The rich history of At-Turaif

Saad ibn Saud Palace is one of the prominent features of At-Turaif district. Located in the northern region of the district, it was home to Prince Saad son of Imam Saud. (Abdullah AlJabr)
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Saad ibn Saud Palace is one of the prominent features of At-Turaif district. Located in the northern region of the district, it was home to Prince Saad son of Imam Saud. (Abdullah AlJabr)
Pictured is one of the many pathways designed to highlight the traditional Najdi architecture in At-Turaif district. (Abdullah AlJabr)
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Pictured is one of the many pathways designed to highlight the traditional Najdi architecture in At-Turaif district. (Abdullah AlJabr)
An Image taken of one of the narrow pathways of the 10,000 square meter Salwa Palace that contains 7 individual units. (Faisal AlDakheel) 
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An Image taken of one of the narrow pathways of the 10,000 square meter Salwa Palace that contains 7 individual units. (Faisal AlDakheel) 
An image taken at the entrance of Prince Saad ibn Saud Palace, showcasing the structure's unique design. (Abdullah AlJabr)
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An image taken at the entrance of Prince Saad ibn Saud Palace, showcasing the structure's unique design. (Abdullah AlJabr)
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Updated 22 September 2021

The rich history of At-Turaif

The rich history of At-Turaif
  • The palace is a prime example of Najdi architecture, displaying delicately carved crenellations in the roofing of its buildings

RIYADH: The gated district of At-Turaif, northwest of Riyadh, is one of the Kingdom’s most-significant historical treasures.

Within the walls of At-Turaif’s Salwa Palace, discussions were held that led to the establishment of the First Saudi State in 1744 CE. The palace was built for Mohammed ibn Saud, the first ruler of the First Saudi State, although the final phase of this 10,000-square-meter complex was not completed until 1766, the year after his death. 

The palace is a prime example of Najdi architecture, displaying delicately carved crenellations in the roofing of its buildings, which enabled guards to carry out surveillance of the area.

 

Close to Salwa Palace are two structures that, although not as famous, are worth visiting: the Museum of Commerce and Finance and the Sibalat Modhi.

The museum contains coins, jewelry, scales and other finance-related artifacts from the time of the First Saudi State, and is a reminder of the prosperity that was achieved during the early years of the Kingdom.

The Sibalat Modhi is a community building named after Modhi Bint Sultan Ibn Abi Wahtan, mother of Imam Abdulaziz ibn Mohammed ibn Saud (the second ruler of the First Saudi State). Located on what used to be the main road, the two-story structure contained a guesthouse for merchants, students, and the needy.




Saad ibn Saud Palace is one of the prominent features of At-Turaif district. Located in the northern region of the district, it was home to Prince Saad son of Imam Saud. (Abdullah AlJabr) 

To the north of Salwa Palace is the Imam Mohammed ibn Saud Mosque — also known as the Grand Mosque of At-Turaif. The mosque would draw a huge crowd for Friday prayer, spilling over into the palace’s own mosque. So Imam Saud ibn Abdulaziz built a bridge connecting the two. The mosque, which overlooks Wadi Hanifah, also housed a religious school.

The next stop on the At-Turaif tour is the Diriyah Museum, which traces the Kingdom’s timeline from as far back as 400 CE — the time of the Banu Hanifah tribe’s migration — through the ensuing expansion of territory and trade, and ending with the Al-Saud royal family tree.

Besides a digital gallery of historical images of the First and Second Saudi States, the museum also contains replica documents, coins and clothing from those times, including the elaborate outfit worn by Imam Abdullah ibn Saud, the last ruler of the First Saudi State, and a replica of Al Ajrab Sword, a weapon owned by the founder of the Second Saudi State, Imam Turki ibn Abdullah. The sword is named after the rust on the edges of the blade.




Pictured is one of the many pathways designed to highlight the traditional Najdi architecture in At-Turaif district. (Abdullah AlJabr)

Right next to the Diriyah Museum is the Arabian Horse Museum, which also houses many artifacts that date back to the First and Second Saudi States and highlights the central role that horses played in unifying the Kingdom, as they were used for trade, warfare, and diplomacy.

Exiting the museum into the center of At-Turaif, visitors will see the Imam Abdullah ibn Saud Palace, home to the final ruler of the First Saudi State. It was built during the reign of his father — Saud ibn Abdulaziz Al-Saud, who was known as “Saud the Great.”

Much of the palace was destroyed during the sacking of Diriyah by Ibrahim Pasha in 1818 CE, but from the thickness of the walls that remain, historians have estimated that the palace was once a grand multistory structure that dominated the town.




An Image taken of one of the narrow pathways of the 10,000 square meter Salwa Palace that contains 7 individual units. (Faisal AlDakheel) 

The nearby Military Museum is home to artifacts from the battles that led to the unification of the country and the First Saudi State, and close by is the Prince Thunayan ibn Saud Palace.

Prince Thunayan was the brother of Mohammed ibn Saud, and this grandiose palace on the southwestern side of Diriyah provides the perfect view of the valley below from its elevated walls — which were constructed from stone rather than mud bricks. It is another fine example of Najdi architecture.

Close by stands the Museum of Traditional Architecture, dedicated to the construction styles of the area's many palaces and other buildings, and home to many tools and materials used in the original construction of At-Turaif.




An image taken at the entrance of Prince Saad ibn Saud Palace, showcasing the structure's unique design. (Abdullah AlJabr)

Beyond that museum is the Prince Omar ibn Saud Palace, also known as Maqsurat Omar (the Grand Palace) because of the intricacy and complexity of its design. The palace served as a defensive gate for At-Turaif and was the residence of Prince Omar, the son of Imam Saud Al-Kabir.

Between the Prince Omar and Prince Saad Palace is the newest addition to At-Turaif, the Lifestyle Museum, which includes replicas of the traditional Najdi-style homes in which non-royal residents of At-Turaif would have lived at the time of the First and Second Saudi States.

The palaces, pathways, and weathered walls of At-Turaif are all rich reminders of the story of the origin of Saudi Arabia.

Diriyah, past, present and future
On Saudi Arabia’s 91st National Day, the birthplace of the Kingdom continues to make history

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Diriyah, Jewel of the Kingdom: AlAnoud Al-Saud — a rising star at Diriyah Gate Development Authority

Diriyah, Jewel of the Kingdom: AlAnoud Al-Saud — a rising star at Diriyah Gate Development Authority
Updated 12 sec ago

Diriyah, Jewel of the Kingdom: AlAnoud Al-Saud — a rising star at Diriyah Gate Development Authority

Diriyah, Jewel of the Kingdom: AlAnoud Al-Saud — a rising star at Diriyah Gate Development Authority

AlAnoud K. Al-Saud is the senior marketing officer at the Diriyah Gate Development Authority. The 24-year-old has a history of leadership roles in project management, making her one of Saudi Arabia’s rising young stars.
Often leading design projects and directing the development and implementation of business and product marketing campaigns at DGDA, AlAnoud has a bright future ahead of her.
Her journey at DGDA began as a marketing intern, quickly learning the ropes and finding herself with a full-time position just four months later. She was then promoted just a year later to the position of SMO.
In one of the latest DGDA initiatives, known as “Plant Your Land,” AlAnoud finds herself as senior community engagement officer. The upcoming campaign seeks to bring the locals of Diriyah together to afforest their lands, while encouraging good neighborliness and fostering strong relationships within the Diriyah community.
Plant Your Land aims to transform the area of Diriyah, which is widely recognized as the “Jewel of the Kingdom,” into a global hub for Saudi culture and heritage.
AlAnoud said: “I’m passionate about self-development and self-improvement in my personal life. I’m always looking to challenge myself and learn new things. That’s one reason I enjoy working in DGDA; I’ve learned great communication skills, socializing skills, and problem-solving skills that help me in my day-to-day work but also in my personal life in terms of confidence, communication.
“Diriyah is my home and where I came from. It’s definitely a dream come true to be able to work and support the same area my great-grandfathers and country came from. Giving back to my community and being there for them makes me.”
She added: “When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a doctor, that was my dream job, to save people. That’s why I feel satisfied in the community department, where I can change people’s lives by empowering them.”
Holding a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Alfaisal University, AlAnoud finds herself in a field she was born to excel in.
While studying, AlAnoud worked for three months as Alfaisal University’s external relations coordinator, which led her to work at career expos, take on research and provide materials required for the organization and its partners.
After completing her higher education, AlAnoud undertook several courses, gaining different qualifications to boost her career and her personal development. These included a “She Means Business” certificate from the Misk Foundation, the “Strategy for Content Marketing” from the University of California, Davis, and the “Design Thinking for Innovation” from the University of Virginia.
AlAnoud speaks Arabic, English and French.
In her personal time, AlAnoud enjoyed volunteering at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh for two months in 2019, and participated in renovating classrooms in Morocco with NomuHub the same year.
In 2016, she co-founded her own business called One Plus One, an event planning company, where she spearheaded management and presentations and dealt with clients on a regular basis. One Plus One organized the Formula E VIP gala dinner in 2018, as well as the Salayel Stud for Arabian Horses VIP lunch and the VIP lounge for MDL Beast in 2019.


Saudi envoy praises UN for continuing its work during pandemic

Saudi envoy praises UN for continuing its work during pandemic
Updated 6 min 51 sec ago

Saudi envoy praises UN for continuing its work during pandemic

Saudi envoy praises UN for continuing its work during pandemic
  • Remarks made during talks about proposed program budget

NEW YORK: The Kingdom’s ambassador to the UN praised the global organization for continuing its programs during the COVID-19 pandemic and for its liveliness in meeting new and emerging challenges, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Abdullah Al-Mouallimi made the remarks while giving a speech at a meeting of the Fifth Committee during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
The envoy congratulated the head of the Fifth Committee and others on their election as members of the office. He also expressed the Kingdom’s aspiration to work with the committee during the session to ensure it completed its work in a timely manner and that the organization had the required resources to complete its tasks.
Al-Mouallimi expressed the Kingdom’s sincere thanks and appreciation to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for introducing the organization’s proposed program budget for 2022. He also thanked Abdallah Bachar Bong, chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for submitting the committee’s relevant report.
He said the Kingdom supported the statement made by the G77 countries and China about the program budget being one of the most important agenda items of this session.
“It is not just a document full of figures, but a moral document that presents a strategic vision of the organization. In dealing with specific budget proposals, Saudi Arabia welcomes the integration of parts of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East to benefit from regular budget funding, as this would ensure more stable and predictable funding that the agency will use to achieve its mandate,” he said, noting that the Kingdom was one of the agency’s largest contributors. “While welcoming the increased development pillar in the budget, the Kingdom is concerned about the reductions affecting regional committees, including the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.”
The Saudi envoy commended the progress achieved by the UN secretary-general to push forward his strategy for gender equality and the integration of people with disabilities.
Al-Mouallimi said the Kingdom was committed to working constructively with the committee and all delegations on the budget item in order to reach an agreement in the interests of the organization.


High gun sales at Riyadh hunting exhibition

High gun sales at Riyadh hunting exhibition
Updated 12 min 54 sec ago

High gun sales at Riyadh hunting exhibition

High gun sales at Riyadh hunting exhibition

RIYADH: A manager of a gun company participating in the Saudi International Falcons and Hunting Exhibition in Riyadh claimed to have sold around 75 percent of his display stock during the event.
The Weapons Pavilion proved a popular draw for visitors, and the manager in question, Yousef Al-Swailem, said that he had sold out of six of the nine pistol models he was displaying, adding that both men and women had been buying small arms at the exhibition.
Customers were mainly interested in guns with high performance and high levels of safety, he added, as well as accessories.
The third Saudi International Falcons and Hunting Exhibition opened at the headquarters of the Saudi Falcons Club in Mulham, north of Riyadh.
The 10-day event, believed to be the largest of its kind in the world, includes pavilions devoted to hunting weapons, various species of falcons, the arts and family activities, along with shooting ranges, a Saudi village, and a digital museum. A host of accompanying events and a few surprises for visitors are also being organized.
Over the past few decades, falconers in Saudi Arabia have emerged as pioneers in breeding and preservation as the wider falconry industry has grown exponentially since its humble Bedouin beginnings.
The Kingdom has a rich historical heritage and tradition of falconry. A common companion of a Bedouin traveler across the Arabian deserts, hunting with falcons was an integral part of the land for thousands of years as they helped provide nourishment for the weary traveler by catching prey.


Saudi Arabia condemns attack targeting mosque in Afghanistan

Saudi Arabia condemns attack targeting mosque in Afghanistan
Updated 53 min 42 sec ago

Saudi Arabia condemns attack targeting mosque in Afghanistan

Saudi Arabia condemns attack targeting mosque in Afghanistan
  • Suicide bombers attacked the Shiite Fatimiya mosque in Kandahar
  • The mosque was packed with worshippers attending Friday prayers

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia strongly condemned an attack that targeted a mosque in southern Afghanistan, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

Suicide bombers attacked the Shiite Fatimiya mosque in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan on Friday.

The mosque was packed with worshippers attending Friday prayers and the attack killed at least 47 people and wounded 70, a Taliban official said.

The ministry expressed the Kingdom's hope for stability in Afghanistan as soon as possible and stressed its support for the Afghan people.

It also reiterated the Kingdom's rejection of such criminal acts which are incompatible with all religious principles, morals, and human values.


Saudi Arabia’s role in empowering women highlighted

Saudi Arabia’s role in empowering women highlighted
Updated 56 min 21 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s role in empowering women highlighted

Saudi Arabia’s role in empowering women highlighted
  • Dr. Al-Ahmadi noted that there is a great legislative movement in the Kingdom regarding women's rights

SAINT PETERSBURG: Saudi Arabia participated at the Third Euro-Asian Forum for Women's in Saint Petersburg to highlight critical economic roles. Saudi women played vital roles in entrepreneurship, leadership positions and participation in decision-making in the public and private sectors, and more.

Organized by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly (the Senate) of the Russian Federation in cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS Member States. A delegation from the Saudi Shoura Council, headed by assistant-speaker Dr. Hanan bint Abdulrahim Al-Ahmadi, highlighted the Kingdom's role in empowering women and their essential role in society and their contribution in different fields.

The Forum, inaugurated in 2015, is the largest international platform uniting female leaders from all continents to discuss women's role in the modern world and work out new approaches to solving global problems.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, attended the second day of the Forum. In his speech, he stressed that the Forum brings together women who are political leaders, entrepreneurs, and activists in the public sector from more than 100 countries worldwide, which is unbelievable in light of the current circumstances in the world today.

Putin underlined that due to women's great awareness of the value of life and their compassion, they have always had a special mission in the field of healthcare. He stressed his confidence that this will continue in the future and that women will have a role in developing the healthcare sector, medicine, and protecting public health, considering the lessons learned from the pandemic.

He also showed his gratitude to the world's doctors and healthcare workers for everything they do to fight COVID-19 in the whole world.

In her speech at the open session titled "The Group of Women in the Work of the G-20 Summit (W20), and the Role of Women in Restoring Stability," Dr. Al-Ahmadi praised Saudi Arabia's role in hosting the G20 meetings and G20 summit meetings, including the women's Group (W20) during a difficult time due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She noted that empowering women is a journey that has no end and that all countries are working hard to reach and achieve their goals in women's empowerment.

Dr. Al-Ahmadi noted that there is a great legislative movement in the Kingdom regarding women's rights. It includes the issuance of a law related to fighting harassment, laws supporting women who provide for their families, and decisions that give them the ability to travel, such as the right to drive, in addition to many supportive and possible choices for women. She added that this was only possible with the great support of the Saudi leadership, emphasizing the critical legislative role of the Shoura Council in this great movement through its legislative, supervisory, and parliamentary functions.