Hijazi culture under spotlight in festivals

Participants are seen at the launch of the third edition of the ‘That was Our Past’ festival at the Jeddah Historical Area on Thursday.

Participants are seen at the launch of the third edition of the ‘That was Our Past’ festival at the Jeddah Historical Area on Thursday.

Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah are competing for their Hijazi heritage, culture and civilization, to make young Saudis aware of the history of the past generations through the launch of festivals in every city and in line with holidays of the first half of the school year.

The festivals are competing in showing the traditions and values, and the way people lived in these cities over the past and in detail. Every city has a title, as was the case in the 3rd festival of ‘That was Our Past,’ launched Thursday at the Jeddah Historical Area, with many historical houses being rehabilitated in all of their historical designs and distinction.

Some of these have already been turned into museums like Biet Saloum, which was established in 1883. These have been decorated in a way to reflect Islamic architecture besides Hijazi heritage starting with the main entrances designed artistically with wood ornaments.

At the Jeddah festival, corners are allocated for Makkah and Madinah. The Makkah neighborhood for instance speaks and documents the Makkahn heritage that continues to this day.

Makkah Mayor Osam Al-Bar said the Makkah Municipality wants these festivals to continue and show its residents and visitors the importance of this great religious city and its heritage in Hijazi culture and its continuing way of life from the past centuries.

Head of the Madinah Female Literary and Intellectual Gallery Jamal Al-Sadi was enthusiastic. “This heritage festival is dynamic and active, where special corners have been prepared to showcase the cultural implements that were used over the ages with the objective to show the traditional values of the Hijazi people,” she said.

The Hijazi House, which represents the region’s houses, and is an architectural masterpiece, reflects the culture of the inhabitants and those buildings and describes some of the community life of the people who lived with their customs and traditions. These houses had distinct wooden windows to reflect the environment with coverage and openings made from luxurious and Islamic inscriptions and quiet earthly colors.

The old doors were exquisitely constructed; they were brought mostly from India and are perforated in the form of inscriptions and flowers giving them great splendor, beauty and decorations.

The interfaces of the houses were uniformed on one or two historical styles with the windows used as air outlets where water jugs were kept for cooling. There were always corridors in Hijazi houses but these were made in the form of rooms or salons with sand carpets.

The corridors had two chairs made of wood, and here the owner of the house receives his guests. The side rooms would also usually be furnished with carpets but on the walls and it would have proper mattresses and couches also for the guests. There would be a small office as well as a small water pool for domestic use.


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