Dating back 1,400 years to the first century of Islam, calligraphy is a revered art in Saudi Arabia. Because its primary subject matter has historically been the Holy Qur’an, calligraphy is considered to be the quintessential Islamic art form. Saudi museums collect and display rare manuscripts. Other organizations commission works of calligraphy, provide training in the art form, and hold competitions to encourage new generations of young artists. Today, calligraphy is a dominant theme in metalwork, ceramics, glass textiles, painting and sculpture throughout Saudi Arabia and the Muslim world. Inscriptions often adorn the interior walls of mosques, as well as public and private offices and homes.
Saudis prefer traditional clothes to Western styles of dress, and generally wear modern adaptations of age-old designs. The loose, flowing traditional garments are practical for the Kingdom’s hot, windswept climate, and in keeping with the Islamic ideal of modesty Men: Men wear an ankle-length shirt of wool or cotton known as a thawb. On their heads, they wear a large square of cotton (ghutra) that is folded diagonally over a skullcap (kufiyyah) and held in place with a cord circlet (igaal). The flowing, full-length outer cloak (bisht), generally made of wool or camel hair, completes the outfit. In the old days, the bisht was also used as a blanket while traveling. Women: Women customarily wear a black outer cloak (abaya) over their dress, which may well be modern in style. On their heads, Saudi women traditionally wear a shayla – a black, gauzy scarf that is wrapped around the head and secured with circlets, hats or jewelry. Traditional dress is often richly decorated with coins, sequins or brightly colored fabric appliqués. Some Saudi women wear veils made of sheer material. The practice of wearing a veil is an ancient one that dates back at least two millennia, before the advent of Islam. In a harsh desert environment, a thin veil provides protection from constant exposure to the sun, which can damage the skin and eyes. Today, a veil is also a sign of modesty and virtue.
A living piece of the country’s history, Saudi folk music has been shaped by the nomadic Bedouins and the pilgrims who brought musical influences from around the world The music varies from region to region – for example, in the Hijaz, the music of al-sihba combines poetry and songs of Arab Andalusia, while the folk music of Makkah and Madinah reflects these two cities’ influences from throughout the Islamic world. Dance is also popular among Saudis. The national dance is the men’s sword dance known as the ardha. An ancient tradition with its roots in the country’s central area known as the Najd, the ardha is a combination of singers, dancers carrying swords and a poet or narrator. Men carrying swords stand in two lines or a circle, with a poet singing in their midst, and perform the traditional dance.
Poetry is especially important to Arab cultural life, and has long been considered one of the highest expressions of literary art. In the days when the Bedouin were constantly traveling, poetry was primarily an oral tradition. People would gather around a storyteller, who would spin tales of love, bravery, chivalry, war and historic events. This was both entertainment and an oral preservation of history, traditions and social values. The Holy Qur’an took the Arab love of language and poetry to new levels. It exemplifies the perfect use of the Arabic language and is considered to be the ultimate literary model. Poetry remains popular among Saudis today. They gather at cultural events, most notably the Jenadriyah National Culture and Heritage Festival, and avidly read the works of established poets that are printed in Saudi Arabia every year. There is also a popular televised poetry competition.
The most famous cultural event in Saudi Arabia is the Jenadriyah Heritage and Cultural Festival, organized each year by the National Guard. For two weeks a year, the festival gives over a million Saudis a glimpse into the past. First held in 1985, the festival highlights the Kingdom’s commitment to keeping the traditional culture and crafts of Saudi Arabia alive. Opening with a traditional camel race, the festival includes almost every aspect of Saudi culture. Artisans, such as potters, woodworkers and weavers, demonstrate their traditional crafts in small shops with typical palm-frond-roofed porches. Visitors can also stroll through the past in a heritage village, wahich resides permanently in Jenadriyah. At these exhibits one may watch a metalsmith fashion a traditional brass and copper coffee pot. A wood carver slowly transforms a piece of wood into a saddle frame. Basket makers weave palm fronds and straw into hats, baskets and containers decorated with colorful designs. A potter using a foot-powered wheel shapes clay into bowls and water jars. Leather is cut and shaped into sandals, pouches and bags. Large planks are cut and fashioned into doors and windows that have intricate carvings and inlays. Blacksmiths heat chunks of iron in a furnace and hammer them into gleaming swords and daggers. A tailor hand-sewn golden threads into the collar of a man’s cloak. Jewelers fuse precious metals and mount semi-precious stones to make intricate bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Craftsman put together ingenious wooden pulleys used in the old days to laboriously draw water from wells for irrigating crops. In addition, folklore troupes perform the ardha and other national dances, while singers from around the Kingdom perform traditional songs and music. Literary figures from across the country participate in poetry competitions between contemporary poets reciting historic verses.
Horse racing Horse racing was, and remains today, one of the most popular sporting events in Saudi Arabia. There are modern racetracks in the Kingdom, although betting is prohibited. Locals have for centuries bred horses for racing and transportation. The famous Arabian horse has a bloodline that dates back thousands of years and is one of the world’s most sought-after breeds. Camel racing Camel racing is also a popular traditional sport. Traditionally the desert sport of Bedouins, camel racing is a major spectacle. In the past, races involved thousands of camels speeding across the open desert. Today, the rules have been modified for modern racetracks, and camel races are held every Monday during the winter at Riyadh Stadium. Hunting Other traditional sports include hunting with hounds and falconry. The swift saluki hound, named for an ancient city in southern Arabia, is generally considered by historians to be the world’s oldest domesticated dog. Falconry in the Kingdom today is limited and carefully regulated in order to protect the game fowl that is the falcon’s traditional prey
Some types of Saudi foods became dominant all over the provinces despite the different social and economic segments of the Saudi community. There are various cuisines and beverages, including Al-Kabsah, Al-Qursan, Al-Mutazees, Al-Mutabbaq, Al-Ma’soub, Al-Mandi, Al-Arikah, Al-Aseedah, Al-Hanith, and so on. Matazeez is one of the most famous traditional cuisine and consisting of mainly wheat. It is prepared by expert women only to perfection. This is done by cutting the dough into small pieces, the size of an egg. They are flattened and placed inside a pot containing boiling water, cut meat, truffles, and margarine. Matazeez is regarded as one of the favorite lunch or dinner meals for the elderly Source : https://sauditourism.sa/en/aboutksa/cities/riyadh/pages/default.aspx
Again, the main constituent is wheat. It contains pieces of dough, meat, margarine, spices, and vegetables, like pumpkin and eggplant. The dough pieces are pierced to go under the boiling water and left for a while until the dough is done