Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models

Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
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Saudi artist Jassem Al-Busandah’s models bring to life the cultural heritage of the Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
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Saudi artist Jassem Al-Busandah’s models bring to life the cultural heritage of the Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
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Saudi artist Jassem Al-Busandah’s models bring to life the cultural heritage of the Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
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Saudi artist Jassem Al-Busandah’s models bring to life the cultural heritage of the Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
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Saudi artist Jassem Al-Busandah’s models bring to life the cultural heritage of the Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
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Saudi artist Jassem Al-Busandah’s models bring to life the cultural heritage of the Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
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Saudi artist Jassem Al-Busandah’s models bring to life the cultural heritage of the Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
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Saudi artist Jassem Al-Busandah’s models bring to life the cultural heritage of the Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
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Saudi artist Jassem Al-Busandah’s models bring to life the cultural heritage of the Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
10 / 10
Saudi artist Jassem Al-Busandah’s models bring to life the cultural heritage of the Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Updated 29 April 2023
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Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models

Saudi artist breathes life into the past through his models
  • Jassem Al-Busandah aims to convey the philosophy of the simple ancient KSA lifestyle, or ‘the good old days’

MAKKAH: Jassem Al-Busandah, a Saudi artist in his forties, travels back in time by designing creative models of buildings highlighting the ancient Saudi lifestyle, shedding light on multiple aspects of the Kingdom’s historic makeup.

The artist started his career in Al-Ahsa, and aims to go international to share the diversity of Saudi culture.

“It was at the primary stage when my artistic personality first appeared, namely in the art education class, which I enjoyed the most. It was full of beauty, colors, and artistic pieces. I was excited to begin this journey, full of passion and challenges,” Al-Busandah told Arab News.

“At the very early stage, I realized that I was attracted to this field as soon as I laid my eyes on the colored modelling material (plasticine). Whenever I went with my parents to the beach, I seized the opportunity to model clay and build house models, and used tree leaves for decoration.”

Whenever Al-Busandah was at home, he used cardboard to build houses. He was greatly encouraged by his family, who saw his artistic talent growing daily as he practiced. 

“I have developed my hobby with time, and I started using pressed wood, gypsum, and clay,” he said.

“The models I formed go through different stages, mainly the old mud houses. First, I detail the house from an artistic point of view, then I cover it with burlap (a type of fabric). I mix white cement with gypsum to be added to the model, then I leave it (in the sun) for several hours. After drying, I add colors and effects to the model, which comes out vivid and full of fine details.”

According to Al-Busandah, he has been able to convey the philosophy of the simple ancient Saudi lifestyle, or “the good old days,” where Saudis lived in one neighborhood and were brought together by familiarity, love, solidarity, and mutual reinforcement.

“Saudis in the past worried about each other, and used to share their happy moments, occasions, and celebrations. In my mission, I document a contemporary artistic era, which I wanted to introduce to this generation, so it stays attached to its ancient roots, and to show how the Saudi man relied on himself in building a proper house. This legacy had to be preserved,” he added.

The artist has a museum in Al-Ahsa, where students and tourists learn about the heritage of the Kingdom in general and of Al-Ahsa in particular.

“The most prominent artistic models I have formed are the Masmak Fortress, the Sahood Fort, the Ibrahim Palace, and the famous and popular Qaisariah Souq,” he said.

“I feel extremely happy whenever I witness the reaction of the museum’s visitors, namely Saudis who come from different regions of the Kingdom. Some of them break into tears when they see their past embodied, while others express their close relation to this era comprising their birth, childhood, and early youth stage,” he added.

“I have translated this cultural momentum into an incubating and attractive cultural environment with which many Saudis find their relations with the most prominent life events they have lived.

“My artistic experience is inspired by my view of these old and popular models and houses, as I try to build a miniature city consisting of these houses lined up next to each other to present this attracting architectural pattern with a different print,” he added.

He added that he wants to open an international exhibition showcasing the different landmarks of the Kingdom, where foreign visitors can find what they are looking for and be introduced to the rich cultural diversity of the Kingdom.


Hail deputy governor joins Zubaida Trail for Founding Day

Hail deputy governor joins Zubaida Trail for Founding Day
Updated 22 February 2024
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Hail deputy governor joins Zubaida Trail for Founding Day

Hail deputy governor joins Zubaida Trail for Founding Day

HAIL: Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Hail region, took part in a Zubaida Trail caravan on Thursday to mark Founding Day celebrations.

The caravan, overseen by the Heritage Commission and organized by the Caravans Trails Association, began its journey from the historic city of Fayd to Sumaira’ Province.

Prince Faisal honored the sponsors and partners, and along with hikers, horseback riders, camel riders and cyclists, took part in the caravan journey.

Along the route, the deputy governor spoke to groups taking part in the event, including Saudis and foreigners in the Kingdom.

Prince Faisal praised the government’s support for the heritage sector, and commended the dedication of all parties involved in the caravan program.

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Obeida, general supervisor of the Zubaida Trail, praised the support given to the initiative by the Saudi leadership, as well as the Hail governor and his deputy.

He said that the scheme aims to revitalize the ancient route, which is one of many in Saudi Arabia dating back over 1,000 years.

Al-Obeida highlighted the importance of community involvement in sustaining and developing the trail route for economic, cultural and tourism purposes.
 


Endangered native animals released in Saudi reserve

Endangered native animals released in Saudi reserve
Updated 22 February 2024
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Endangered native animals released in Saudi reserve

Endangered native animals released in Saudi reserve

AL-ULA: Fourteen Arabian oryxes and 40 Arabian sand gazelles have been released into the Gharameel nature reserve by the the National Center for Wildlife.

The conservation effort at Gharameel, located 60 km north of AlUla, took place with cooperation from the Royal Commission for AlUla.

The reserve features unique biodiversity throughout its rock and sand formations, and hillsides.

Resettlement of endangered native species is a key target of the center, as well as restoring biodiversity and environmental balance as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Animal reintroduction also promotes the RCU’s plan to activate six nature reserves while regenerating AlUla as a leading global destination for cultural and natural heritage.

The formations of rocky pillars in the area were created through wind and rain erosion over thousands of years.

AlUla is also a popular stargazing destination for tourists from around the world.
 


Saudi honeybee program achieves 200% productivity boost

Saudi honeybee program achieves 200% productivity boost
Updated 22 February 2024
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Saudi honeybee program achieves 200% productivity boost

Saudi honeybee program achieves 200% productivity boost

RIYADH: The honeybee breeding program — spearheaded by the Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program “Saudi Reef” in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture — is poised to make a substantial impact on bee populations.

A select group of model beekeepers has achieved an impressive 200 percent increase in productivity by implementing the program.

According to the “Saudi Reef” program, the surge in production is attributed to a strategic focus on expanding queen bee rearing within the breeding and propagation program.

Additionally, the adoption of innovative production techniques and best practices, including hive management and organic beekeeping, has played a key role.

These practices have been documented in a booklet distributed to beekeepers and have yielded significant production boosts in several model farms established by the project.

Expanding on its success, the program plans to roll out projects for “bee queen breeding and nuclei production” across eight centers spanning regions such as Jazan, Najran, Asir, Baha, Makkah, Madinah, Hail and Tabuk.

Each center is expected to produce 5,000 queen bees annually, characterized by purity and high-production specifications.

This will enable beekeepers to expand queen bee breeding and bee colonies while preserving favorable genetic traits for enhanced production and resilience against diseases and environmental factors.

The honeybee development and honey production sector is a key focus of the “Saudi Reef” program. Since its inception, the program has had significant increases in production, enhancing the income and living standards of its beneficiaries.

To increase food security and agricultural self-sufficiency, Saudi Arabia unveiled an ambitious initiative in August last year to produce more than 7,500 tons of honey annually as part of the Saudi Reef.


Makkah expo focuses on next steps for hotel, culinary sectors

Makkah expo focuses on next steps for hotel, culinary sectors
Updated 22 February 2024
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Makkah expo focuses on next steps for hotel, culinary sectors

Makkah expo focuses on next steps for hotel, culinary sectors
  • Saudi employees trained at top schools bringing skills back to the Kingdom

MAKKAH: The Makkah Expo for Hotels and Restaurants, held at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Exhibition Center, ended on Wednesday evening.

The exhibition’s fifth edition was inaugurated by Vice Chairman of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce Mustafa Rajab and involved officials, business owners and company representatives.

A large number of companies and institutions representing the hotel and culinary sectors, specialized in serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and visitors, attended the three-day exhibition, which was held in collaboration with the Unit for Exhibition Organization.

Abdullah Haneef, the acting secretary-general of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce, told Arab News: “The exhibition provided an opportunity to access the best practices in the hotel and restaurant sectors, as it brought together a select group of people specialized in this field in Makkah, a pioneer in the hotel sector field attracting large numbers of visitors from around the world.”

He added that industry officials exchanged business ideas and showcased modern tools and technology, food products and hotel and restaurant supplies, and took part in several accompanying events.

Haneef added: “The exhibition offers an opportunity for investors, interested parties, specialized companies and experts in the hotel and restaurant sector from inside and outside the Kingdom, to display their products to investors and interested individuals and exchange expertise, as well as engage in commercial deals between exhibitors, participants and individuals interested in the hotel and restaurant sector.”

The exhibition also hosted a salon for culinary arts and live cooking demonstrations.

Khalid Al-Ghamdi, an investor in the hotel sector, said that the Saudi industry has begun a strong post-pandemic recovery, and is fulfilling its role in serving visitors.

He added that intensive training programs Saudi employees are undertaking in top international hotel schools are helping them apply their knowledge back in the Kingdom.

Al-Ghamdi said that the restaurant sector is facing significant challenges but also opportunities, including smart digital solutions.

Makkah is one of the most significant and holiest places worldwide, drawing millions of Muslims for religious rituals such as Hajj and Umrah, he added.

The city should therefore focus on enhancing future innovation plans and smart marketing to make the hospitality sector a top performer, through innovative solutions and major investment, he said.


Saudi, French FMs discuss bilateral ties on G20 sidelines

Saudi, French FMs discuss bilateral ties on G20 sidelines
Updated 22 February 2024
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Saudi, French FMs discuss bilateral ties on G20 sidelines

Saudi, French FMs discuss bilateral ties on G20 sidelines
  • Ministers reviewed latest regional and international developments, particularly Israel’s war on Gaza

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met on Thursday with his French counterpart Stephane Segournet on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

They discussed bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in various fields, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

They also reviewed the latest regional and international developments, particularly Israel’s war on Gaza.

The Kingdom’s Ambassador to Brazil Faisal Ghulam and Walid Al-Smail, assistant director general of the Saudi foreign minister’s office, were also present at the meeting.