RIYADH: Visitors to the Kingdom’s National Museum in Riyadh will see ancient statues found throughout Saudi Arabia, Al-Kaaba’s coverage, the life-size architecture of the old houses of different regions, and many other historical artifacts from the Stone Age to the Two Holy Mosques of today.
On Wednesday, it was the turn of the American Chamber of Commerce in Saudi Arabia’s arts, culture and entertainment committee to experience “A night at the National Museum.”
More than 100 guests enjoyed an evening hosted by the Kingdom’s National Museum that was rich in Saudi culture. Guests enjoyed a guided tour, traditional food and customs, engaging museum activities, a Saudi musical performance and prizes from Saudi-owned companies.
Ali Al-Hammad, an English-speaking tour guide, offered thought-provoking facts about the historical art and cultural displays to the American chamber attendees. Visitors were able to ask questions directly to the in-house expert, who shared his expertise of Saudi culture.
Al-Hammad expressed his excitement at having so many guests in one tour.
“I’ve been working here for 22 years and I am happy that there were a lot of visitors today. We always get excited to see people enjoying our history. There are many things that were displayed recently, for example, the statues found in AlUla that were stored for many years and now are out for everyone to see.”
The National Museum is divided into eight galleries, each of which depicts a different historical period. The galleries are arranged in chronological order, starting with the creation of the universe through to the unification of Saudi Arabia and the growth of Hajj.
Tarik Solomon, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Saudi Arabia, said that the museum was a place that visitors would not forget.
“This is one of those things that everyone is going to remember and my favorite part is Al-Kiswa; you come here and you see Al-Kabba’s coverage. I am really looking forward to seeing what is next to come; I heard that the museums of cultures, art and heritage are expanding in the Kingdom so I am thankful to be here.”
The American Chamber of Commerce in Saudi Arabia assists individuals with US business interests and the surrounding community in connecting, growing and prospering in Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province, at a business and personal level.
Todd Nims, chairman of the chamber’s arts, culture and entertainment committee, thanked the National Museum for hosting the visit, highlighting it as an example of cross-cultural exchange.
“This exchange of culture is what we encourage as a community and I think that we are thrilled to do things like this, like today we tasted the real Saudi food from the hand of Saudi women,” he said.
“We aim to serve the community through increasing the appreciation for Saudi culture here in the Kingdom that we call home and look forward to many more opportunities to engage and explore these gems of Riyadh, Jeddah and Eastern Province.”
The chamber’s head of communications, Hana Nemec, was overwhelmed by the response from the National Museum: “As an American expatriate who has been in the Kingdom for the past six years, my appreciation for Saudi Arabia and its rich culture continues to develop day after day. I can’t get enough.”
The National Museum, which is part of the King Abdulaziz Historical Center, was founded in 1999 to celebrate Saudi unification.
The museum is a cultural monument that uses the Kingdom’s legacy to highlight the nation’s cultural identity, depth and dimensions.