Rawashin, the distinctive style of heritage buildings in Jeddah

Updated 10 November 2012
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Rawashin, the distinctive style of heritage buildings in Jeddah

A distinctive feature of old buildings in the historical district in Jeddah is the “rawashin,”or projecting latticed windows adorned with intricate wood works.
Rawashin, a kind of bay windows or oriels that give a markedly different look for the Hejazi architecture making the building different from the Najdi style.
Jeddah being the gate way to the Holy City of Makkah has been serving over the many centuries as the meeting point of various Muslim cultures notably of Arabs, Ottomans and Persians and helped to emerge as a blend of these cultures over centuries.
However the popularity of western architectural style and the difficulty to find experts in the classical Jeddah style are some of the reasons that made the style gradually disappear.
Only an expert of exquisite taste and vast experience can undertake the intricate wood-woks, skylights and jalousies of the old style.
However efforts are being made to preserve the style with special training program in the art of rawashin wood works.
President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) Prince Sultan bin Salman has been interested in preserving the Hijazi architectural style since 25 years even before he became SCTA chief, and used to appeal to local people and establishments to play their role to preserve the heritage features of the old buildings in Jeddah, said Executive Director of the SCTA in the Makkah province Muhammad Al-Amri.
Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Fasial also has been stressing the need to protect the Hijazi architecture.
As a result, a number of Saudi youths are currently receiving training on the Hijazi construction style including the art of the rawashin making.
The word rawashin, plural of roshan, is originated from a Persian word meaning an elevated window which lets in plenty of light.


Muslims perform prayers at renovated historic mosques in Saudi Arabia

Updated 20 May 2018
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Muslims perform prayers at renovated historic mosques in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The renovation of historic sites across Saudi Arabia has breathed life back to several mosques this Ramadan, as worshippers are now able to hold prayers on their premises.
Pictures from the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) showed Muslims performing Taraweeh prayers Saturday night at some of these historic mosques, including the Me’mar mosque in Jeddah, a recently renovated mosque inaugurated last Tuesday by Prince Sultan bin Salman, head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.
The renovation projects aim to rehabilitate historic mosques as part of its partnership with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance. As part of the project, 25 historic mosques have been renovated so far across the Kingdom.
The projects were launched in historic areas, such as Jeddah, Madinah, central Riyadh, and Dariyah.
Prince Sultan announced that King Salman has donated the renovation costs of Al-Hanafi mosque in the historic city of Jeddah, where the late King Abdul Aziz had once prayed.