Writing’s on the wall for unsightly graffiti in 36 Saudi cities

Many of the walls will be decked out with art works, including Al-Qatt Al-Asiri. (Supplied photo)
Updated 23 July 2019

Writing’s on the wall for unsightly graffiti in 36 Saudi cities

  • 5,700 students tapped to replace graffiti with traditional art
  • The massive spruce-up operation will take place in southwest region of Asir

RIYADH: An initiative to clear unsightly graffiti from the walls of 36 Saudi cities and replace it with traditional art has been officially launched.

A 5,700-strong army of students will be drafted for the massive spruce-up operation to take place over a period of 36 hours across the Kingdom’s southwest region of Asir.

Once the walls have been cleaned, the second phase of the project will involve raising awareness about the importance of maintaining public spaces, with the city of Abha the first to benefit. There, a length of wall covering more than 2,000 square meters, will be decorated.

The scheme is partly aimed at encouraging Asir youth to become proactive citizens in their own cities, and role models for other provinces.

FAST FACTS

The scheme aims to encourage Asir youth to become proactive citizens in their own cities, and role models for other provinces.

Students from seven education administrations in the region will clean walls on main and side roads, and also suburbs, in 36 cities.

An official statement issued by Asir regional authorities, said the objectives behind the Asir campaign were “to encourage social responsibility among its citizens, empower youth to participate in activities that bring out their potential, and to increase awareness of responsibility toward public ownership.”

Students from seven education administrations in the region will clean walls on main and side roads, and also suburbs, in 36 cities.

Many of the walls will then be decked out with art works including Al-Qatt Al-Asiri, a traditionally female interior wall decoration. In 2017, the ancient art form was added to the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The statement added that Asir had been embracing cultural art for decades, and Al-Qatt Al-Asiri was now identified with the Asir region around the world. The British Museum and other major international exhibition centers have been acquiring the work of Asir artists in recent years.

Attending the launch of the initiative in Abha, Dr. Walid Al-Humaidi, the secretary of Asir region, said: “This initiative is part of objectives to improve the urban landscape, which is one of the most important programs of national transformation in the municipal sector in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

He added that the second part of the project aimed to increase awareness about the value of artwork and its role in developing a sense of human belonging.


Jazan’s coffee bean production expected to reach 300 tons in 2020

Al-Dayer accounts for 80 percent of Jazan’s coffee production. The number of farmers in the region has exceeded 700. (Photos/Supplied)
Updated 7 min 42 sec ago

Jazan’s coffee bean production expected to reach 300 tons in 2020

  • Coffee bean trees are planted and cultivated at an altitude of 800-2,000 meters above sea level

JAZAN: The seventh Coffee Beans Festival starts on Jan. 30, amid expectations that more than 300 tons of coffee beans will be produced and enter the Saudi market by the end of 2020 due to increased production in the Jazan mountains.
“This year’s festival is completely different in terms of activities, with more focus on displaying the local products of Saudi coffee bean farmers,” Dr. Mefarah Al-Malki, director of the festival, told Arab News.
“There are new programs to turn the spotlight on the achievements of Saudi young men and women.”
Award-winning coffee farmer Hussain Hadi Al-Malki, from Al-Dayer governorate, said the Jazan region produced 250 tons of coffee beans last year, but this year production will reach 300 tons.

FASTFACTS

• Coffee bean trees are planted and cultivated at an altitude of 800-2,000 meters above sea level. The higher the altitude, the greater the yield and quality. 

• Coffee bean trees need special care, and take up to five years from the time a seed is planted until production.

He added that Al-Dayer accounts for 80 percent of Jazan’s coffee bean production, and that the number of coffee farmers in the region has exceeded 700.
Coffee bean trees are planted and cultivated at an altitude of 800-2,000 meters above sea level. The higher the altitude, the greater the yield and quality.
Coffee bean trees need special care, and take up to five years from the time a seed is planted until production.
Hussain said coffee trees should be pruned properly, and their top branches should be cut off so the tree is not taller than 2 meters.
“Planting coffee trees in the Kingdom faces several challenges such as labor, water for irrigation and costs. There are no real capital investments in this field,” he told Arab News.
“Farmers need support from the time they grow coffee beans to the yield stage in order to cover associated expenses and costs.”