Exploring the oceanic materials used in Historic Jeddah’s Hejazi houses

Jeddawi houses in particular became registered as a heritage site (with) UNESCO in 2014. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Jeddawi houses in particular became registered as a heritage site (with) UNESCO in 2014. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Exploring the oceanic materials used in Historic Jeddah’s Hejazi houses
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(AN photo by Ali Fayyaz)
Exploring the oceanic materials used in Historic Jeddah’s Hejazi houses
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(AN photo by Ali Fayyaz)
Exploring the oceanic materials used in Historic Jeddah’s Hejazi houses
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Updated 06 June 2022

Exploring the oceanic materials used in Historic Jeddah’s Hejazi houses

Jeddawi houses in particular became registered as a heritage site (with) UNESCO in 2014. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
  • The old city’s homes became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014

JEDDAH: Historic Jeddah has undergone many renovations of its buildings. However, some unpainted patches reveal oceanic materials still a part of their structure today.

Sea mud, coral limestone and coral reef extracts were used as building materials over 500 years ago.

Abdullah Al-Hodaif, owner of Al-Hodaif Museum, a six floor center and one of the tallest buildings in Al-Balad, said that homes were known for their decorations, ornaments, and inscriptions.




The old city’s homes became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. (AN photo by Ali Fayyaz)

“Hijazi houses in Historic Jeddah are a mirror that reflects the culture of the residents of those houses, and traditions that affected and influenced the formation of the houses,” he told Arab News.

The building stones used in historical homes are coral limestone extracted from the coral reefs along the Red Sea coast, and some were brought from what was then Al-Ruwais beach — Al-Ruwais neighborhood today.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The building stones used in historical homes are coral limestone extracted from the coral reefs along the Red Sea coast, and some were brought from what was then Al-Ruwais beach — Al-Ruwais neighborhood today.

• Wood was used as a basic material, and can be seen in the entrances to the main houses in various forms, as well as in the wooden window coverings called ‘roshan,’ which are decorated with Islamic inscriptions and earthy colors.

“As for the materials used in the construction, sea mud is used, and it is brought from the bottom of the ‘40th Lake’ and was used as an alternative to cement,” Al-Hodaif said.

He explained that wood was used as a basic material, and can be seen in the entrances to the main houses in various forms, as well as in the wooden window coverings called “roshan,” which are decorated with Islamic inscriptions and earthy colors.




The old city’s homes became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. (AN photo by Ali Fayyaz)

“Roshans show the characteristics of the ancient Arabs in not leaving the house exposed to passers-by outside, and preserving the privacy of the house, where the design of the windows is based on meandrous patterns that combine aesthetics and techniques to provide ventilation while blocking vision from the outside,” said Al-Hodaif.

“It also acts as a barrier to reduce the amount of dust carried by wind entering towards the house, by colliding with the large wooden facades, and it reduces the wind speed and reduces the sand grains falling through the small openings in the roshan,” he added.

Tour guide Bandar Al-Harbi said coral limestones were one of the essential building materials for Jeddawi houses. “People back then used materials from their environment. Locals call it ‘mengabi’ stone,” he said.

“Jeddawi houses in particular became registered as a heritage site (with) UNESCO in 2014. Over 600 houses are still here, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made generous donations to restore these buildings in 2018,” Al-Harbi added.

The second essential material was wood, despite Jeddah not having many trees “or agricultural prosperity due to lack of sweet water,” he said.

“This means that wood was also a rare material. People imported wood from outside Jeddah and the nearest valley to get wood from was Fatimah valley,” Al-Harbi added.

The highest quality wood would come from India and East Asia, “which withstood hundreds of years.”

Decoder

Roshan

A Roshan is a wooden window covering decorated with Islamic inscriptions and earthy colors. Common among old Arab houses, Roshans "combine aesthetics and techniques to provide ventilation while blocking vision from the outside.” They also act as a barrier to reduce the amount of dust carried by wind entering the house.


Crisis and disaster management center inaugurated in Najran

Crisis and disaster management center inaugurated in Najran
Updated 21 sec ago

Crisis and disaster management center inaugurated in Najran

Crisis and disaster management center inaugurated in Najran
  • Gov. Prince Jalawi bin Abdulaziz says opening reflects seriousness with which Kingdom takes safety of citizens, residents and visitors

RIYADH: Najran Governor Prince Jalawi bin Abdulaziz inaugurated on Tuesday a new crisis and disaster management center in Najran after approval from the Political and Security Affairs Council.

The aim is to establish centers in all regions of the Kingdom.

Prince Jalawi stressed that directives to establish new crisis centers reflect the keenness of the government to ensure the safety of citizens, residents and visitors during emergencies.

He also highlighted the importance of working as a unit to strengthen cooperation and integration between government, civil agencies and Saudi society.

The official spokesman of Najran region, Mohammed Al-Ahmadi, briefed the governor on the center’s vision for excellence in managing crises and disasters at the national level, and strengthening the security and stability of the region by raising preparedness levels.

The center is tasked with supervising, monitoring and managing all national resources to confront crises and disasters — depending on the capabilities of the region.

It is also tasked with establishing a solid base for documenting cooperation and integration among all concerned parties in the region efficiently and effectively, and involving the community with government and civil sectors in awareness and volunteer initiatives and programs.

The governor watched a mock crisis scenario — a simulated chemical leak at King Khalid Hospital in Najran and the new Najran General Hospital — and methods to deal with it through the center in coordination with the concerned authorities.

He then toured the center and was briefed on security and service operations by the region’s police director, Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Shammari, the director of civil defense in the region, Maj. Gen. Saad Al-Shahrani, the director general of health affairs in the region, Dr. Ibrahim Bani Hamim, the mayor, Saleh Al-Ghamdi, and the director of the Red Crescent Authority branch in the region, Mohammed Al-Faraj.


Saudi man hailed a “hero” after pulling drowning father and daughter from Austrian lake

Saudi man hailed a “hero” after pulling drowning father and daughter from Austrian lake
Updated 11 August 2022

Saudi man hailed a “hero” after pulling drowning father and daughter from Austrian lake

Saudi man hailed a “hero” after pulling drowning father and daughter from Austrian lake
  • Askar Al-Hajri was visiting Hallstatt with two of his colleagues when he saw young girl fall from a 5-meter-high fence into lake
  • Social media users praised the Saudi citizen as a hero

AUSTRIA, VIENNA: Meet Askar Al-Hajri, he’s a Saudi citizen who was holidaying in Austria, and he’s a hero.

Al-Hajri was visiting Hallstatt, a village in Austria, with two of his colleagues when he saw a young girl fall from a 5-meter-high fence into a lake.
Now the Saudi Embassy in Vienna has hailed him a “hero” for his courageous actions.


“The girl was sitting on the fence as her father snapped photos of her before she suddenly fell into the lake,” Al-Hajri told the Saudi news channel Al Ekhbariya.
Hearing wails and screams from the lake, Al-Hajri said he was first assured when he looked over and found that the father had jumped to his daughter’s rescue.
But Al-Hajri said the situation quickly worsened when both disappeared under the water.
“That’s when I had to take action and save them,” he said during the interview.
Al-Hajri jumped into the lake and with the help of his colleagues, he said he was able to get the girl and her father out of the water.
“I had the feelings of a father watching his daughter in the lake. I did not hesitate for one second to jump in the lake with the thought that we either live together or die together,” he explained.
A video, which appears to be shot by one of the three men, showed Al-Hajri and one of his colleagues in the lake as a group of passersby were comforting the young girl on ground. It widely circulated online with social media users praising Al-Hajri as “a hero.”

 


In a tweet, the Saudi embassy in Vienna acknowledged the Saudi citizen “for his brave act.”
“We offer our gratitude to this Saudi hero,” the embassy said.


KSrelief’s supervisor general meets Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw, pledges $10m aid

KSrelief’s supervisor general meets Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw, pledges $10m aid
Updated 11 August 2022

KSrelief’s supervisor general meets Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw, pledges $10m aid

KSrelief’s supervisor general meets Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw, pledges $10m aid

Abdullah Al Rabeeah, advisor to the Royal Court and supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), met with Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw on Wednesday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. 

During the visit Al Rabeeah said the charity would be providing $10 million in emergency health and shelter funds. 

This came during his visit to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Cash Enrolment Centre in Warsaw. 

The KSrelief Supervisor General was briefed on the Cash Enrolment Centre work mechanism and the services provided to meet the urgent material needs of Ukrainian refugees. 

He also praised the efforts of UNHCR in supporting and alleviating the suffering of refugees and internally displaced people.


Bahrain tourism minister discusses opportunities in Saudi Arabia with officials

Bahrain tourism minister discusses opportunities in Saudi Arabia with officials
Updated 11 August 2022

Bahrain tourism minister discusses opportunities in Saudi Arabia with officials

Bahrain tourism minister discusses opportunities in Saudi Arabia with officials
  • Both officials agreed to explore investment opportunities in the tourism sector in both countries

RIYADH: Bahrain’s tourism minister discussed expanding cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the tourism sector during an official visit to the Kingdom, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

Fatima Jaafar Al-Sairafi met with Qusai bin Abdulla Al-Fakhri, CEO of Saudi Tourism Development Fund, in Riyadh where both reviewed ways to create diverse business opportunities in the tourism sector and promote sustainability in line with international developments.

“They agreed to explore the future prospects of tourism projects undertaken by the private sector in both countries, in addition to tapping into investment opportunities in this vital sector,” the BNA statement read.

The officials praised the deep-rooted historic relations between both kingdoms, highlighting efforts to strengthen the steadily growing ties.
Al-Sairafi highlighted Bahrain’s 2022-2025 tourism strategy, which aims to increase cooperation with other countries to boost investment in tourism infrastructure.


Saudi charity KSrelief launches medical program combatting blindness in Bangladesh

Saudi charity KSrelief launches medical program combatting blindness in Bangladesh
Updated 11 August 2022

Saudi charity KSrelief launches medical program combatting blindness in Bangladesh

Saudi charity KSrelief launches medical program combatting blindness in Bangladesh
  • Thousands of people were examined in the new scheme

RIYADH: A new scheme combatting blindness and its causes in Bangladesh was launched on Monday by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief).

The KSrelief voluntary medical team examined 6,600 cases, and performed 150 successful cataract procedures.
This latest scheme serves as an extension of projects combating blindness by the Saudi charity, for families with low incomes in a number of countries.