Palace atop mountain in Asir showcases Islamic history

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Updated 26 February 2013
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Palace atop mountain in Asir showcases Islamic history

JEDDAH: Atop Sarwat Mountain in Asir Province stands a palace representing the era of ancient Islamic history.
Called the "Palace of Islamic Civilizations," the structure located north of the city of Abha, part of the mountains of the Namas city, was built by citizen Mohammed bin Ali Al-Maqer for 27 years.
The decorations within the palace is patterned after Andalusian architecture. It has 300 Andalusian windows.
There are seven domes representing the continents of the world, 360 columns marking the days of the year, as well as an Islamic cultural scene in the Kingdom with more than 20 interfaces, and its corridors surrounded by hanging gardens with three million Islamic ornament plants.
The first floor typifies civilization of the Umayyad, Andalusian and Abbasid dynasties; the second floor demonstrates Islamic civilization from China in the east to West Africa, containing more than 18,000 antiquities; while the third floor represents Muslim civilization in the West and has more than 80,000 historical manuscripts.
The Palace has the oldest manuscripts of the Holy Qura'n, some of more than a thousand manuscripts of the Islamic holy book.
Mohammed Al-Maqer said the palace has become a popular destination for visitors of Namas city. He said the development of the palace continues and he hopes it will join the ranks of best international museums on cultural heritage.

 


Celebrities born in the Arab world

Updated 21 April 2018
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Celebrities born in the Arab world

Arabs love to boast of any famous person who was born and/or raised in our homeland (or have even visited it). To help you out at your next dinner party, here’s a list of A-listers that were born in the MENA region.
Lebanon: Keanu Reeves
The “Matrix” trilogy star was born in Lebanon’s capital of Beirut on September 2, 1964 to an English mother and Asian-American father. He barely lived in Beirut before moving around with his family until his parents’ divorce when he was just three years old, but hey, Neo was one of us for a while.
Oman: Isla Fisher
The “Confessions of a Shopaholic” star was born in Muscat, where her father worked as a banker for the United Nations, in 1976. The family moved to Scotland before heading to Australia, where Fisher spent the majority of her childhood before finding fame on Aussie soap “Home and Away.”
Morocco: Jean Reno
The “Leon: The Professional” actor was born to Spanish parents in Casablanca in 1948 and lived there until the age of 17, when he left to study acting in France. The glum-faced thesp went on to star in several blockbusters, including “Mission Impossible,” “Godzilla,” and “The Pink Panther.”
Yemen: Eddie Izzard
The British comedian, actor and writer was born to English parents in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. Izzard rose to fame in the 1990s with his surreal, good-natured stand-up, and has gone on to appear in a number of box-office Hollywood hits, including “Ocean’s 11” and “The Lego Batman Movie.”
Kuwait: Sanjeeda Sheikh
The Indian actress (pictured here with her husband Aamir Ali) was born in Kuwait in 1984. She moved to Mumbai to help a friend open a dance academy before landing the role of Nimmo in TV show “Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa” in 2005. Sheikh recently starred in the romantic drama series “Love Ka Hai Intezaar.”
Saudi Arabia: Melora Walters
The US actress, perhaps best known for her role as Wanda Henrickson in the Emmy-winning, Mormon-baiting TV show “Big Love,” was born in Dhahran in 1960. The well-respected actress is a favorite of acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson, appearing in several of his movies.