AlUla: A wonder of Arabia

The AlUla: Wonder of Arabia exhibition introduces visitors to this dual natural and human heritage. (Supplied/Royal Commission for Al-Ula)
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Updated 19 December 2019

AlUla: A wonder of Arabia

  • The exhibition is a tribute to the most important archaeological work carried out over the past 20 years
  • The exhibition recreates an AlUla garden in which visitors can stroll around and soak up local essences

ALULA: The region of AlUla is an exquisite sight, from the deep green of the oasis and the ochre of the sand, to the red of the sandstone canyons and the black tones of the volcanic rocks. This enchanting setting is home to one of the most fertile valleys in the Arabian Peninsula.
 

The rebirth of AlUla
Hegra, ancient city of the Nabataeans in Saudi Arabia’s historic AlUla Valley, is emerging from the mists of time to take its rightful place as one of the wonders of the world

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In AlUla, numerous societies and civilizations have followed one another: Neolithic, Nabataean, Roman, Umayyad, Abbasid and Ottoman, among others. Their remains have been exceptionally preserved.
The AlUla: Wonder of Arabia exhibition introduces visitors to this dual natural and human heritage.
It includes rare archaeological objects and artefacts, as well as digital, sound and sensory devices, all supported by exclusive videos by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, an environmentalist, activist, journalist and photographer.
The exhibition is a tribute to the most important archaeological work carried out over the past 20 years, led by its two curators: French archaeologist and epigraphist Laila Nehme, and Saudi archaeologist Abdulrahman Al-Suhaibani.
Their research has brought to light exceptional remains, some of which will be exhibited for the first time.
Arthus-Bertrand’s monumental images project visitors into the majesty of AlUla’s reliefs and colors.
There is a Nabataean funeral ceremony in a replica of one of Hegra’s famous tombs. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is comparable in scale and importance to Petra in Jordan.
Monumental statues and numerous archaeological objects punctuate the exhibition and illustrate the richness of AlUla’s past.
An inscription dated 280 AD, a real missing link between the Nabataean and Arabic alphabets, is on display for the first time, demonstrating how AlUla offers a unique testimony to the birth of the Arabic language.
The exhibition ends with a guided tour of the old town of AlUla, which was inhabited for 800 years by indigenous communities and by pilgrims journeying to Makkah.
AlUla remains a vibrant place. Visitors to the exhibition will learn about the daily life of people who have occupied the valley over the centuries and up to the present day, via activities, archaeological specimens, plants, traditional tools, photographs and contemporary testimonies.
The exhibition recreates an AlUla garden in which visitors can stroll around and soak up local essences — such as moringa, date and fig — through olfactory installations.
“We are delighted that the first international exhibition dedicated to the inhabitants, heritage and history of AlUla is being launched at the Arab World Institute,” said Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al-Saud, governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla.
“A true crossroads between three continents and the former gateway from Arabia to the Mediterranean, AlUla is home to some of Saudi Arabia’s most important cultural and historical sites,” he added.
“This exhibition expands the global understanding of Nabataean, Dadanite and ancient Islamic civilizations, and supports our mission to conserve the important heritage of AlUla for future generations.”
Jack Lang, president of the Arab World Institute, said it is “delighted to introduce civilizations that have flourished in the amazing lunar landscape of AlUla — a landscape composed of mountains, hills and rivers, adorned with colors that change from morning to evening, where calm, silence, tranquility and mystery are intertwined.”

He added: “The exhibition we are preparing must be grandiose, in line with AlUla’s greatness. It will give you the opportunity to dream, and will invite you to participate in a journey between heaven and earth in an exceptional place.”

 

The rebirth of AlUla
Hegra, ancient city of the Nabataeans in Saudi Arabia’s historic AlUla Valley, is emerging from the mists of time to take its rightful place as one of the wonders of the world

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Saudi rights body signs deal to launch programs for prisoners’ rights

Updated 30 November 2020

Saudi rights body signs deal to launch programs for prisoners’ rights

  • Al-Awwad said teams from the commission regularly visit prisons and detention facilities to ensure the rights of inmates are protected

RIYADH: Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, president of the Human Rights Commission, on Monday said the Kingdom attaches great importance to the rights of prisoners and provides them with comprehensive care through various rehabilitation programs to help them integrate into society and become productive citizens.

He was speaking at the signing ceremony of three memorandums understanding (MoUs) with the National Committee for Prisoners, their Families, and Ex-Convicts (Tarahum) in Riyadh.

Al-Awwad said teams from the commission regularly visit prisons and detention facilities to ensure the rights of inmates are protected.

He said the commission works with the General Directorate of Prisons to promote prisoners’ rights in line with national regulations and international and regional agreements.

The agreement envisages the establishment of three centers.

The first center will be set up to support alternative punishments; the second center will be dedicated to visual communication between prisoners and their families; and the third will design and implement awareness programs.

Tarahum Secretary-General Turki bin Abdullah Al-Bati said the MoUs will help widen the scope of the committee, which seeks to work for the betterment of society in cooperation with relevant authorities.