The Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum opens its doors on Thursday to the public with an assortment of heritage and artistic activities to take them to an open space of antiquity, originality, pleasure and art, in the oldest five quarters of Jeddah.
Jeddah’s Ramadan Nights is one of the events organized by the city’s residents to revive the past and remind younger generations about the life of their ancestors, their urban heritage, and social and religious traditions, under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and the General Authority for Entertainment.
The festival, which is hosted by the Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum – one of Saudi Arabia’s prominent and most beautiful museums and tourist attractions - simulates the life aspects of the oldest five quarters in Jeddah, Bab Makkah, Al-Mazloum, Al-Bahr, Al-Sham, and Al-Yaman, with their social customs and traditions.
As you cross the gate of the Museum Square, your journey into history begins, where Walid Diab, a resident of the town, welcomes you with Saudi coffee, and the most famous Hijazi greetings. The alleys of Bab al-Makkah quarter take you to Al-Sham and Al-Mazloum neighborhoods, where you will find many productive families offering beautiful handicrafts.
Then the road leads you to Al-Bahr and Yemen quarters, with all their famous food and Hijazi drinks.
Visitors in this area get to know Al-Masharati, who used to wander with his drum to wake the sleepers on the nights of Ramadan, to remind them of the time of Suhoor.
You will also meet the iconic Hakawati (the storyteller), who is embodied by Ahmed Al-Sayyad, a local resident.
“He is that talented man, who is skilled in the art of telling stories, tales, and legends that are passed down through generations; People would gather around him to listen to his anecdotes… But after television invaded our society… this social phenomenon gradually disappeared,” Al-Sayyad tells Asharq Al-Awsat.
From “the storyteller” to “Faraqna,” the man who sells clothes, kohl, combs, cosmetics, and sometimes sweets to children…
During the Ramadan Nights of Jeddah, the visitors will also get to know some of the occupations that were famous in this particular region, including coppersmiths, fishermen, and also sailors who used to go on long trips to extract pearls from the depths of the sea.