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Arts &

Entertainment Culture

Keeping tradition alive with

“Hijazi Nights” By Fatima Bistro and Syed Shabbir Siraj Photos by DJ Team


The word culture brings to mind a sea of exotic experiences and traditions, enriching all those who take pleasure in meeting people and visiting different countries. Traveling the world is not always necessary in order to absorb a different culture; a single nation can have a diverse people that add to its cultural topography. The Hijaz region is just an area with its rich history and diverse inhabitants, all with their own stories and songs. Showcasing Hijazi culture at Sami Angawi’s Al-Makkiyah Culture House, Enas Hashani, CEO of Destination Jeddah, organized Hijazi Nights on 23rd of June featuring oud player Sahl Junaid and scholar/writer Fareed A. Salamah. The Destination Jeddah team, clad in fashionable Hijazi attire, welcomed guests as they stepped through an ornate, wooden door of the magnificent Angawi residence while succulent dates and gahwa (Arabic coffee) were served by the catering staff. Guests were escorted along narrow, marble hallways to the ‘food tasting and crafts’ foyer where a bazaar had also been set up. The bazaar was lucky DESTINATION JEDDAH 33

Fareed A. Salamah

Sahl Junaid

to have several enterprising Saudi women showcasing their products including jewelry, dresses with intricate embroidery and many more items sharing a Hijazi connection. Traditional melodies floated through the air amidst conversations of Arabic, English, French and German; the music resonated throughout the corridors and archways of the grand hall. The high ceilings and open ventilation provided some relief to the hot and humid June night. Junaid, wearing a white thobe and a golden-orange Hijazi headdress, spoke to guests in between his soulful strumming of the oud. He discussed the origins of the instrument and the heritage it exemplifies for the people of the Hijaz. The lively atmosphere of the main gathering

Dr Ali Al-Ghufais, Mayor of the Technical and Vocational Training General Corporation

‫ليالي حجازية‬

‫ بالتعاون مع دار املكية �أول ليلة من ليايل حجازية لإلقاء ال�ضوء على تاريخ و تراث احلجاز‬Destination Jeddah ‫عقدت جملة‬ .‫ مب�شاركة الأ�ستاذ فريد �سالمة �صاحب معجم الأمثال ال�شعبية ملدن احلجاز و الأ�ستاذ �سهل جنيد الذي �أحتفنا مبو�سيقاه الرتاثية‬،‫الرثي‬ 34 DESTINATION JEDDAH

Enas Hashani (left), CEO Destination Jeddah and Managing Editor, Siyaraa Shaikh (right) present Mahmoud Sabbagh with an award.

hall became a murmur once Salamah was invited to speak about his recent publication “Encyclopedia of the Hijaz”, which was 20 years in the making. Embellishing his talk with poetry and anecdotes, the colorful yet riveting Salamah gave his audience an amusing perspective of everyday life and recalled how things used to be in the days of his youth. A word of thanks brought the evening to a close as awards were given to Junaid and Salamah; mementos for their participation in “Hijazi Nights” and for making it an exciting cultural event as well as a great learning experience for everyone present. Salamah accepted his award by reciting a poem celebrating the Hijazi lifestyle, giving a renewed sense of hope for the preservation of Hijaz culture for generations to come.

Managing Editor, Siyaraa Shaikh (left) presents Salamah and Junaid with awards for their contributions.

Editor in Chief Enas Hashani, receives a selection of chocolates on behalf of Lindt chocolate. DESTINATION JEDDAH 35

Hijazi Nights - Saudi Culture  

A collaborative piece on an evening dedicated to showcasing Saudi culture.