The occasion was celebrated on Tuesday with a host of cultural events across Saudi Arabia, reports Asian Lite News
For the first time ever, Saudi Arabia marked the kingdom’s nearly 300-year-old Founding Day.
Designated by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in January, the Founding Day is to mark the day when Imam Muhammed bin Saud established the first Saudi state in the town of Diriyah, northwest of Riyadh, in 1727, reports Xinhua news agency.
The occasion was celebrated on Tuesday with a host of cultural events across Saudi Arabia.
The Turaif district, first capital of Saudis, in Diriyah was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2010 and has been revitalized with a series of restoration projects giving visitors a glimpse of the old palaces and mosques.
World leaders send wishes
UAE leaders have congratulated King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, on the Founding Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have sent congratulatory messages to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
“Congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi people on the historic occasion of the inaugural Founding Day,” Sheikh Mohamed wrote on Twitter.
The UAE leaders also congratulated His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia, on the occasion.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Hissein Brahim Taha, has congratulated the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, on the Founding Day of the Kingdom.
He also congratulated Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia, on the occasion.
The Secretary-General wished the Kingdom and its people further prosperity, security and stability.
AlUla art exhibition
Desert X AlUla, the first site-responsive art exhibition of its kind in Saudi Arabia, recently launched its second edition in the kingdom’s northwestern ancient city characterised by natural heritage, showcasing creative desert works of 15 artists from around the world.
Under the theme of Sarab (mirage in English), the event runs from February 11 to March 30 and aims to explore ideas of mirage and oasis, where participating artists are invited to address dreams, camouflage, fiction, appearance or disappearance, extraction, illusion and myth, and examine the dichotomy between the natural and manmade worlds, reports Xinhua news agency.
Neville Wakefield, co-artistic director of Desert X AlUla, said the landscape and history of AlUla, which has always been at the crossroads of trade and culture, have and will continue to draw people from across the globe.
Nora Aldabal, arts and creative planning director at Royal Commission for AlUla, said the Saudi exhibition allows people to integrate art, nature and history together, hailing the city “a destination built and inspired by artists”.
“With initiatives like Desert X AlUla, we are crafting the next chapter in AlUla’s history as a cradle of artistic inspiration, transfer and expression,” she noted.
Building on the legacy of Desert X, produced by a non-profit charity in California, Desert X AlUla draws on principles of land art, offering a profound opportunity to experience art on a monumental scale in dialogue with nature.
The founding day celebrations come a day after at least 16 people were injured in a drone attack carried out by Yemen’s Houthi militia targeting Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Airport in the border city of Jazan.
The intercepted drone caused the injuries, including three critical cases among travellers, according to a tweet by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.