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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154 KSrelief food aid trucks sent to Yemen

The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates. (KSrelief)
The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates. (KSrelief)
Updated 07 December 2021

154 KSrelief food aid trucks sent to Yemen

The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates. (KSrelief)
  • KSrelief has implemented, in cooperation with its many humanitarian partners, a total of 644 projects in Yemen

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), inaugurated the launch of 154 relief trucks from Saudi Arabia on Monday. 

The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates.

The food aid is the first to be sent by KSrelief to Yemen as part of the comprehensive “Yemen Food Security Support Project”, which will continue into 2022.

In comments to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Al-Rabeeah stated that this convoy comes as an extension of the commitment of the government of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide ongoing assistance to the Yemeni people and to support them during their current humanitarian crisis.

Al-Rabeeah added that Monday’s convoy from KSrelief is part of the center’s impartial, comprehensive assistance to people in need in all parts of Yemen, and that all aid is provided according solely to need and without any other motive.

He added that the 154-vehicle convoy is the first in what will amount to a total of 973 trucks carrying more than 192,000 food baskets (20.540 tons) for a total cost of $29,978,000. The goal of the massive food aid delivery project is to alleviate the suffering of crisis-affected families across Yemen.

Al-Rabeeah said the aid will help to increase food security and improve the quality of life of Yemenis, adding that this aid is particularly important in light of the additional challenges being posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He stressed that KSrelief was keen to ensure that all aid reaches its targeted beneficiaries, and that the food baskets would be distributed through United Nations organizations and local partners in coordination with Yemen’s High Relief Committee.

KSrelief has implemented, in cooperation with its many humanitarian partners, a total of 644 projects in Yemen covering all key humanitarian sectors.


Who’s Who: Fahad Almutlaq, CEO of the board at the Sharqia Development Authority

Fahad Almutlaq. (Supplied)
Fahad Almutlaq. (Supplied)
Updated 07 December 2021

Who’s Who: Fahad Almutlaq, CEO of the board at the Sharqia Development Authority

Fahad Almutlaq. (Supplied)

Fahad Almutlaq has served as CEO of the board at the Sharqia Development Authority since September 2019.
He has more than 20 years of experience in managing comprehensive development strategies, urban planning, building integrated development, legislation and empowerment initiatives. Almutlaq served as chief strategy officer at the Council for Economic Affairs and Development, which took part in the national strategy of Saudi Arabia, Vision 2030, between 2017 and 2019.
Before that, he served as CEO of the Arabian Industry and Services Group from June 2014 to August 2018. Almutlaq led significant mergers and acquisitions, and directed strategies and plans to accommodate social changes in the region.
He has held several positions in the Saudi Ministry of Defense, building international experience through working with one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense contractors, BAE Systems.
Almutlaq also worked with major science and technology companies and oversaw the construction and operations of the largest aerospace and industrial facility in the Middle East between 2011 and 2014. Within the ministry, he served as head of business development and future support and planning in 2010, and as program manager, based in the UK, between 2007 until 2010.
He held several positions in the Saudi Electricity Company, including head of the project management and planning division. Almutlaq also worked on civil, urban and electromechanical projects between 2004 and 2008, served as senior project engineer between 2003 and 2004, and before that worked as a planning engineer in the department of facilities planning and land use from 2001 to 2003.
He now serves on the board of several organizations.
Almutlaq holds two master’s degrees and an MBA in project and construction management. He has completed several practical and executive programs, covering strategic planning and leadership training.


Saudi environmental security officers protect sea and land ecosystems

Saudi Arabia is committed to protecting the environment and its natural resources. (Twitter: @SFES_KSA)
Saudi Arabia is committed to protecting the environment and its natural resources. (Twitter: @SFES_KSA)
Updated 07 December 2021

Saudi environmental security officers protect sea and land ecosystems

Saudi Arabia is committed to protecting the environment and its natural resources. (Twitter: @SFES_KSA)
  • Among the arrested are illegal firewood traders

RIYADH: The Saudi Special Forces for Environmental Security have apprehended dozens of offenders for environmental violations as part of a recent crackdown.

The forces, under the command of the Ministry of Interior, arrested individuals who illegally moved sand and soil in Jeddah and Tabuk. People who illegally entered the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve in northeast Riyadh and hunted wildlife in restricted areas were also detained.

Others were arrested while transporting local firewood and trafficking endangered fungi in Al-Muzahmiyya Governorate. Several other citizens were also caught selling local firewood in other regions of the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is committed to protecting the environment and its natural resources across its vast territory. The Saudi environment law focuses on conservation, protection, development, pollution prevention, public health protection and the rational use of natural resources.

It also aims to make environmental planning an integral part of comprehensive development in industrial, agricultural and urban areas.

One practice that harms the Saudi environment is illegal dredging. Talal S. Al-Rasheed, a consultant at Gulf Energy for Environmental Consultations, warned that dredging and similar practices can negatively impact the environment and economy if studies are not conducted beforehand. Reduced fish stocks and damage to coral reefs are major consequences of poorly planned and illegal dredging.

Al-Rasheed added that taking sand and soil without a license is a “major disaster” because it changes the nature of the land by creating deep pits that cause accidents and endanger the lives of road users.

“Because the marine environment is sensitive to its habitat, when anything changes in nature, creatures begin to shift to other locations. Some of these habitats might not suitable for living. Because of the availability of suitable places for marine organisms, every species in the marine environment has a designated place to adapt to,” Al-Rasheed said.

Nasser M. Al-Hamidi, an environmental activist, said that burning or cutting trees in natural forests for wood is harmful to the environment and local communities due to smoke pollution.

He added that any attack on the environment, including dredging and stealing natural materials such as mountain rock deposits, poses a severe threat to the Kingdom’s natural beauty, which should be preserved for future generations.


Gulf Health Council offers elder care advice

Gulf Health Council offers elder care advice. (Shutterstock)
Gulf Health Council offers elder care advice. (Shutterstock)
Updated 07 December 2021

Gulf Health Council offers elder care advice

Gulf Health Council offers elder care advice. (Shutterstock)
  • The tips highlight ways in which caregivers can better prepare accommodation to suit the needs of elderly residents

RIYADH: The Gulf Health Council on Monday shared advice for care of older people.
The “seven important tips for caregivers of the elderly to adopt” stress, for example, the importance of maintaining a daily hygiene routine for seniors, to help ensure overall health and well-being. The council said that comprehensive, periodic examinations of oral health, sight and hearing are crucial for safeguarding against infections that can cause discomfort and irritability.
The tips also highlight ways in which caregivers can better prepare accommodation to suit the needs of elderly residents, for example by installing nonslip carpets and grab bars to prevent injuries and accidents.

In addition, proper heating or cooling facilities in and out of the house are important to ensure older people remain comfortable.
In addition, caregivers are urged to encourage seniors to exercise regularly to help improve quality of sleep and reduce the risk of certain ailments, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure and diabetes.
The council has also uploaded a video to YouTube focusing on care for the elderly.  

 


Social distancing, masks essential in Saudi mosques

In this file photo taken on May 31, 2020, Muslim worshippers observe a safe distance as they perform noon prayer at Al-Rajhi mosque in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
In this file photo taken on May 31, 2020, Muslim worshippers observe a safe distance as they perform noon prayer at Al-Rajhi mosque in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 07 December 2021

Social distancing, masks essential in Saudi mosques

In this file photo taken on May 31, 2020, Muslim worshippers observe a safe distance as they perform noon prayer at Al-Rajhi mosque in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
  • The ministry called on worshippers who witness any failure to implement the instructions to report it to the services center on 1933

RIYADH: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance has stressed the need to take precautionary measures in mosques, including social distancing and the wearing of face masks, to protect worshippers from the COVID-19 virus and its variants.
The ministry said it constantly updates its health guidance and works to implement it, calling on imams and preachers to educate society about the importance of maintaining public health and adherence to the regulations.
The ministry called on worshippers who witness any failure to implement the instructions to report it to the services center on 1933.