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The Promotion & Preservation of Saudi Arabia's Cultural Identity Through Modernizing Traditional Arts & Crafts Open Access

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Abstract The Promotion & Preservation of Saudi Arabia’s Cultural Identity Through Modernizing Traditional Arts & CraftsThis research aims to show the benefits of developing a Community Cultural Arts and Crafts Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia which would promote the passage of knowledge and skills of traditional arts and crafts. This proposal targets two specific demographics; senior citizens and youth . Saudi Arabia’s population is disproportionately young. It is estimated that more than half of the population is below 20 years old . The senior citizens would be passing down their knowledge and skills with an emphasis on passing down firsthand handicraft skills to the youth of the country. This research focuses on the current need to preserve art in Saudi Arabia and create an intergenerational dialogue through handicrafts. This research emphasizes the need to reconnect with younger generations through hands on classroom experience to teach them about their history through cultural awareness classes. There are several specific art forms that this research has explored including: historical methods/changes, weaving, jewelry making, dallah coffee pot making, pottery making, carving, and calligraphy. It also explores the benefits to the target audience (senior citizens and youth) including: the health impact, the advantages of preserving cultural art, the center’s location, comparative studies about similar cultural centers, and specific case studies. Dr. Abdullah H. Masry, Assistant Minister of Education for Cultural Affairs, in Saudi Arabia states that there are views that allege: “among many other things, that the arts and crafts did not originate or evolve early in Arabia…there are the fallacious, but regrettably still widely held, assumptions about Arabia and its ancient history. They are based on the erroneous belief that the peninsula during both ancient and recent history was little more than barren stretches of boundless deserts, or craggy mountains inhabited mainly by either wandering nomads or semi -settled farming townsfolk.”

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