Inscriptions from ancient Arab civilizations found across Saudi Arabia

Inscriptions from ancient Arab civilizations found across Saudi Arabia
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The inscriptions include writings in Palmyrene, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, ancient Egyptian and Babylonian. (Shutterstock)
Inscriptions from ancient Arab civilizations found across Saudi Arabia
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Hail is considered one of the richest regions in terms of ancient history and is the home of Jubbah, which has been recognized by UNESCO. (Supplied)
Inscriptions from ancient Arab civilizations found across Saudi Arabia
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Hail is considered one of the richest regions in terms of ancient history and is the home of Jubbah, which has been recognized by UNESCO. (Supplied)
Inscriptions from ancient Arab civilizations found across Saudi Arabia
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Hail is considered one of the richest regions in terms of ancient history and is the home of Jubbah, which has been recognized by UNESCO. (Supplied)
Inscriptions from ancient Arab civilizations found across Saudi Arabia
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Inscriptions from ancient Arab civilizations found across Saudi Arabia
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Updated 28 January 2021

Inscriptions from ancient Arab civilizations found across Saudi Arabia

Inscriptions from ancient Arab civilizations found across Saudi Arabia
  • The oldest Arabian Islamic and Arabic-related inscriptions are the Thamudic inscriptions that date as far back as 1200 B.C.

MAKKAH: More than 13 types of inscriptions from ancient civilizations, mostly written in Arabic, have been found the Arabian Peninsula, experts have revealed.

The best known inscriptions are rock inscriptions on mountains, Dr. Sulaiman Al-Thiaeb, professor of ancient Arabic writings and cultural consultant at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, told Arab News.

“The oldest Arabian Islamic and Arabic-related inscriptions are the Thamudic inscriptions that date as far back as 1200 B.C.,” he said. “We did not find political Thamudic inscriptions because most of them are social and reflect the thoughts of ancient Thamudic or Arab individuals. We mostly find them in deserts, along trade routes and inside cities such as AlUla, Najran, Tayma and Al-Jouf, which were the capitals of kingdoms.”

The second most famous inscriptions, according to the professor, are the Aramaic ones, which can be found in AlUla, the capital city of Dadanite and Lihyanite Kingdoms, and date back to 1000 B.C. “These two kingdoms lasted from the 10th century B.C. to the first century B.C., when the Nabataeans overthrew them.”

The Lihyanite inscriptions found in northwestern Arabia are similar to the Thamudic, Safaitic, Nabati and Aramaic dialects and the dialects of the South Arabian script, such as the Sabaean and Minaean dialects, he said.

He added that the most prominent of these inscriptions are found in northwestern and southwestern Arabia and in the region of Hail. This is considered one of the richest regions in terms of ancient history and is the home of Jubbah, which has been recognized by UNESCO.

The inscriptions include writings in Palmyrene, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, ancient Egyptian and Babylonian, some of which will have been written by merchants or soldiers who came to Arabia for various reasons.

“There are numerous local and foreign studies, including German, French, British, American, Canadian and Japanese works, on Arabia’s inscriptions,” Al-Thiaeb said.

Dr. Salma Hawsawi, professor of ancient history at King Saud University (KSU), said that the first writing in the region dates back thousands of years.

The practice spread due to the people’s need to codify their laws, and trade contracts. Writings started off as drawings, then symbols and syllables, before taking on the form of an alphabet, she said.

HIGHLIGHTS

• In northern Arabia, the Thamudic calligraphy became known in the eighth century B.C. along with the Safaitic, Aramaic, Dadanite, Lihyanite and Nabati calligraphies, which are found in more than 5000 inscriptions across the Kingdom.

• Archeological studies focusing on the Arabian Peninsula started with the arrival of Western travelers such as Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, Charles Huber, Joseph Halevy, Eduard Glaser, William Palgrave, Jaussen and Savignac, John Philby, Peter Cornwall, Jeffrey Pepe, Ryckmans, Albert Jamme, Jacqueline Byrne and Wiseman.

• The Lihyanite inscriptions found in northwestern Arabia are similar to the Thamudic, Safaitic, Nabati and Aramaic dialects and the dialects of the South Arabian script, such as the Sabaean and Minaean dialects.

“Arabia had inscriptions across the region. These inscriptions provided information regarding the various aspects of the Arab society,” she said. “They referred to religious matters such as deities and religious rites, social matters such as marriage and divorce, geographical matters such as the names of tribes and locations, economic matters such as professions, crafts, commercial clauses, currencies, imports, exports and so on.”

Some inscriptions were related to politics and featured the names of kings and rulers, wars and the rise and fall of nations, while others are considered memorials and represent an important source of knowledge on the region’s history and culture.

The number of inscriptions, she said, reflects a society’s cultural level and its interest in documenting.

“The inscriptions are found on rocks in an arranged or random manner depending on the writer’s skill, on the facades of buildings such as temples and houses, on tombstones or sealed on clay tablets that are burned after the texts have been written to solidify them so that they can last for long periods of time without fragmenting or crumbling,” Hawsawi added.

“We can extract historical information from these inscriptions as they reflect the feelings of love, fear, longing, sadness and happiness felt by people back then,” said Hawsawi. “That is why inscriptions are seen as a true witness of what the people of that era have experienced, which highlights the region’s cultural depth.”

In northern Arabia, the Thamudic calligraphy became known in the eighth century B.C. along with the Safaitic, Aramaic, Dadanite, Lihyanite and Nabati calligraphies, which are found in more than 5,000 inscriptions across the Kingdom.

She noted that opinions differ over the language used in the inscriptions and whether it was Canaanite, Aramaic or Arabic.

However, she added, most archeologists agreed on their Arabism “given the fact that they contain Arabic letters such as the “B” and the “F,” words referring to the desert, animal names such as “camel,” Arabic proper nouns such as Al-Hareth, Taym and Qais, in addition to the names of Arab deities accompanied by Arabic names such as Abdullat, Taym Al-lat, Abd Monat, Abd Manat, Abd Rab El bin Aqabi and Rab El bin Taym.

Archeological studies focusing on the Arabian Peninsula started with the arrival of Western travelers such as Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, Charles Huber, Joseph Halevy, Eduard Glaser, William Palgrave, Jaussen and Savignac, John Philby, Peter Cornwall, Jeffrey Pepe, Ryckmans, Albert Jamme, Jacqueline Byrne and Wiseman.

According to Hawsawi, one of the most important missions was the one sent by the American Institute for the Study of Man to southern Arabia in 1950 and 1951, which excavated a number of sites and published numerous volumes and articles on its results.

“Philby is considered among the most prominent people that have written about the Arabian Peninsula, as he wrote several books, official reports and articles that described most of the Kingdom’s regions,” she said. “These activities included excavations in northwestern Saudi Arabia between the years 1951 and 1953, the results of which were published in 1957 in 2 volumes.”

She said that Albert Jamme published the inscriptions that Philby had gathered from the site of Al-Faw village.

“We should not forget the efforts of KSU’s College of Tourism and Antiquities, represented by the university’s archeology department, in its excavations across the Kingdom,” she said.


Saudi fashions ‘tell the world a story’

Saudi fashions ‘tell the world a story’
Updated 27 February 2021

Saudi fashions ‘tell the world a story’

Saudi fashions ‘tell the world a story’
  • Eye-catching traditional pieces that women wear on key occasions highlight the Kingdom’s diverse heritage

MAKKAH: With Saudi Arabia’s diverse and colorful cultural traditions, fashion serves as a medium where foreigners and citizens can meet.
Fashion has always been an important part of how people define themselves and others, and Saudi Arabia’s traditional clothing is no different.
Those who watched the Saudi Cup horse race coverage would have noticed that many racegoers, including foreigners living in the Kingdom, donned eye-catching pieces from the Kingdom’s regions, while others made sure they showed off traditional fashion items.
For almost 12 years, Brandi Janow has made Saudi Arabia her home. Janow, who calls herself an “American Saudi,” caught the eye of photographers at the Saudi Cup with her striking red hair and gold coin headpiece while wearing a farwa (heavy overcoat) featuring a Sadu piece, or traditional embroidery of the region, on her coat lapels.
Janow told Arab News that she felt welcome and comfortable since moving to the Kingdom, and dressed according to the traditions of the land.
“The fashion scene was remarkable at the Saudi Cup. I am going to dub it the ‘Met Gala’ of Saudi Arabia in future. Saudi Arabia has such an old fashion heritage, so it was wonderful to be able to take a trip through history and to tell the world a story,” she said.

Saudi Arabia has changed immensely since 2009, and that is something I have appreciated witnessing.

Brandi Janow

“As a history lover, this is probably one of the best places that I can be to see so many remarkable sights with my own eyes,” she added.
Celebrating Saudi Arabia’s heritage, fashionable guests appeared in pieces that highlighted the Kingdom’s diverse heritage, including intricately embroidered daglahs for men and the heavily embellished zaboon worn by the women of Hijaz.
Janow calls Saudi Arabia her home and is “happy my journey brought me here.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• For almost 12 years, Brandi Janow has made Saudi Arabia her home. Janow, who calls herself an ‘American Saudi,’ caught the eye of photographers at the Saudi Cup with her striking red hair and gold coin headpiece while wearing a farwa (heavy overcoat) featuring a Sadu piece, or traditional embroidery of the region, on her coat lapels. 

• Janow told Arab News that she felt welcome and comfortable since moving to the Kingdom, and dressed according to the traditions of the land. She calls Saudi Arabia her home and is ‘happy my journey brought me here.’

The private sector worker is also the program director for art, culture, media and entertainment at the American Chamber of Commerce in the Kingdom and also manages Smuug, a small business where she designs and sells products based on her illustrations.
“Before I came to Saudi Arabia I had never traveled outside North America, so I was quite excited to see a new place. I cannot say that I ever experienced culture shock, but I was in awe of how different the country was from my own. It is really beautiful how big the world is, and how different (and the same) we all are,” she said.
“Saudi Arabia has changed immensely since 2009, and that is something I have appreciated witnessing. I really think that humanity cannot prosper without change, growth and evolution.
“This is the natural way of life. As someone who works in the creative industry, it has been such a pleasure to watch the blossoming of talent,” said Janow.


Creative touch adds a little color to Jeddah’s corniche

Creative touch adds a little color to Jeddah’s corniche
The Colorful Corniche initiative will extend over the central island of the southern corniche for 4,500 meters and is due to be carried out in eight phases. (Social media)
Updated 28 February 2021

Creative touch adds a little color to Jeddah’s corniche

Creative touch adds a little color to Jeddah’s corniche
  • The event seeks to improve the appearance of main squares and meeting spots throughout the governorate in line with Vision 2030

JEDDAH: Citizens and creatives of Jeddah have come together for the Colorful Corniche initiative, painting roadways, walkways and squares to beautify the city.
The event, coordinated by the charity organization Oyoun Jeddah alongside Jeddah municipality, seeks to improve the appearance of main squares and meeting spots throughout the governorate in line with Vision 2030.
Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Jalawi, adviser to the governor of the Makkah region, took part in the launch, while also overseeing mock-up paint trials carried out earlier.
Jeddah’s mayor, Saleh Al-Turki, inaugurated the event on Friday, saying that the collaboration between Oyoun Jeddah and the municipality, as well as government and private entities, will encourage the growth of the urban environment.
The corniche makeover has been praised by passers-by.

This is such a great initiative because it will turn this beach area where people hang out, have a picnic or work out into something vibrant and full of life, while encouraging creativity and showing the country’s support for art.

Nourah Al-Nahi

“I was having my lunch break at the corniche yesterday and I wish this had been implemented then so I could have seen it,” said executive assistant Nourah Al-Nahi, 29.
Al-Nahi said she often stopped by the corniche to sit and reflect.
“This is such a great initiative because it will turn this beach area where people hang out, have a picnic or work out into something vibrant and full of life, while encouraging creativity and showing the country’s support for art,” she added.
University student Jana Abdullah, 19, said that the urban makeover will encourage her to take more walks at the corniche.

HIGHLIGHT

The aim is to highlight urban design, and integrate art and architecture in the urban landscape, raising cultural awareness by improving access to contemporary work in daily life.

“I don’t go to the corniche often because of the crowds, but this makes me want to go early on weekends for a quick jog or fast walk.”
Abdullah believes this initiative will add life to the austere asphalt and stone setting of the walkway, and will appeal to both adults and children.
“It also represents the country’s interest in art and its desire to revitalize it and encourage those pursuing it,” she added.
The Colorful Corniche initiative will extend over the central island of the southern corniche for 4,500 meters and is due to be carried out in eight phases.
The aim is to highlight urban design, and integrate art and architecture in the urban landscape, raising cultural awareness by improving access to contemporary work in daily life.


Who’s Who: May Mohammed Al-Rashed, College of Nursing dean at King Saud University

Who’s Who: May Mohammed Al-Rashed, College of Nursing dean at King Saud University
Updated 27 February 2021

Who’s Who: May Mohammed Al-Rashed, College of Nursing dean at King Saud University

Who’s Who: May Mohammed Al-Rashed, College of Nursing dean at King Saud University

The service of May Mohammed Al-Rashed, who has been dean of the College of Nursing at King Saud University (KSU) since 2018, was recently extended for two more years.

Al-Rashed received a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences from the College of Applied Medical Sciences (CAMS) in 1996 from KSU.

Six years later, she was awarded a master’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences, majoring in biochemistry, from the same college.

In 2014, she obtained her Ph.D. in molecular genetics from University College London (UCL), UK.

Al-Rashed has served as deputy of the clinical laboratory sciences department at CAMS. She has also been an assistant professor at the clinical laboratory sciences department in CAMS. From 2008 to 2009, she was the deputy of the dental health department at CAMS.

Prior to that, Al-Rashed worked as a lecturer in the clinical laboratory sciences department at CAMS, where she taught clinical biochemistry, the inborn error of metabolism, clinical enzymology, scientific writing and research methodology, from 2002 to 208.

For five years beginning in 1997, she served as a medical technologist in the clinical laboratory sciences department at CAMS; teaching practical laboratory skills and techniques, preparing reagents and design experiments for basic and advanced biochemistry courses.

Between 1996 and 1997, she served her internship at the Riyadh-based King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSH&RC).

She is an expert in molecular genetics techniques including DNA extraction, PCR, cloning, DNA sequencing, homozygosity mapping and next-generation sequencing.


KSU and Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property sign exchange deal

KSU and Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property sign exchange deal
Updated 27 February 2021

KSU and Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property sign exchange deal

KSU and Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property sign exchange deal

RIYADH: King Saud University (KSU) and the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) have signed a memorandum of cooperation and mutual understanding to support the academic alliance to carry out research and development in the fields of intellectual property, information management, and data exchange so that the research serves as the reference and legal umbrella for all future projects the two parties seek to implement, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Saturday.

The MoC was co-signed by KSU President Dr. Badran bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar and SAIP CEO Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Suwailem.

The signing of the MoC comes based on the principle of joint and continuous cooperation between KSU and the government sector in the Kingdom. This move also reflects belief in the importance of intellectual property rights for enabling universities and scientific research institutions to protect and enforce these rights.

Under this MoC, the two parties will cooperate in studies and research specialized in intellectual property policies and systems in accordance with the best practices and regional and global methodologies, the scientific and practical applications of the results of these studies, exchanging advice and experiences in the field of emerging technologies and the applications of digital environment and artificial intelligence, training and developing human resources in this promising field, and contributing to the investment in and the employment of intellectual property rights to achieve economic and social development in the Kingdom.

In addition, the two parties, under the MoC, will prepare and design academic and training curricula in the fields of intellectual property in order to enrich the local and Arab knowledge content on intellectual property issues.

KSU is a local and regional pioneer in the field of intellectual property rights, in general, and patents, in particular, owing to the role of the Entrepreneurship Institute, which is supervised by Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Al-Harkan. KSU has over 1,450 patents and is among the best 100 universities in the world for the seventh year in a row, the last of which was 2020, in terms of the number of patents granted.

KSU is the largest depositary of patents – compared with the universities of the world – for the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property, with over 450 patents. This highlights the accuracy of the scientific methodology adopted by the KSU administration to care for the fields of intellectual property for the university’s employees and develop it at the scientific and practical levels in accordance with the best international practices.


WATCH: Saudi Crown Prince attends Formula E Diriyah E-Prix

 Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 27 February 2021

WATCH: Saudi Crown Prince attends Formula E Diriyah E-Prix

 Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (SPA)
  • Crown prince received good wishes as he arrived following successful operation

LONDON: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday.

The crown prince received good wishes from those in attendance as he arrived, following his successful operation earlier this week.

UNESCO World Heritage site Diriyah is host of the opening round of the FIA Formula E world championship this weekend.

In an electric opening race on Friday night, Mercedes-EQ driver Nyck de Vries claimed a maiden Formula E victory.

British driver Sam Bird in the Jaguar Racing car claimed victory in the second race of the weekend.