JEDDAH: The Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing, announced earlier this month a new project that aims to develop Abdul Maqsoud Khojah Street in the Al-Rawdah neighborhood in Jeddah, scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2023.
The street, which is named after the Saudi scholar and writer, will be turned into a cultural precinct to commemorate the literary achievements and cultural initiatives undertaken by Khojah during his life in the Kingdom and the Arab world.
The look of the street will be inspired by the famous cultural forum that Khojah used to organize over four decades under the name “Al-Ethaninya,” which was attended by local and international writers, thinkers and journalists.
An official from the ministry told Arab News: “This cultural initiative aims to perpetuate the efforts of the late writer Abdul Maqsoud Khojah in hosting veterans of thought and knowledge leaders, honoring creators and pioneers, and sustaining the inspiring experience he led.”
Geographically, Abdul Maqsoud Khojah Street will connect Al-Kayyal Street in the south and Sari Street in the north, linking one side to the other.
The “Al-Ethaninya” project will designate the middle of the street area as a temporary yard in which the movement of cars stops during weekends and returns to normal in the middle of the week.
The project will be implemented in two phases: First, it will aesthetically transform the street with its innovative design to make it look visually appealing, in addition to widening the sidewalks for pedestrians.
The second phase of the project will be developed in a way to feature cultural events — plays, live performances, literary activities such as “Literary Partner Initiative” and “Literary Cloud Initiative” — that will be held periodically in the middle of the street.
Khojah, who died last year in August at the age of 97, is considered one of the most influential Saudi cultural figures for his efforts in sponsoring the Saudi intellectual movement.
He was interested in collecting and documenting literary works by ancient Saudi writers.
His cultural forum had more than 185 volumes, provided free of charge.
Due to emerging technology, an official website for the forum was launched years ago to include all its activities and to facilitate access for those interested in the world of literature.