MAKKAH: The world’s longest calligraphic mural has been installed on the road leading to Makkah’s Grand Mosque, in the latest beautification of the holy city.
The 75-meter mural, designed by artist Amal Felemban, joins a host of sculptures and installations already adorning Makkah in a project run by local authorities to boost its visual appeal and depict Saudi heritage and culture for pilgrims.
Felemban told Arab News that it was important to retain and promote the ancient art of mural painting, as it portrays Saudi culture and aesthetics and links the old world with the modern.
“In the modern era, they brighten up streets and cover some of the ugliness of the gray buildings,” she said, adding that murals and sculptures reflected the true spirit of the city.
“My mural tells the story of the urban heritage in the holy capital, as it received a wonderful echo of this authentic Hijazi art, and it is different from the rest of the murals near large mosques,” she said.
• The Municipality of Makkah installed the longest calligraphic mural in the world on King Abdul Aziz Street, the road that leads to the Grand Mosque.
• Artist Amal Felemban shared that murals are one of the oldest forms of art that can beautify the streets and show local culture and heritage to pilgrims and visitors.
“Mine are not letters or poetic verses, but were rather inspired by the authentic urban culture of this country.
“Many pilgrims do not have a sufficient knowledge about Saudi Arabia, nor about our culture and civilization, so we need to show it through arts, murals and sculptures.”
Felemban said that the municipalities in all Saudi regions must pay great attention to this form of art, which reflects Saudi culture and attracts more tourists.
“Millions of visitors from all over the world will flock to our beloved Kingdom, which requires us to show our heritage and culture properly.”
My mural tells the story of urban heritage in the holy capital.
Amal Felemban, Artist
Artist Badr Al-Sulaimani said that the murals and sculptures in the holy city bring joy and pleasure to the hearts of pilgrims from all over the world.
He added that they helped highlight many creative artists from inside and outside the Kingdom in various competitions and bring a historical dimension to contemporary art.
“This proves the importance of employing arts and creating an attractive artistic environment, using all the techniques that contribute to providing a cultural and artistic dose for passers-by,” Al-Sulaimani said.
The Municipality of Makkah organizes competitions for painting murals and drawing Arabic calligraphy, which it describes as one of the most significant written and visual arts which is associated with the Holy Quran.
A team from Umm Al-Qura University’s Department of Visual Arts is also participating in improving the city’s landscape.