The world’s longest calligraphic mural has been installed on the road leading to Makkah’s Grand Mosque, in the latest beautification of the holy city.
The 75-meter mural, created by artist Amal Felemban, is one of many sculptures and installations that already adorn Makkah as part of a local government initiative to improve the city’s aesthetic appeal and showcase Saudi heritage and culture to pilgrims.
The historic art of mural painting, which depicts Saudi culture and aesthetics and connects the ancient and contemporary worlds, should be preserved and promoted, according to Felemban, who spoke to Arab News.
“In the modern era, they brighten up streets and cover some of the ugliness of the gray buildings,” she said, adding that murals and sculptures reflected the true spirit of the city.
“My mural tells the story of the urban heritage in the holy capital, as it received a wonderful echo of this authentic Hijazi art, and it is different from the rest of the murals near large mosques,” she said.
“Mine are not letters or poetic verses but were rather inspired by the authentic urban culture of this country.
“Many pilgrims do not have sufficient knowledge about Saudi Arabia, nor about our culture and civilization, so we need to show it through arts, murals, and sculptures.”
Felemban said that the municipalities in all Saudi regions must pay great attention to this form of art, which reflects Saudi culture and attracts more tourists.
“Millions of visitors from all over the world will flock to our beloved Kingdom, which requires us to show our heritage and culture properly.”
According to artist Badr Al-Sulaimani, pilgrims from all over the world find satisfaction and pleasure in the murals and sculptures in the holy city.
In many competitions, he continued, they assisted in showcasing numerous talented individuals from both inside and beyond the Kingdom and offered a historical perspective to current art.
“This proves the importance of employing arts and creating an attractive artistic environment, using all the techniques that contribute to providing a cultural and artistic dose for passers-by,” Al-Sulaimani said.
The Makkah Municipality supports competitions for Arabic calligraphy and mural painting, which it says as two of the most important written and visual arts connected to the Holy Quran.
The Department of Visual Arts at Umm Al-Qura University is sending a team to help with the city’s landscaping.