JEDDAH: The Qimam Mountain Performing Arts Festival, taking place this week in the Asir region from January 9-15, is a rich showcase of Saudi folk art.
The festival showcases the ancient arts that have been preserved in this mountainous region — Qimam means peaks — in the southwest of the country which has the highest peaks in the Kingdom.
The festival takes place in the palaces of Bin Mushait, Abu Sarrah and Qasr Malik. The architecture of these palaces bears the same distinctive quality that can be found in local folk art, Khaled Al-Took, a national tourist guide, told Arab News.
Visitors can attend performing arts performances – including folk dances – and poetry evenings, buy folk crafts and taste traditional dishes. They can watch a welcome dance that Asir dancers have long used to welcome performers from elsewhere, in an ancient local tradition.
“The festival will help promote these popular arts, connect younger generations to their heritage and motivate them to participate with pride,” Al-Took said.
Visitors can learn mountain dances with their different rhythms and melodies and can even have fun.
The festival includes hikes led by professional mountain guides.
There is also a visual arts exhibit that showcases fine art creativity in the region.
Qimam aims to promote the natural assets and cultural treasures of the region and to strengthen the presence of Saudi folklore in the world while supporting the local community in promoting its traditions.
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