Jazan Heritage Village brings centuries of tradition in one place

Visitors can experience ancient commercial life in the souq, where archaeological artifacts, traditional pots and aromatic plants are displayed.
Updated 02 January 2018
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Jazan Heritage Village brings centuries of tradition in one place

JAZAN: Jazan Heritage Village, at the southern Jazan corniche, is a cultural landmark that captures the ancient history of Jazan, linking it to its flourishing present.

Visitors to this village can see the province’s past displayed through live symbols of the cultural and civilizational diversity of the region’s different environments and terrains.

The village was established in 2009 based on directives of the governor of Jazan, Prince Muhammad bin Nasser bin Abdul Aziz, following the success of the first Jazan Winter Festival, which honored the region’s heritage and archaeological treasures. The village has become the permanent venue for this festival.

The village’s visitors are first met by its gate, which leads to the traditional three-story house, Al Baitul Jabali, with its solid architecture that was specially designed to suit the mountain’s environment and overcome natural erosion.

Further into the village, visitors can see Al Baitul Tihami, the traditional Jazan hut made of mud, which gave it the name Al Ousha Attiniya (the mud nest). This house’s dwellers enjoyed the simplicity and elegance of the Tihami lifestyle.

Al Baitul Farasani is connected to the village by a bridge. This traditional house is an embodiment of Farasan Island with its sea, pearls, and shells.

In the center of the village, visitors can experience ancient commercial life in the souk (the traditional market), where archaeological artifacts, traditional pots, and aromatic plants are displayed. The air here is filled with the aroma of pandanus tectorius and Arabian jasmine. The souk also contributes to promoting the region’s old crafts, and attracts artisans to display their products.

The heritage village focuses on showing the different cultural aspects of Jazan, including traditional arts and folkloric colors, in addition to offering cultural heritage programs, special programs for children and youth, and poetry reading events.

The village captures the lifestyles of people who inhabited Jazan long ago and used natural resources to build houses, furniture, and utensils, turning Jazan into a great civilization. This village connects the past generations with the current one in hopes of further work and development.

Every year, the Jazan Heritage Village welcomes large numbers of visitors who come to enjoy the region’s heritage, cuisine, and shops during the Jazan Winter Festival.

One of the village’s important craftsmen, Mohammed Ahmed Al-Ghamari, crafts ancient daggers and swords, which is a profession passed down to him from his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather; in addition, he makes agricultural tools from iron, like axes.

“The Ghamari swords and daggers are famous in Jazan for being some of the region’s finest swords due their high quality and professional craftsmanship,” he said.

“The daggers and swords’ grips are made from deer antlers and bones,” he continued. “They are sculpted in a way that makes the sword or dagger more beautiful.”

“The blades of the daggers and swords are made of solid steel, sharpened, and sculpted by hand using my special lathe,” he added.

Al-Ghamari also explained that these products are priced differently compared to imported swords and daggers because of the great difference in quality.

“Imported swords largely impact our centuries-old craft and trade,” he said. “The swords we make cost at least SR1,000 ($267), depending on the effort put into sculpting it, while imported ones cost a maximum of SR120 — some even cost as little as SR30.”

Moreover, the city of Jazan is famous for its sesame oil presses. Sesame oil is sold to visitors at varying prices.

In the souk’s center, there is a model of an ancient sesame oil press, which was traditionally camel powered; camels would be tied to the mill in a certain manner and would circle it in order to press the sesame.


Saudi foreign minister in Indonesia

Indonesia President Joko Widodo welcomes Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at presidential palace in Bogor, Indonesia, on Monday, October 22, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 8 min 53 sec ago
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Saudi foreign minister in Indonesia

  • The Kingdom and Indonesia, the two OIC member nations, has had diplomatic ties since 1950

JEDDAH: Indonesian President Joko Widodo received Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir in Bogor on Monday. The Saudi foreign minister conveyed the greetings of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the Indonesian president and best wishes for him and the people of Indonesia.
The two leaders reviewed bilateral ties and ways of enhancing cooperation. They also discussed latest regional and international developments.
Saudi Arabia and Indonesia will hold their first joint ministerial commission meeting in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Riyadh and Jakarta have endorsed two major agreements this month. As per one of the agreements signed earlier this month, Indonesia will now allow domestic workers to again work in the Kingdom. The cooperation deal, which covers a number of domestic professions, was signed by Ahmad bin Suleiman Al-Rajihi, minister of labor and social development, and Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri, Indonesian minister of manpower and transmigration, in Jakarta on Oct. 11. AN Jeddah
This month, Indonesia also ratified a defense cooperation agreement that it had inked with Saudi Arabia earlier.
The Kingdom and Indonesia, the two OIC member nations, has had diplomatic ties since 1950. Indonesia seeks more engagement with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). As such, Indonesia is currently proposing to have a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the GCC countries.
According to the Indonesian Ministry of Trade Report, the volume of trade exchange between Indonesia and GCC last year amounted to $10.3 billion. GCC enjoyed a surplus of $3.3 billion mainly on account of its oil and gas exports.