Private museums open in Madinah to promote Islamic heritage

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Old photos of mosques are displayed at a private museum in Madinah. (AN photo)
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Calligraphy at a private museum in Madinah. (AN photo)
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3D model of Mount Uhud
Updated 05 January 2018

Private museums open in Madinah to promote Islamic heritage

MADINAH: Since the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) began issuing licenses to private museums, several have opened in Madinah.
In Dar Al-Madinah Museum, visitors and researchers can learn about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Islamic civilization and Madinah’s urban culture.
It is “the first and largest specialized museum of the history and cultural heritage of Madinah and the landmarks of the prophet’s life,” Hassan Taher, executive director, told Arab News.
The museum, which has four main halls, publishes specialized periodicals on Madinah’s history and landmarks, and holds seminars and forums in this field.
The hall on the prophet’s life includes a collection of rare paintings and images of Madinah, and unique collections from Islamic history.
Another hall contains an open courtyard where visitors can enjoy nature and Madinah’s ancient architecture.
The museum has “a highly skilled, informed cadre capable of communicating with the public based on documented sources and real scientific references,” Taher said.
The team includes speakers of seven languages, including Arabic, English, Turkish and Urdu, he added.
Visitors include Madinah residents, Umrah and Hajj pilgrims, official delegations, families, university students and schools from outside and inside the city, he said.
The museum is located on King Abdul Aziz Road in Madinah Knowledge Economic City. It is open Saturday to Thursday from 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. The entry fee is SR25 ($6.70).


Culture Minister Prince Badr salutes ‘the father of arts’ as musical play launches Saudi Theater Initiative

Updated 22 min 34 sec ago

Culture Minister Prince Badr salutes ‘the father of arts’ as musical play launches Saudi Theater Initiative

RIYADH: The curtain rose on Tuesday night on a sparkling new musical play — and on an ambitious new era for Saudi theater.

“Daraish Al-Nour” (Windows of Light), written by poet Saleh Zamanan and directed by Fatees Baqna, launched the National Theater Initiative at the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh.

The play, with a cast of local actors including Naif Khalaf, Khaled Saqr and Ibrahim Al-Hassawi, explores Saudi culture past and present, and includes a number of pop-culture and historical references that older audiences in particular will appreciate.

Applause, cheers and whistles rang out through the theater at the end of every act, whether the scene on stage was a cheerful, traditional Saudi dance, or a more intense, dramatic scene full of angst.

The performance was introduced by the Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who described theater as “ the father of arts.” He added: “We have great expectations regarding the future of the art of theater in Saudi Arabia. We want Saudi Arabia to be a leader in the field.”

Abdul Aziz Ismail, president of the National Theater Initiative, said theater was important in Saudi culture and the new scheme was a great step forward for the art form. “Our culture will be reborn through this historic moment,” he said. “We are going to express our culture through our theater.”