Old Jeddah celebrates Saudi National Day in its own unique way

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A four-day event is to be held in Old Jeddah to mark Saudi National Day with activities organized by the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation, known as Misk. (Photo: Supplied)
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A four-day event is to be held in Old Jeddah to mark Saudi National Day with activities organized by the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation, known as Misk. (Photo: Supplied)
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A four-day event is to be held in Old Jeddah to mark Saudi National Day with activities organized by the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation, known as Misk. (Photo: Supplied)
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A four-day event is to be held in Old Jeddah to mark Saudi National Day with activities organized by the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation, known as Misk. (Photo: Supplied)
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A four-day event is to be held in Old Jeddah to mark Saudi National Day with activities organized by the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation, known as Misk. (Photo: Supplied)
Updated 21 September 2018

Old Jeddah celebrates Saudi National Day in its own unique way

  • Visitors were welcomed in a traditional Saudi way of welcoming guests through singing folk songs that include Arabic poetry.
  • The event also included an exhibition of the ‘Hijazi dances’ and ‘Haret Zaman’, which embodies the city of Jeddah during the last 80 years.

JEDDAH: A four-day event is to be held in Old Jeddah to mark Saudi National Day with activities organized by the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation, known as Misk.
The events, which kicked off in the Al-Balad area on Sept. 20 and run from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m, aim to highlight the most important historical monuments through displaying activities related to the Kingdom’s unification. Historical Jeddah is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
The event will run until Sep 23. In all 22 cultural activities and entertainments have been organized.
Visitors were welcomed in a traditional Saudi way of welcoming guests through singing folk songs that include Arabic poetry. The songs were performed by Yousef Al-Zubairi, who has participated in many national events. He has been performing Hijazi folk songs for more than 13 years.
Yousef Al-Zubairi told Arab News: “I welcome the visitors so that they feel cherished by being here, especially when they come in large groups. I perform the Hijazi hymns called Majassat, it is a traditional folk song.”
The event also included an exhibition of the ‘Hijazi dances’ and ‘Haret Zaman’, which embodies the city of Jeddah during the last 80 years. An open exhibition of handicrafts and traditional dishes has also been laid on.
A number of famous Saudi media influencers attended the event including poet Adwa Al-Dakheel and singer Hisham Abdulrahman.
A 25-meter mural was created by a team of four Saudi artists to mark the day and express their feelings.
Faisal Arif, one of the organizers, said: “The mural contains many distinctive features that personalize the National Day including the new logo of the national day and many prominent symbols related to the Kingdom.”
Abdul Aziz Al-Andanosi, the founder of the art team and owner of Dhad art store, told Arab News: “The mural features parts of the national anthem and many other slogans such as NEOM and Vision 2030.”
A special space has been allocated to a group of talented painters and hobbyists to display their paintings that express their love and gratitude to Saudi Arabia.
Museum of historic items
A number of museums were opened to visitors as part of the event.
Abeer Bashmakh, a fan of Saudi history and archaeology, volunteers each year to spread the knowledge and civilization of the Kingdom to others, introducing visitors to the beauty of Hijazi heritage.
Bashmakh tells visitors about the history of the Hijaz and the historical items found in the Hijaz area, such as ancient Islamic inscriptions.
She told Arab News: “The existence of these jugs engraved in the house was considered as a sign of luxury as the age of the antiquities and collectibles is around 50 to 150 years old and it has inscriptions of the Umayyad period (661–750CE), all of which were discovered in the Arabian Peninsula or in the Hijaz.”
Fouad Bukhari and his rare collection of all Saudi Arabia’s paper and metal coins from the time of its first king to the present was one of the outstanding contributions.
Bukhari owns a private museum in his home containing a large collection of the most important and rare Saudi and Hijazi coins, as well as the first postage stamp created by the first Saudi state.
Bukhari said: “I am proud to participate today to spread the knowledge among the younger generation about the rarest currencies and stamps of the country.”
He added: “I have coins dating back to (1344) in the Islamic calendar (1925), the year in which the first coin belonging to the Saudi state under King Abdul Aziz was made. It does not contain the two swords and palm tree, as it was adopted to the Saudi currency for the first time during the rule of King Saud.”
Three soundproof pavilions were available for children and adults to sing the Saudi National Anthem and share them on social media platforms.


Saudi Arabia confirms no change in Israel travel rules

Updated 42 min 48 sec ago

Saudi Arabia confirms no change in Israel travel rules

  • Foreign minister says Israeli passport holders are still unable to visit the the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has confirmed that Israeli citizens are still unable to visit the Kingdom.

Foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the policy has not changed despite Israel saying on Sunday that its passport holders could now travel to the country for religious and business visits.

“Our policy is fixed,” Prince Faisal told CNN. “We do not have relations with the state of Israel and Israeli passport holders cannot visit the Kingdom at the current time.”

His comments come as Donald Trump prepares to unveil his Middle East peace plan on Tuesday. An agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would be key to improving relations with Arab countries, most of which have no diplomatic ties with Israel.

“When a peace agreement is reached between the Palestinians and the Israelis, I believe the issue of Israel’s involvement in the region will be on the table,” Prince Faisal added.

Israel’s interior minister said on Sunday that Israelis - if invited and permitted by Saudi authorities - would be allowed to travel there for religious reasons on pilgrimage or for up to nine days for business reasons such as investment or meetings.

Israelis, mostly Muslims going on pilgrimage, do visit the Kingdom, but usually with special permission or using foreign passports.

Saudi Arabia, along with most Arab countries have no official diplomatic relations with Israel, and citizens of those countries are not able to travel to Israel nor Israelis to those countries.

However, relations between Israel and Gulf states have improved in recent years, particularly over a shared stand against Iran and its aggressive policies in the region.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last month that he welcomed Israel’s warming ties to Arab countries in the region.

In 2018, Netanyahu visited Oman and met the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

*With Reuters