Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : First Najran Wheat Festival Celebrates Region's Rich Heritage

Najran brown wheat, known locally as Al-Bur Al-Najrani (Al-Samraa), has been grown in the region for centuries.  - SPA
Najran brown wheat, known locally as Al-Bur Al-Najrani (Al-Samraa), has been grown in the region for centuries. - SPA
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First Najran Wheat Festival Celebrates Region's Rich Heritage

Najran brown wheat, known locally as Al-Bur Al-Najrani (Al-Samraa), has been grown in the region for centuries.  - SPA
Najran brown wheat, known locally as Al-Bur Al-Najrani (Al-Samraa), has been grown in the region for centuries. - SPA

The inaugural Najran Wheat Festival drew a remarkable crowd, showcasing the deep cultural significance of wheat in Najran society. Visitors participated in various events, highlighting the region's unique connection to this historical grain, SPA reported.
Najran brown wheat, known locally as Al-Bur Al-Najrani (Al-Samraa), has been grown in the region for centuries. The festival, organized by the regional branch of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture along with the Social Development Bank, aims to celebrate and promote this cultural heritage passed down through generations.
Farmer Mohammed Al-Mansour, sharing his experience at the festival, spoke about the prized Najran brown wheat. "This unhybridized, naturally grown wheat is a heritage we received from our ancestors," he said. "Planted in early October, it takes five to six months to mature. We use minimal irrigation to protect it from pests, ensuring its high quality."
Executive Director of the Cooperative Agricultural Association West of Najran (CAAWN) Fahd Al-Jareeb stated that CAAWN is focused on educating visitors, farmers, and anyone interested in Najran wheat. The association teaches them about the different wheat varieties grown in the region and their unique characteristics. This includes identifying wheat by its head, or spike. For example, Al-Bur Al-Najrani wheat has a large, distinctive spike with brown chaff that is as long as the spike itself. This contrasts with white wheat, which has a much smaller spike.
Traditionally, wheat cultivation involved meticulous steps. After thorough land preparation, irrigation ensured moist soil for optimal grain growth. Today, modern planting methods are used, followed by harvesting after six months. In the past, farmers relied on animals like bulls, camels, and cows for harvesting, accompanied by communal chants and songs expressing gratitude for a bountiful harvest.
Slow Food's Ark of Taste has chosen Al-Bur Al-Najrani (Al-Samraa) as one of the 13 selected products in Saudi Arabia. This unique wheat is a key ingredient in Najran's beloved dishes, such as Al-Raqsh, where the wheat loaf is sliced into small pieces, placed on a stone plate, and soaked in savory broth and tender meat. The Saudi Culinary Arts Commission has designated Al-Raqsh as the official national dish of the Najran region.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Dubai Culture, Khalifa University Sign MoU to Support Scientific Research on Archaeological Excavations

The MoU stipulates support for ongoing excavation works through the use of remote sensing satellite technology. WAM
The MoU stipulates support for ongoing excavation works through the use of remote sensing satellite technology. WAM
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Dubai Culture, Khalifa University Sign MoU to Support Scientific Research on Archaeological Excavations

The MoU stipulates support for ongoing excavation works through the use of remote sensing satellite technology. WAM
The MoU stipulates support for ongoing excavation works through the use of remote sensing satellite technology. WAM

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Khalifa University of Science and Technology aimed at enhancing cooperation and exchanging expertise and best practices in areas related to archaeological excavations in Dubai, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

The agreement also facilitates the use of advanced technologies in the Saruq Al Hadid and Al Ashoosh sites to further bolster studies and research on the findings of both sites, WAM said.

The MoU stipulates support for ongoing excavation works through the use of remote sensing satellite technology and advanced geophysical survey techniques developed by Khalifa University scientists and researchers to uncover any buried structures, tombs, or remains at the Saruq al-Hadid and Al Ashoosh archaeological sites.

Advanced processing techniques for discoveries will be applied, enabling researchers to create three-dimensional models of features and place them within their archaeological and environmental contexts, WAM said.