ThePlace: Shoubra Palace, first historical palace in KSA’s highland city of Taif

Shoubra Palace of Taif. (Photo by Sarah Bawazir/Colors of Saudi competition)
Updated 23 November 2019

ThePlace: Shoubra Palace, first historical palace in KSA’s highland city of Taif

The Shoubra Palace was built in 1907, as the first historical palace in the beautiful city of Taif.

It represents distinctive architectural elements, and is one of the most important historic features in the city.

It is now a heritage and antiquities museum. The museum has three sections: The period before Islam, beginning from the Stone Age to Jahiliya; Islamic heritage; and the Kingdom’s unification. It contains a large number of important artifacts.

This photograph was taken by Sarah Bawazir as part of the Colors of Saudi competition.


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

Updated 29 January 2020

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Khaled Saqr and Ibrahim Al-Hassawi, explores Saudi culture past and present, and includes a number of pop-culture and historical references that older audiences in particular will appreciate.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.”