Saudi sculptor digs up to 20 meters to reach perfect stones

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Jobran Salim at work. (Supplied)
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Sculptor Jobran Salim's products come in different forms. (Supplied)
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Sculptor Jobran Salim's products come in different forms. (Supplied)
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Sculptor Jobran Salim's products come in different forms. (Supplied)
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Sculptor Jobran Salim's products come in different forms. (Supplied)
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Sculptor Jobran Salim's products come in different forms. (Supplied)
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Sculptor Jobran Salim's products come in different forms. (Supplied)
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Sculptor Jobran Salim's products come in different forms. (Supplied)
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Sculptor Jobran Salim's products come in different forms. (Supplied)
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Jobran Salim at work. (Supplied)
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Updated 16 February 2020

Saudi sculptor digs up to 20 meters to reach perfect stones

  • Salim says that he uses primitive tools made of steel to extract stone from the mountains
  • He uses over 200 tools to cut stones into smaller pieces and mold them the way he wants

ABHA: Jobran Salim, a Saudi man in his mid-50s, can swiftly turn stone into beautiful household pieces and amazing accessories. His father passed down this craft to him and he has mastered it to perfection. 

He lives in an area located on the borders of the Kingdom and Yemen, south Jazan, and loves to hand-carve different pieces out of stone.

Salim, a deft sculptor, told Arab News that he uses primitive tools made of steel to extract stone from the mountains. He has to dig up to 20 meters in order to reach the perfect stones he needs to carve his works. The process can be laborious because of his old tools.

The red clay on top of a mountain signifies that its stone can be sculpted and new shapes can be carved out of it. The sculptor should have great skills to do this task because it is not an easy one.

Salim uses over 200 tools to cut the stone into smaller pieces and mold them the way he wants. He can make pots, plates, cups, forks and spoons with great precision.

“My father was a great sculptor and he taught all the skills I use today around 35 years ago. He showed me how to get the perfect stone and how to recognize a mountain that has good pieces of stone. My children don’t like my job and don’t want to learn to be a sculptor because they believe it is dangerous and entails many risks, which they are not willing to take,” he said.

Jibal Qais or the Qais Mountains, located on the Saudi-Yemeni border, have the best stone and one can see the red clay clearly on top of the mountains right before the sunrise. He used the stones of one of these mountains for 10 years because it had a lot of good material.

In his opinion, the best cooking pots are the ones made out of stone as they give cooked food a special taste.


Couple run Dubai balcony marathon to beat coronavirus blues

Updated 29 March 2020

Couple run Dubai balcony marathon to beat coronavirus blues

  • The couple covered 42.2km by running more than 2,100 laps
  • The whole distance took them 5 hours, 9 minutes and 39 seconds

DUBAI: A South African couple who ran a marathon on the balcony of their Dubai apartment, streaming it online, plan to take the project global to help people shake off the coronavirus blues.

Collin Allin, 41, and wife Hilda covered the 42.2-kilometer distance by running more than 2,100 laps of their 20-meter long balcony from dawn on Saturday.

A stopwatch provided by the couple shows they covered the distance in five hours, nine minutes and 39 seconds.

“We did it ... #balconymarathon,” Allin said on Instagram, congratulating his wife on her first ever marathon and thanking the virtual crowd that cheered them on.

“Thank you for all the love and support for doing something silly... was great to have you all along for the ride,” he said.
The couple’s 10-year-old daughter Geena acted as race director, putting up signs marking “start” and “turn around” and providing her parents with water and snacks as well as inspirational music.

Allin said he planned to organize a “bigger, global and more inclusive run next” where people who are under lockdown but keen to stretch their legs can join for a few kilometers or more.
“This is about giving people something else to think about,” Allin told AFP. “It’s about getting people to connect, as everyone is worried about the impact of coronavirus.”
The pandemic has wiped out international sporting schedules and triggered lockdowns that have limited options for outdoor exercise in many countries, but enterprising people have found ways to fit in a workout.
Elisha Nochomovitz, a 32-year-old who lives near the French city of Toulouse, ran a marathon on his balcony which measures just seven meters.
He reportedly managed the feat in six hours and 48 minutes, nearly double his best marathon finish time.