Asiri village shows life a century ago
The Abha Festival this year includes a heritage village that showcases the way people in the Asir province lived more than 100 years ago, according to the organizers.
Moqbil Al-Moqbil, the organizer of the festival, said Al-Soudah village has been built over 60,000 square meters and has more than 60 stalls run by families producing arts and crafts dating back 100 years.
It also has 12 houses built in the traditional manner, six old-style farms and a replica of an ancient well. There are also representations of tents, grazing, harvesting, marriage ceremonies, plowing and agricultural rituals. The village has food courts that can accommodate 1,000 visitors at a time, with various traditional meals on offer.
“The village has an open studio over 4,000 square meters, which will be opened to visitors,” he said.
Al-Moqbil said the youth in the area from the Arts and Culture Society would present a play for 35 minutes about the desire of a man to return to the old ways of life in the region. The play would focus on the character of Asiri people including their generosity and hospitality.
“The village is a model of our way of life in the past and a reminder of its beauty and distinctiveness,” he said.
The village was built in stone in the Asiri style. There are 250 craftsmen and women, workers and actors operating at the site.
The daily program runs from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and includes a fashion show with garments worn in the old days. Visitors are encouraged to wear the ancient Asiri dress and participate in various scenes outlining the old way of life.
Mohammad Al-Amra, director general of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities in Asir and secretary-general of the Tourism Development Council and the festival, said the village is an important part of the plan to attract more visitors to the region.