Italy taps ‘design ambassador’ to photograph Saudi UNESCO heritage sites for posterity

Luca Capuano, an Italian design ambassador and a photographer for UNESCO, is on his first visit to Saudi Arabia. (AN photo)
Updated 06 March 2018
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Italy taps ‘design ambassador’ to photograph Saudi UNESCO heritage sites for posterity

JEDDAH: Italy wants one of its most celebrated photographers to capture images of Saudi UNESCO heritage sites for posterity.
“We have UNESCO sites in Italy, and we have UNESCO sites here. We want to create a link. We want to always show what brings us together, not what divides us,” said the Italian Consul General, Elisabetta Martini.
She was speaking on Sunday at an Italian Design Day, organized by the Italian Consulate at the Italian Cultural Club in Jeddah.
Also there was Luca Capuano, an Italian design ambassador and a photographer for UNESCO, the UN cultural agency. He is on his first visit to Saudi Arabia.
“I’ve seen a lot of interesting things. I’d like to explore the Kingdom more, and come back here again for further exploration,” he told Arab News.
Capuano, who is noted for his architectural work, was commissioned to photograph Italy’s 44 World Heritage sites in 2010, and in 2016 he documented the Dheisheh Palestinian refugee camp near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, also a World Heritage site.
“We hope to produce a catalog of UNESCO sites from the Western Region of Saudi Arabia photographed by Capuano,” Martini said.
Saudi Instagram sensation Hamza Jamjoom was also at the event.
“What interested me most is the environment … and of course the artwork,” he said. “It’s a great event.”


ThePlace: Fayfa Mountains in the southwest of Saudi Arabia

The Fayfa Mountains are also home to the largest museum in the Jazan region. (Photo/Sauditourism.sa)
Updated 20 October 2018
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ThePlace: Fayfa Mountains in the southwest of Saudi Arabia

  • Agriculture is the main industry in the area, as the fertile land is perfect for cereals, fruits and aromatic plants

Fayfa Mountains In a largely desert country that contains large expanses of the Rub Al-Khali — “the empty quarter” — one might not expect to also find an area filled with luscious vegetation and greenery. Yet the Fayfa Mountains in the southwest of Saudi Arabia, to the east of Jazan, offer just such a lush environment, which can justifiably be described as “heaven on earth.”
The heritage of the region and its people is as rich as the color of the grass in spring. They have their own popular arts, folk tales, legends and poetry. Twenty tribes and clans make up the population of this area. The tribesmen wear flowery wreaths in their hair and wrap colorful cloth around their waists, and as a part of their traditional dress they sometimes also wear silver daggers hanging from belts.
With its rich vegetation and moderate climate, the Fayfa mountain range provides the perfect habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. The weather is moderate, compared with other mountain ranges in the Kingdom, as the breezes that blow in carry moisture from the Red Sea, which helps to prevent it from becoming too cold.
The Fayfa Mountains are also home to the largest museum in the Jazan region, which is located in a castle and has displays of priceless historical treasures including vintage weapons and bandoliers, ropes, carriage bags, tools, fire lanterns and much more.
Agriculture is the main industry in the area, as the fertile land is perfect for cereals, fruits and aromatic plants.
Despite the dreamy location and its many attractions, not many people are aware of the Fayfa Mountains. With fog-enveloped landscapes and air so rich that breathing in it increases your energy and makes you feel good about yourself, it definitely deserves more recognition and appreciation.