Atareek Festival: A Reflection of Jeddah’s History


  Culture is an important part of life that gives life its meaning and adds happiness to it. It is how people decorate life around them. It is, in essence, the medium through which people of all ages express themselves and give meaning to all the stuff around them. Simply put, culture is a window reflecting the history of a nation which, if not present, would yield a definitely unidentified nation. Since culture influences individuals’ actions, people’s daily lives change the way culture is expressed. As such, here in Jeddah, there is a prominent difference among different parts of the city, with daily rituals ranging from an unpretentious, simple life to a place full of technology and luxuries. People began to think about living the old style again, and from here came the idea of organizing the Historic Jeddah Festival (Atareek): to revive the culture of old Jeddah! The old style festival, which coincided with the spring vacation, contributed to a one in a lifetime experience visited by a significant number of people.


  Over the years, Jeddah has proven to be an important historical area and a major place for touristic attractions. The old style helped grab many people’s attention, who wanted to change the mood of their continuous and tedious everyday lives. They wanted to live a new life where they can build mud houses, buy souvenirs, and live among old traditions. The old tradition was visible through the pottery and houses, which are now preserved using tin foil. Making stalls instead of hyper malls has encouraged the sense of old life and traditions. People selling milk and other goods in the street was an amazing way of expressing tradition.



  The festival informed the public of Jeddah’s 2,600 years old culture using a large, 360-degree display. The video presentation spoke on topics such as the city’s origin and highlighted the historical periods through which the city has passed. The festival has organized more than 300 events and provided more than 10,000 jobs, qualities which made the festival a huge success relative to other major events organized in Jeddah.



  The coincidence with the spring vacation made visiting the festival quit an opportunity. Moreover, the idea of a mayor being present along with existence of old houses enhanced Saudi Arabia’s position as a source of culture and traditions.


  For sure, going to the Historic Jeddah Festival was a fabulous experience for anyone to live. First of all, the festival gave a sensation of pride from the expression of old culture. Then, it gave the environment where everybody enjoyed the amazing traditions of Arabs.



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