Saudi heritage event aims to carve out future for traditional woodcrafts

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The cultural event titled Al-Ahsa Creative highlighted some of the many traditions of the area including music and handicrafts. (Photo/Supplied)
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The cultural event titled Al-Ahsa Creative highlighted some of the many traditions of the area including music and handicrafts. (Photo/Supplied)
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The cultural event titled Al-Ahsa Creative highlighted some of the many traditions of the area including music and handicrafts. (Photo/Supplied)
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The cultural event titled Al-Ahsa Creative highlighted some of the many traditions of the area including music and handicrafts. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 29 March 2019
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Saudi heritage event aims to carve out future for traditional woodcrafts

  • Wood-carving has played an important part in Al-Ahsa’s history

AL-AHSA: Traditional woodcrafts ingrained in a Saudi region’s heritage were showcased at a major festival event.
Wood-carving has played an important part in Al-Ahsa’s history, and experts in the art demonstrated their skills at one of the latest Sharqiah Season attractions taking place in the Eastern Province.
Male and female artists from Al-Ahas are aiming to breathe new life into the ancient craft which has been passed down through generations.
The wood carvings from the region take on many shapes and forms, with triangles being the most popular, and often incorporate calligraphy.
The cultural event titled Al-Ahsa Creative highlighted some of the many traditions of the area including music and handicrafts.
Abdullah Al-Shabaan, 70, has been producing wood carvings since he was 10 years old and is the last person in his family carrying on the tradition.
“I started practicing this craft with my grandfather and uncle, and I would create items after school and on vacations with both of them. The craft brings me peace and I cannot let go of it,” Al-Shabaan told Arab News.
Although his children have not followed in his footsteps, Al-Shabaan has held tutorials for those wishing to learn the craft.
“In 2016 I held a workshop for four females and a male, and one of the women really excelled. Then in 2017 I taught a group of five women and two men, and last year I was teaching 17 young men. Young people remain interested in this craft and are still holding on to it,” he added.
Fatimah Al-Hmoudi, 39, is a visual artist who started carving wood two years ago.
“Women are a minority in this field, and so I’m happy to be among those women who practice this art. I like to merge the past with the present, and as someone from Al-Ahsa I want to hold onto our heritage,” she said. “I am interested in all of Al-Ahsa’s history and want to showcase its identity.”
Al-Hmoudi pointed to one of her artworks shaped as a palm tree and with the word “Al-Ahsa” engraved on it in Arabic. “The palm tree symbolizes Al-Ahsa, and I added patterns that are specific to Al-Ahsa,” she added.
One visitor to the event, Shahad Al-Ghamdi, told Arab News: “Al-Ahsa has developed in so many ways. Culture is being showcased all the time, and we are provided with great entertainment events.”


Two Saudis join WWE Performance Center after successful Jeddah tryout

Updated 4 min 24 sec ago
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Two Saudis join WWE Performance Center after successful Jeddah tryout

  • Kurdi and Aldagal were selected from nearly 30 athletes who took part in the Jeddah tryout
  • Current NXT Superstar Mansoor won recent 50-Man Battle Royal at WWE Super ShowDown in Kingdom

JEDDAH: Two athletes from last year’s historic talent tryout in Jeddah have begun training at the WWE Performance Center.
New signees Faisal Kurdi and Hussain Aldagal, both of Saudi Arabia, reported to WWE’s Orlando training facility several weeks ago.
Kurdi and Aldagal were selected from nearly 30 athletes who took part in the Jeddah tryout. That was the same tryout attended by current NXT Superstar Mansoor, who won the recent 50-Man Battle Royal at WWE Super ShowDown in the Kingdom.
Kurdi boasts a background in amateur grappling, Muay Thai boxing and mixed martial arts, and has placed in championship competitions in the Middle East. He stands 5-foot-8 and weighs 182 pounds.
The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Aldagal has previous athletic experience in volleyball and bodybuilding. Outside of his athletic endeavors, he is also a civil engineer.
As WWE finishes onboarding athletes from the Jeddah tryout, talent scouts are preparing for the next international tryout, which takes place July 15-18 in Shanghai, China.
WWE last held a tryout in China in 2016.