On Monday, the 25th of September 2023, Alfaisal University celebrated the 93rd Saudi National Day. The university ground floor atrium was transformed into a hustling and bustling tribute to the rich and diverse cultures found across all the regions of Saudi Arabia. Organized by the Social and Development Club (SDC) and the Alfaisal University Student Affairs, this year’s Saudi National Day activation takes you on a journey across the nation through five distinct regions representing the 13 official provinces of the country. Each section was curated with details to include architectural symbolism, cultural artifacts, practices, rituals, products and cuisine specific to that region.
Upon entering the promenade, the Southern region section greets you with displays of harvests, flora and fauna Jizan region is known for – prized seasonal coffee grown locally, purple trees and purple carpets reminiscent of the purple blooms of the desert and woven wreaths and crowns of fragrant jasmines from the region. Over on the opposite end is the Eastern region display, where you can find delicious foods and dates traditional to the region, a depiction of the ancient Souq al-Qaisaryah with sacks of sugar and baskets of pearls, and a nod to the fuel found in the region. Straight ahead is the Central region exhibit, set in the Salmani design principles, this area serves as a homage to the past kings. A side wall features recitations of three famous National poems, along with classical instruments like the rababa, traditional clothing, jewellery and cosmetics of the region are also on display. Further along is the Western region, here the display includes a myriad of features of the Ka’aba including the Kiswah, the walls feature mashrabiya/roshan style windows, stands of zamzam in clay vessels are on offer along with ajwa dates, henna art and Jeddah’s quintessential balila. Lastly, the Northern region emulates the Souq al Twaheen along with displays featuring traditonal cloth and tent-making, basket-weaving, oil lanterns, local foods and olives from the olive trees of Al Jouf. The stories of the north are explained in visuals, using ground snow for water in the campsites of Tabuk or through houses without doors in Ha’il. There is much for everyone to notice, appreciate and learn from in this walk through the regions.
However, the afternoon’s festivities do not end there. The National day celebrations continued with a performance of the folkloric Ardah dance, with thumping beats and sword-wielding recitations raising the spirits of all involved. Additionally, the Equestrian Club at Alfaisal also hosted an outdoor horse show to mark the celebration
It was a joyous occasion celebrated by the entire Alfaisal community with great enthusiasm, amassing large crowds of students, faculty and staff joined by our leadership and special guest- Board of Trustees member Al-Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Jomaih.