identity.