Hail rock art enriches world heritage map

Updated 09 July 2015

Hail rock art enriches world heritage map

RIYADH: Happy with the inclusion of Hail rock art in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List, which is the second entry in consecutive years as the Historic Jeddah was listed last year, a wider-section of Saudi society hailed the decision as “unique achievement” for Kingdom in two successive years.

Reacting to the big announcement, Education Minister Azzam Al-Dakhil expressed his pleasure on such a great cultural accomplishment and appreciated the key role played by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and Hail governorate paying great attention to the registration of these sites for the 39th session of UNESCO world heritage committee in Bonn.
He described the initiative of registration as a civilized and conscious effort that constitutes an important step in to exhibiting the abundant heritage of the Kingdom.
“It offers to the world a true picture of enlightened Islamic principles that do not clash with others and this does not contradict with the teachings of Islam,” the minister said.
Al-Dakhil further maintained, “Such a great accomplishment highlighting Saudi history and its deeply rooted heritage, confirms the Kingdom’s position at the crossroad of civilizations and the rock engravings that are registered today are a sufficient witness as these date back to approximately 10,000 years ago.”
Hail Gov. Prince Saud bin Abdul Mohsin considers the registration of Hail rock art in the World Heritage List as a great accomplishment that reflects Kingdom’s deeply rooted civilization and its richness in human heritage.
“Such an international recognition crowns the blessed efforts of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, who pays great attention to everything related to the national heritage and necessity of being introduced to Kingdom’s current and future generations,” Prince Saud underlined.
He also extended his appreciation to Prince Sultan bin Salman, SCTNH president, for his great efforts towardthe preservation of the national heritage as this site represents fourth in a row to join the prestigious UNESCO list following Madain Saleh, Historic Diriya and Historic Jeddah.
“These important sites should be provided with integrated network of infrastructure and basic services besides raising the awareness of local people on the importance of such an ancient place,” he added.
Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Ghabban, SCTNH vice-president and supervisor of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque program for caring of Kingdom’s cultural heritage, who also headed the team for the registration of Hail rock art in the World Heritage list, commented that inclusion of the rock art represents a new historic and heritage milestone for the Kingdom.
“It is a unique achievement of its kind as the rare drawings depict the daily lives of the ancient time during prehistoric age,” he observed.
Al-Ghabban disclosed that the UNESCO heritage committee members representing 22 countries unanimously approved the registration of the site and commended its cultural and humanitarian importance as these arts represent a graphic record of man practicing his activities, his adaptation to environment and the cultural level during the neolithic age.
“The Hail rock art’s inclusion has left a great responsibility on SCTNH, its partners and the local community regarding site’s protection and preservation, while at the same time it also represents a great opportunity for development in the region as well as creating job opportunities for locals,” he pointed.


Kemetic yoga breathes new life into Egyptian tourism

Updated 50 min 28 sec ago

Kemetic yoga breathes new life into Egyptian tourism

  • Egyptian temples have wall carvings which play a major role in the development of Kemitic yoga
  • Kemetic yoga is a blend of physical movements, meditation and controlled breathing

CAIRO: Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism has collaborated with CNN to produce and air a short film about Kemetic yoga to highlight wellness tourism in the country.

Kemetic yoga is a blend of physical movements, meditation and controlled breathing.

The three-minute film was shot in Luxor and follows Sarah Wesley, a certified Kemetic yoga instructor.

“The origins of Kemetic yoga started in the land called Kemit and Kemit is the ancient name of Egypt,” Wesley said.

Egyptian temples have wall carvings which play a major role in the development of Kemitic yoga, along with the study and interpretations of hieroglyphic texts on the subject.

Wesley practices yoga mainly at Karnak Temple, which she described as being full of powerful and peaceful energy.

The practice mainly targets people who want to discover more about themselves and those who wish to expand their consciousness.

“I hope that the future of Kemetic yoga can reach as many people as possible,” Wesley said.

This type of yoga is different to others, as it focuses on breathing rather than poses.

Breathing is a significant aspect in all forms of yoga but with Kemetic yoga it is enhanced and highlighted. It is also much slower than other forms of yoga.

Kemetic yoga is more than imitating the poses of the gods which have remained eternal due to the carvings on the temple walls. It is a philosophy that aims for self-development.

Kemetic yoga aims to showcase a different side of tourism in Egypt. The film, “Yoga in Egypt,” is one aspect of a partnership between CNN and the ministry, which has launched an international tourism campaign. 

The campaign aims to promote tourism in Egypt by showcasing the country in a different light and changing perceptions about it.

Last month the ministry said it was working with social media influencers to promote Egypt as a travel destination, Al-Ahram newspaper reported.