Madinah to host traditional festival

379Madinah will host a traditional forum here later this month that will include the ancient tradition of lighting fires to welcome guests, camel races and poetry readings.

“Narkom Haiyah” or “Your Fire is Alive,” is the second such event being held in the region. It will be held from Oct. 28 to 30 in Al-Swaydrah, under the aegis of Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman.

Abdullah bin Marzouq Al-Suhaimi, head of Al-Swaydrah Center and the chairman of the forum’s supreme committee, thanked Prince Faisal on behalf of the region’s families for supporting the event.

He said the forum aims to preserve Saudi heritage by ensuring that young people understand and have a connection to the past.

One of the traditional events is a fire-lighting competition for 40 young men under the age of 20. The lighting of fires has in the past been a welcoming gesture for guests, symbolizing the generosity of Arabs. The young men also have to make and serve coffee. A committee of elders will evaluate the contestants.

Al-Suhaimi said there would also be a world-class camel-racing event. Camel races date back to pre-Islamic times and is considered a manifestation of wealth, power, heroism and a source of pride for tribes across the Arabian Peninsula, he said. There would be participants from Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Individuals would be able to go for camel rides, he said.

Other events include poetry evenings, traditional games and the auction of horses, camels and sheep. People would be able to rent tents with basic amenities.

Al-Suhaimi said tour operators would be organizing trips to and from Madinah for tourists, who will visit various ancient sites in the area. He praised the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities for its efforts to promote tourism in the region and the country.

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