Saudi artists shine light on Al-Qatt Al-Asiri at Sharjah Heritage Days


Saudi Gazette

SHARJAH – After the traditional interior wall decoration found in the Kingdom’s Asir Region - Al-Qatt Al-Asiri in Arabic - was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2017, Saudi artists Afaf Dajem and Maha Al-Zahrani are the Kingdom’s latest cultural ambassadors to represent the unique art form at the 16th edition of Sharjah Heritage Days (SHD).

“We are very proud to be here in our second home country and representing Saudi Arabia,” said the two artists who are passionate about presenting Al-Qatt Al-Asiri to both local and global audiences. The duo has been participating in art events related to culture and heritage for more than 5 years, including events in the United States, Sudan and Egypt.

Speaking about their achievements, Afaf told Saudi Gazette, “I participated in heritage workshops to add Al-Qatt Al-Asiri art as an international-recognized art form at UNESCO. I also published a book that specifically covered Al-Qatt Al-Asiri.”

Al-Qatt Al-Asiri has traditionally been the exclusive domain of women who used naturally-sourced dyes to paint the interior walls of their homes. For instance, yellow color was extracted from Turmeric, black from coal, blue from Indigo dye and green from plants.