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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of Al Baha

Arabic: مَدِيْنَةُ ٱلْبَاحَة‎, romanizedMadīnatul-Bāḥah
Overview of Al-Bahah with the Hijaz Mountains in the background
Overview of Al-Bahah with the Hijaz Mountains in the background
Nickname(s): 
Garden of the Hijaz
Arabic: حَـدِيْـقَـة ٱلْحِجَاز‎, romanizedḤadīqat al-Ḥijāz
Coordinates: 20°00′N 41°27′E / 20.000°N 41.450°E / 20.000; 41.450
Country
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Saudi Arabia
RegionAl-Bahah
Established1600
Government
 • Provincial GovernorHussam bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Elevation
2,155 m (7,070 ft)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total104,266
 Al Baha Municipality estimate
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EAT)
Area code(s)+966-17

Al-Bahah (Arabic: ٱلْبَاحَة‎, Al-Bāḥah) is a city in the west of Saudi Arabia in the Hejaz area. It is the capital of Al Bahah Region, and is one of the Kingdom's prime tourist attractions. It enjoys a pleasant climate and is surrounded by more than forty forests, including Raghdan, al Zaraeb and Baidan. Al Baha is the headquarters of the Governor, local councils and branches of governmental departments. Receiving the state's special attention, the city of Al Baha abounds in educational, tourist and health institutions. It is considered the capital of the Ghamdi and Zahrani tribes in Saudi Arabia, and most of its inhabitants are from the native tribes.

The name "Pearl of Resorts" is the name given to Al-Baha by those acquainted with the city. The name "Garden of the Hejaz" (Arabic: حَدِيْقَة ٱلْحِجَاز‎, romanizedḤadīqaṫ al-Ḥijāz) was the name given to it by the Sharif of Mecca.

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Transcription

I welcome Mr. Khaled Bahhah, Vice President and Prime Minister of Yemen, to "10 in 20". One of the great things about the World Government Summit, in addition to the important issues it tackles, it also reinforces abilities, such as having a 20-minute interview with the Vice President of Yemen, who comes from a country that has been at war for 11 months. I think that's a challenge I hope I'll succeed at. Mr. Vice President, I'd like to start with the military intervention which took place 11 months ago by the neighboring countries led by The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. What's the story? What happened exactly? And why did you wait after the Houthi militias took over Sana'a for several months before you requested military intervention? In the Name of God. I'm glad to be here and to participate in this great summit hosted by the United Arab Emirates, and by Dubai in particular. It's not just about the 11 months during which was... the period of liberation. I think that if we go back to 2011, in the beginning of change, we sought the help of our brothers in the GCC in order to prepare the initiative and take Yemen out of that messy political situation. Our brothers were with us since 2011 through the Gulf Initiative and then they contributed to the outcome of the national dialogue until we reached the draft constitution, a large part of the draft constitution at one of the resorts in the UAE. So, our brother in the allied countries, especially in KSA, they were with us, until we reached a different stage when the Houthis didn't keep their word to be a part of the peaceful transition of power which Saleh did, too, and the other request came to salvage the great effort that was exerted in 2011, 2012 and 2013, to salvage that great effort, and the military intervention was the last resort to stop that recklessness or the mess caused by the Houthis and Saleh. Okay, Mr. Vice President, there's a question asked by many people which is: After the fall of Sana'a in September 2014, you accepted being the head of a government controlled by the coup's Houthi militias. What pushed you to accept such a difficult task? As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. And that was the case. Back then I was... Yemen's permanent delegate to the UN and I was following closely the conflict and the hard transition in Yemen. One of my colleagues before me was appointed as PM, but a number of politicians refused that adamantly and I found myself alone. It was hard to refuse and harder to accept, so accepting was the lesser of two evils. - To minimize your losses. - To minimize our losses and it was the best way to contribute to bringing things back to normal. Did you need legal back-up in the Yemeni Government in order to request an intervention by the sister countries? Yes. If we go back to the Arab Defense Treaty, we know there have been many previous experiences and many events that were part of the support that we had. We don't call it intervention but rather support by sister countries which was necessary, and I think it relates to the Arab region as a whole. It relates to the Gulf region and it relates to us in Yemen. So, I think that support was very important because any hesitation in that contribution could've dragged the region into much trouble. Okay, are you in the Yemeni Government aware of the proceedings of the military battles and coordinating with the Alliance? Yes, of course, we have a partnership whether in the military frame or in the political frame by the President and the Government, as well as by the military experts and commanders, so we are partners in this. Mr. Vice President, allow me to ask this question: Is the Government today carrying out all of its tasks from the interim Capital of Aden? The Government is dealing with an exceptional circumstance which not only puts us all on the same boat. the period of recuperation as we call it or the post-liberation period is not easy, there's a huge security gap, so we found a strategy which we tried for a month. We stayed there as a government and had a terrible terrorist accident which everyone heard about on October 6th, which was the bombing of The Palace Hotel. The whole Government could've been eliminated, but... thank God, we overcame that stage and our strategy now is to be dispersed throughout Yemen individually and we can meet somewhere when we need to but we never let the whole Government be in the same place for a long time. Through the news that keep pouring in about the rampant insecurity in Aden, is it possible that... Is the situation as bad as we see in the news? There are two perspectives, our perspective on the inside as we know it. Perhaps the security and military people know it, too. Sometimes when you see things heating up that is a kind of clearance. The events in Aden today look heated but form our inner perspective our security plan is to step up security and military operations which might make things look heated and result in many terrorist attacks, but we will see in the next few months that this is in the best interest of the city to clear it once and for all of the extremists who call themselves the advocates of Shari'a or Al-Qaeda or ISIS or others. This leads me to the question: Who is behind those groups? The Government often hints that these get support from the ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Can you confirm that? Let's take the example of Al-Mukalla city in Hadramout, which had no less than 20,000 soldiers and military officers, yet it couldn't stand in the face of 60 people who are ISIS extremists or others. This tells you that these 20,000 retreat in a weird, surprising way because all the forces there were with Saleh, so I think this was an obvious proof that basically they are given the chance to enter the city and then they collaborate with them under a different cover. Okay. How do you explain that the Houthi Militias or even the remnants of Saleh's army weren't... weren't targeted with any attack by Al-Qaeda or ISIS? Yes. We noticed that in the areas of the Houthis and Saleh, there were no terrorist attacks. There might have been some minor attacks and even those terrorist attacks we expect that they did it. They were in Aden for months and there was no terrorist attacks but then when the Government was back those attacks escalated and that was a clear proof that they were backing those groups. Okay. Another question, there's so much talk about battles around Sana'a. What's the reality of the situation now? Are you in the Legitimacy Forces and the Alliance Forces about to liberate Sana'a so to speak? The liberation for us meant to take steps towards peace before we attacked any city. We requested that from the beginning of the events. We asked everyone to learn from others' lessons so we could avoid war. But unfortunately there was no response, so we had to march on. So we made progress into Aden, Ma'reb and many other areas and we went to Geneva for the second time to try and end the war and start peace negotiations. It doesn't seem like they wanted peace and that's the culture of militias. We thought the militias would be only consist of Yemeni forces, but those Yemeni forces are backed by Iran and I think that Iran seeks to keep the war raging and to prolong the chaos in Yemen and in other Arab countries. So, you think the continuity of war isn't decided by the Houthi militias? Throughout the history of Yemen, when both sides of the conflict are Yemeni we can interfere in different ways either through political or tribal laws but we're now in a different phase at a different time. The Iranian presence is very obvious, the groups don't take their own decisions, and so the Iranian intervention is very clear which is foul play by the Iranians. Okay, let's talk about the current National Army in Yemen. How big is that army? What weapons did it have before the fall of Sana'a? And how many in that army support legitimacy and how many of them are loyal to the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh? We had a problem even before in counting the army that it was all in the frame of the illusory army. You see big number on the payroll but you don't know the actual number although it was over 300,000 or 500,000 but we had a clear corruption problem when it came to the army count. We saw how the army couldn't stand up to a militia who came from a small, isolated area in Sa'da. That's enough proof that there was a problem. Was that because of the military doctrine? The military doctrine, or rather the fighters' doctrine unfortunately. When the fighter's doctrine isn't built on a national base, it could fall apart in minutes in the face of small militias and that's what we noticed when the Houthi militias came on. How big is the army now? I think it's still the same as before, especially those who supported legitimacy in addition to the new structures we're forming in new brigades. So, I think that things are going better than before, with God's will. But what's the percentage of the supporters of the former president? Look, the majority of the National Yemeni army didn't support these militias or Saleh. Unfortunately, they remained silent. I think now that whenever we approach an area, the army... starts joining forces with the Legitimacy forces and the National Army. So, the silent group is now coming back to life and this was our message to them then and now, that it's time to stand with their country across Yemen. Many people have the impression that the current army is under-qualified and the resistance too, which would prolong the battles. Is that true? Those who know Yemeni people know they are warriors by nature even without joining the army. But we're now in an organizational frame and under exceptional circumstances so we only give them 45 days of regular training and then send them to battle. So, we don't have enough time for longer training but the day will come when we can send them to academies and real institutes when this war ends. Let's talk about political solutions. The UN held a round of negotiations in Geneva about the crisis in Yemen, but they failed even before they were held. Why was that, in your opinion? We noticed in the first round in Geneva 1 that the militia's mentality's different than that of the other political side. First, they can't make their own decisions, The other thing is that they don't even have a vision for what they want. So, in Geneva 1 failure was there before it even started. We took note of that, but we had a national and moral obligation to go to Geneva 1. In Geneva 2, we wished. It was a wish list, we wished things would happen. Yet, we noticed they had the same mentality, the only difference was that those who didn't wear neckties before wore it now in Geneva 2. But they kept the same mentality they had in Geneva 1. - A mentality without a necktie. - Yes, that was the only difference. I'm not wearing a necktie. We wanted a national mentality, a moral mentality, a responsible mentality, that's what we hoped for. I don't think there's much room for tolerance in the political process now as people are dying and other are suffering from poor living conditions, so, we want peace. So, you lost faith in political negotiations? We have two parallel approaches We want peace, and even war for peace but not the opposite. We will proceed with the political process but at the same time I think the military operations will contribute to boosting the political process. Okay. There's the UN Security Council resolution 2216 and the question on many people's minds is: Why doesn't the International Delegate act according to that resolution? Instead of acting as a mediator and trying to find a middle ground with groups that are rebelling against international legitimacy and against the UN Security Council resolution? Why is there too much talk about political negotiations with those who are rebelling against Legitimacy? Unfortunately, when it comes to resolution 2216, we only adopted the implementation of the first article. The first article has 6 or 7 preliminary points in the frame of good will in any political process. The so-called coup forces weren't ready even in the frame of building good will. How can you move to 24 articles in resolution 2216 when they are refusing to give access for humanitarian rescue missions that aim to get food and medicine to people, and releasing prisoners? These were small details that don't cost much but rather add value. The coup forces aren't even willing to deal with the first article, that's why we say they are not ready and the UN must... especially that resolution 2216 came under the 7th clause and it must be imposed by the UN and supported by our sister countries and by the National Army. Okay. Mr. Khaled Bahhah, let's get something straight. This intransigent group, do they only count on their power? What's behind that intransigence? I mean not abiding by UN Security Council resolutions or what the Allied States want or by Legitimacy? What are they counting on? Do they have a power on the ground? They depend largely on foreign support. As I said, if there was a vision, if there were rights for any side I think we could reach a solution. Yemen has been through a similar situation before. The problem is that they are remotely controlled. They are manipulated by foreign powers and once that manipulation stops, once we disconnect it, we can deal with this problem. Okay. Let's talk about development, Mr. Khaled Bahhah. According to UN reports, Yemen is among the world's poorest countries with a very low per capita income. How does the Government plan to improve that tragic situation? Besides the issue of the war. I visited Aden on August 1, and saw the tragic situation there, during the war or a few days after the war. I saw the big tragedy in Aden and I declared that Yemen needed a regional and international alliance to revive and enable it to be victorious and then move towards development. I think that it's in the same spirit of liberating Yemen. I think Yemen now needs another alliance to revive it, establish that victory, and develop Yemen to be an effective part of GCC. How much of Yemen do you control and what is controlled by your enemies? Geographically speaking, I said weeks ago that we control 80% of the land. I can give a bigger number especially that we're approaching Sana'a. I'll say it's 80:20, but we actually control more than 80% as the legitimate authority has roots even in Sana'a either directly or indirectly. Let's talk about your priorities as a government, do you prioritize services or security? The military aspect will still be there as well as the security measures, but as a Government, we know the people need food and medicine and they need development, schools and healthcare. I think the Government should focus its efforts now on the recuperation process and the development process mainly for the time being, in addition to the other aspects which will be continued automatically. The Allied countries, your neighbors, do they provide you with what you need - sufficiently? - Of course. We just have to organize ourselves and move from one phase to another. We started with Operation Decisive Storm, followed by Operation Restoring Hope, and we should move on with the coming Operation Development Storm which will bring Yemen back to how it was before and even better. Do you have any post-war reconstruction of Yemen? We have a vision in the frame of construction which won't be easy, therefore we use some terms just like the West used the term "Marshall" we use the term "Gulf" which will be title of the reconstruction phase and bringing Yemen back to normal. History teaches us that war could be cruel but everyone knows that there are living nations and those living nations can bring their countries back to their feet. Yemen is one of those living nations. So, will happiness find its way back to Yemen as Sheikh Saif said yesterday? God willing, Sheikh Saif mentioned that yesterday and hopefully Yemen will be happy and productive again alongside its sister countries in the Gulf, the Arab World and the region. Okay. First, thank you for being very honest throughout this conversation, but I have one last question. There's so much talk about a dispute between you and the president. Is that true or is it just that you have different points of view? - Give us the bottom line. - Exceptional circumstances like these aren't conventional circumstances which might result in some disagreement but on the personal level, I consider myself the president's son, before being the Vice President, I'm his son, and therefore any disagreement doesn't mean we are at odds with each other. Of course, Mr. Vice President is a seasoned diplomat ad he was Yemen's delegate to the UN, therefore he gave a very diplomatic yet honest answer. No, that is the truth. Thank you all for being here and I thank His Excellency the Vice President and Prime Minister of Yemen Mr. Khaled Bahhah. Thank you all and see you in the next sessions.

Contents

Geography and location

Al-Baha City (BC) lies in the west of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Hejaz region, between Mecca, which borders it from the north, west, and south west, and Aseer which borders it from the south east. It is the smallest of the kingdom's provinces (11,000 square kilometres (1,100,000 ha)). It is surrounded by a number of cities, including Taif on the north, Beesha on the east, and the Red Sea coast city of Al Qunfuda on the west. This tourist city is situated in an area characterized by natural tree cover and agricultural plateaus. It consists of six towns, the most important of which are Beljarshy, Almandaq, and Almekhwah, in addition to the Baha city in the center of the province. The province comprises 31 administrative centers and has a population of 533,001.

The province is known for its beauty and has forests, wildlife areas, valleys and mountains that attract visitors from all parts of the kingdom and the Persian Gulf area. Some of these areas are the forests of Raghdan, Ghomsan, Fayk, and Aljabal, and many other historical and archeological sites. It contains more than 53 forests.

Al-Baha is the homeland of the Ghamid and Zahran tribes and is divided geographically into three distinct parts: Sarah, which contains the high Hejaz mountains characterized by temperate weather and rich plant cover due to relatively high annual rainfall, Tihama which is the lowland coastal area to the west of the Hejaz characterized by very hot and humid weather and very little rainfall average, and the eastern hills characterized by an altitude of 1,550 to 1,900 metres (5,090 to 6,230 feet) above sea level with cool winters, hot summers and sparse plant cover. The largest city in the province, both in population and area, is Baljurashi, the second one is Al-Mandaq. In Tehama, there are two major cities: Qilwah and Al-Mikhwah. The number of tribes are 18, branching from the main ones, Ghamid and Zahran. The province has 13 settled tribes (working in trades and agriculture) and 5 nomadic tribes.

Climate

Al Bahah has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh). The climate is greatly affected by its varying geographic features. Generally speaking, the climate in Al-Baha is mild with temperatures ranging between 12 to 23 °C (53.6 to 73.4 °F). Due to its location at 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) above sea level, Al Baha's climate is moderate in summer and cold in winter. The area attracts visitors looking for a moderate climate and pristine, scenic views.

In the Tehama area of the province, which is down on the coast, the climate is hot in the summer and warm in the winter. Humidity ranges from 52%–67%. While in the mountainous region, which is known as As-Sarah, the weather is cooler in summer and winter. Rainfall in the mountainous region lies in the range of 229 to 581 millimetres (9 to 23 in). The average throughout the whole region is 100 to 250 millimetres (3.9 to 9.8 in) annually.

Climate data for Al Baha (1985–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 29.8
(85.6)
32.0
(89.6)
36.0
(96.8)
35.0
(95.0)
38.2
(100.8)
39.0
(102.2)
38.0
(100.4)
39.0
(102.2)
38.0
(100.4)
35.0
(95.0)
37.0
(98.6)
29.0
(84.2)
39.0
(102.2)
Average high °C (°F) 19.0
(66.2)
21.0
(69.8)
23.0
(73.4)
26.0
(78.8)
29.0
(84.2)
32.0
(89.6)
32.3
(90.1)
32.0
(89.6)
30.0
(86.0)
26.0
(78.8)
23.0
(73.4)
20.0
(68.0)
26.1
(79.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.6
(60.1)
17.6
(63.7)
20.0
(68.0)
22.3
(72.1)
25.9
(78.6)
28.8
(83.8)
28.8
(83.8)
29.0
(84.2)
27.4
(81.3)
23.0
(73.4)
19.4
(66.9)
16.5
(61.7)
22.9
(73.2)
Average low °C (°F) 7.0
(44.6)
8.0
(46.4)
11.0
(51.8)
13.5
(56.3)
17.0
(62.6)
19.4
(66.9)
20.0
(68.0)
20.0
(68.0)
18.0
(64.4)
13.0
(55.4)
10.1
(50.2)
7.4
(45.3)
13.7
(56.7)
Record low °C (°F) 0.6
(33.1)
0.0
(32.0)
4.0
(39.2)
8.0
(46.4)
12.2
(54.0)
12.0
(53.6)
15.8
(60.4)
14.0
(57.2)
15.0
(59.0)
8.5
(47.3)
5.8
(42.4)
2.0
(35.6)
0.0
(32.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 10.9
(0.43)
1.1
(0.04)
16.5
(0.65)
36.3
(1.43)
24.1
(0.95)
6.0
(0.24)
10.2
(0.40)
10.8
(0.43)
2.9
(0.11)
7.2
(0.28)
8.1
(0.32)
4.0
(0.16)
138.1
(5.44)
Average precipitation days 2.2 1.0 3.9 9.5 8.7 2.7 3.9 5.5 1.5 2.1 3.5 2.8 47.3
Average relative humidity (%) 55 48 46 45 35 25 27 28 25 30 46 53 39
Source: Jeddah Regional Climate Center[1]

History

Post-World War 1, the village of El-Zafir (Arabic: قَـرْيَـه الـظَّـفِـيـر‎, romanizedQaryaṫ aẓ-Ẓafîr) had been the administrative centre of what was known then as Belad Ghamid, but with the establishment of Saudi Arabian government Ghamid and Zahran was administered as a unit in 1925, and the seat of local government transferred to Baljurashí (Arabic: بَـلْـجُـرَشِي‎), a town situated fifteen miles south of El-Zafir.

The tribes of Al Baha, that is Ghamid and Zahran are the indigenous people of Al Baha. Tribes in the region trace their origin to the ancient Arabian Mamlakaṫ Saba’ (Arabic: مَـمْـلَـكَـة سَـبَـأ‎, possibly the Kingdom of Sheba),[2][3] whose rule extended to areas presently known as Syria and Lebanon. Historians also report that they established the famous state of Axum, in Abyssinia. Prince Husam bin Saud is the governor of the province since April 21, 2017.

Historic attractions

Old architecture in Al-Baha
Old architecture in Al-Baha

Al Baha is also known for their traditional towers, each of which is called a qaṣbah (Arabic: قَـصْـبَـة‎). It was said "Apparently unique to Albaha architecture are the qasaba towers. Controversy surrounds their function—some argue that they were built as lookouts, and others that they were keeps, or even granaries. Perhaps it is a combination, although the right position of a watchtower, on a hill top, is the wrong place for a keep or granary."[4]

Dhee Ayn Village (Arabic: قَـرْيَـة ذِي عَـيْـن‎, romanizedQaryaṫ Dhí ‘Ayn) is situated at about 24 km (15 mi) southwest of al-Baha, across 'Aqabat al-Baha, also known as Aqbat King Fahad. This famous village sometimes known as "marble village" as it is built on a small marble mountain. The grove of palm trees is lush due to a small stream nearby. The villagers say that the marble village glows at sunset. It also has a steep escarpment road, running into and out of tunnels on the way up and down. Dhi 'Ain was famous for its fruits and banana plantations which still grow there. The village dates back about 400 years, and it witnessed the battles between the Ottoman Turks and its inhabitants.

The village was named after an ‘Ayn (Arabic: عَـيْـن‎, water spring) continuously flowing from the nearby mountains to several reservoirs and each particular pond has its own name. There is a local legend that talks about a man lost his cane in one of the valleys, and to retrieve it he tracked it until he reached the village, he gathered its inhabitants and retrieved his cane after digging the spring: "Even the road that leads to the (Dhee Ayn) village is impressive, and several historical stone and slate towers dot the way. Al-Bahah Region is known as the region of 1001 towers, once built to protect villages, roads and plantations from rivalling tribes. Today, these towers are abandoned, and many of them are partially or completely in ruins."[5]

Infrastructure

Souk

The souq or traditional market in Al Baha has been studied to see how the market performs in maintaining order and social customs. "Weekly markets in Al-Baha, which is located in the south-western part of Saudi Arabia, was not only performing economic functions, but also, social functions. Those markets continued to perform these functions until around 1975 when the modern markets began to take over, and other social institutions like schools, mail, and mass media began to do the social functions of those weekly markets. This study is trying to explain the social functions of weekly markets in Al-Baha like uniting the tribes, using the market as a tool of punishment, entertainment, mail and religious education."[6]

Transportation

Al-Baha Domestic Airport is located 45 km (28 mi) to the east of Al Baha City Center and was founded in the Year 1982. "Al-Baha National Airport receives flights from all cities of the Kingdom and is located in Aqiq Province 45 km from Al-Baha city itself."[7]

Hospitals and medical care

King Fahd Hospital (Arabic: مُـسْـتَـشْـفَى الْـمَـلِـك فَـهْـد‎, romanizedMusṫashfā al-Malik Fahd): "Initially, the hospital has been operated by one of the International specialist companies in directing and operating hospitals, but since 1421 it was self operated under the supervision of MOH."[8]

The hospital is also a training hospital in the main health sciences, as stated in 2012: "King Fahad Hospital, Al-Baha is already accredited by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties as training center for postgraduate programs of Saudi Board / Arab Board in the 4 main departments, namely: Pediatrics, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, and Obstetrics & Gynecology. These programs are completely accredited in the hospital and no need for the candidate to move into any other hospital for complete his training requirements. The Urology department is processing accreditation process that may be finalized by the next academic year."[9]

As a training hospital, the Medical Library, established in 1982, in the King Fahd Hospital is one of the largest libraries in the Province: "Health Sciences Library and Information Center represents the core of the Academic Affairs services provided for all health care workers in Al-Baha region. it is located on the ground floor of the main hospital building in front of the human resources department and Employee Health Clinic. The library contains 1,250 hard copies of recent medical textbooks in all medical fields with plenty of full color medical atlases, dictionaries, and other materials for learning the English language with a section for Arabic books and publications of interest for administrative staff. The digital library includes 800 digital books with audiovisual materials for teaching medical examination, heart and breath sounds and also materials for teaching the English language. This section includes digital version of video recordings for all scientific events carried out in the hospital. Also, digital archives are available for some of the most prestigious medical journals for the last few years."[10]

  • Qudran Private Hospital (Arabic: مُـسْـتَـشْـفَى غُـدْـرَان الْـخَـاص‎, romanizedMusṫashfā Ghudrān al-Khāṣ)
  • Prince Mishari Bin Saud Hospital, Baljurashi (Arabic: مستشفى الامير مشاري بن سعود بلجرشي‎, romanizedmustashfaa al'amir mshary bin sueud biljirshi)
  • Al-Mandag General Hospital (Arabic: مُـسْـتَـشْـفَى الْـمَـنْـدَق الْـعَـام‎, romanizedMusṫashfā al-Mandaq al-ˁĀm)
  • Shamekh Polyclinic (Arabic: مُـسْـتَـوْصَـف شَـامِـخ الْأَهْـلِي‎, romanizedMusṫawṣaf Shāmikh al-Ahlī)

Traditional tribal cemeteries

"The southern tribal hinterland of Baha—home to especially the Al-Ghamdi and Al-Zahrani tribes—has been renowned for centuries for their tribal cemeteries that are now slowly vanishing, according to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper... One old villager explained how tribal cemeteries came about. “People used to die in large numbers and very rapidly one after the other because of diseases. So the villagers would dig graves close by burying members of the same family in one area. That was how the family and tribal burial grounds came about,” he said. The old man continued, “If the family ran out of space, they would open old graves where family members had been buried before and add more people to them. This process is known as khashf.” During famines and outbreaks of epidemics huge numbers of people would die and many tribes faced difficulties in digging new graves because of the difficult weather. Elderly people remember that in olden times, the winter used to stretch for more than six months and would be accompanied with lots of rain and fog making movement difficult. But due to tribal rivalries many families would guard their cemeteries and put restrictions on who got buried in them. Across Baha burial grounds are constructed in different ways. Some cemeteries consist of underground vaults or concrete burial chambers with the capacity of holding a large number of bodies at a time. Such vaults include windows for people to peer through and are usually decorated ornately with writings, drawings and patterns. Muhammad Saleh, a local resident, said, “One of the things that is so iconic about many of these graves is the fact that many of them are not directed toward the Kaaba. This tells us that some of these graves are from the pre-Islamic era. In Islam the face of a dead person should be toward the Kaaba.”"[11]

Education

Al Baha literary club

The Al Baha literary club is concerned with intellectual meetings, poems, novels and book distribution. It hosts intellectuals from all regions of Saudi Arabia. Founded in 2009, their website can be accessed at http://www.adbialbaha.com/index.php.

Local sports clubs

There are four main local football clubs in the city:

  • El Hejaz Football Club (Arabic: نادي الحجاز )
  • Al Ameed Football Club "in 2014 the name of the club was changed to (AL-AIN FC )

(Arabic وفي عام 1434 هـ تم تغيير اسم النادي الى نادي العين):نادي العميد (زهران سابقا)

  • Al Baha Football Club ( Arabic:نادي الباحه - السراه سابقا )
  • Al Sarawat Football Club (Arabic : نادي السروات )

King Saud Sport City

King Saud Sport City complex (Arabic: مدينة الملك سعود الرياضية) provides sport and leisure facilities including swimming pools, a football club, basketball.

Culture

Religion

All of the Saudi citizens of Al Baha are Sunni Muslim, who in the past practiced Shafi`i, a school of fiqh that was dominant in Hejaz. The largest mosque in Al-Baha is King Fahad Mosque (Arabic: جامع الملك فهد ).

Cuisine

The city is known for its healthy and nutritious traditional meals brought by local farming such as Dagabees (Arabic: دغابيس), Aseeda (Arabic : عصيده).

"The Province is famous for its production of honey, in addition to its agricultural production of vegetables, grain, fruit, and dates. The region also grows grapes, grapefruits, lemons, oranges, pomegranates and dates."[12]

Language

It is claimed by some Arab authors that the dialect of Belad Ghamid and Zahran (Now known as Al Baha province in Saudi Arabia) is nearest to classical Arabic. Ahmed Abdul Ghafur Attar (Arabic : احمد عبدالغفور عطار ) has said in an article* that the language of the Hejaz (Arabic لهجات الحجاز), especially that which is spoken in Belad Ghamdi and Zahran is close to the Classical Language.

Faisal Ghori (Arabic فيصل غوري), a famous scholar of Arabic Literature wrote in his book Qabayil Al- Hejaz (Arabic قبائل الحجاز) The Quranic Arabic upon which our grammar is based on does not exist in any tribe. The only thing we can say is that there are some tribes whose language is much closer to classical language . The tribes of Belad Ghamid and Zahran are a good example of this .

Media

Al Baha is served by four major Arabic-language newspapers, Asharq Al Awsat, Al Watan, Okaz, and Al Bilad, as well as two major English-language newspapers, Saudi Gazette and Arab News. Okaz and Al Watan are the primary newspapers of Al Baha and some other Saudi cities. With over a million readers; they focus mainly on issues that affect the city.

Al Baha Today (e-version Newspaper) is a daily electronic newspaper directed at locals, new residents, incoming visitors, tourists, and the developing tourism business sector. The magazine serves as a guide to the city's sights and attractions, restaurants, shopping and entertainment. It can be accessed via http://albahatoday.cc. Television stations serving the city area include Saudi TV1, Saudi TV2, Saudi TV Sports, Al Ekhbariya, the ART channels network and hundreds of cable, satellite and other specialty television providers.

Distances to other Saudi cities

  • Al Baha to Jeddah : 409 kilometres (254 mi)
  • Al Baha to Riyadh : 877.9 kilometres (545.5 mi)
  • Al Baha to Taif : 234.3 kilometres (145.6 mi)
  • Al Baha to the holy city of Mecca : 301.6 kilometres (187.4 mi)
  • Al Baha to the holy city of Madina : 707.2 kilometres (439.4 mi)
  • Al Baha to Khobar : 1,296.8 kilometres (805.8 mi)
  • Al Baha to Abha : 323 kilometres (201 mi)[citation needed]

Natural resources

The region is known for its ancient mining sites. Major gold mining areas were those of Khayāl al-Maṣna‘ (Arabic: خَـيَـال الْـمَـصْـنَـع‎) and Al-‘Aqīq (Arabic: الْـعَـقِـيِْـق‎). The village of Kuna has over one hundred building structures which date back to South Arabian Civilization.[12]

Wildlife

Visitors from inside the kingdom and nearby countries are particularly attracted to the area by its more than 53 forests, which include the Raghdan forest, which covers an area of 600,000 square metres (60 ha) just 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from the city. Iit has been provided with children's playgrounds and other amenities. The Amdan forest is 55 km (34 mi) to the north of Al Baha. It abounds in olive trees, Ara'r shrubs and other natural vegetation. The Wadi Feig forest is 8 km (5.0 mi) from Al Baha. It is encircled by a green valley littered with apricot, pomegranate and grape orchards. The forest of Wadi Al Ageeg is 40 km (25 mi) from Al Baha and abounds in various fruit trees and tall lotus trees. Al Baha airport is in Ageeg city. Al Kharrara waterfall is 30 kilometers to the south of Al Baha. Its scenic view attracts a large numbers of visitors.[12]

Shada Mountain (Arabic: جَـبَـل شَـدَا‎, romanizedJabal Shadā) is the highest summit in Makhwah. It features rare rocky formations that attract amateur climbers of various levels. The Arabian leopard is known to exist in the Asir mountains between Al-Bahah and Abha. It is also present in the Hijaz mountains to the north.[13][14]

Festivals

Al Baha Summer Tourism Festival

The festival takes place every summer and holds a number of activities and sports events, as well as a number of cultural, literary and religious programs. Equestrian and Olympic marathon activities will be held as well as air shows. Prizes are given during this festival such as cars and flight tickets in addition to daily draws and cash and gifts.

International Honey Festival

Al Baha province is well known for its production of high quality honey. Al Baha farmers have organized the third International Honey Festival in 2010 . The festival hosted 10 Arab states production of honey in addition to local produced honey.

Western travellers

St John Philby (also known as Sheikh Abdullah by King Abdulaziz) documented his journey crossing from Riyadh to Jeddah by the "backdoor" route, writing on the Al Baha district of Arabia in his famous book The Arabian Highlands . Later he was awarded the Royal Geographical Society Founders Gold Medal for his written desert journey.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ "Climate Data for Saudi Arabia". Jeddah Regional Climate Center. Archived from the original on 2012-05-12. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  2. ^ "Saba / Sa'abia / Sheba". The History Files (http://www.historyfiles.co.uk). Retrieved 2008-06-27. The kingdom of Saba is known to have existed in the region of Yemen. By 1000 BC caravan trains of camels journeyed from Oman in south-east Arabia to the Mediterranean. As the camel drivers passed through the deserts of Yemen, experts believe that many of them would have called in at Ma'rib. Dating from at least 1050 BC, and now barren and dry, Ma'rib was then a lush oasis teeming with palm trees and exotic plants. Ideally placed, it was situated on the trade routes and with a unique dam of vast proportions. It was also one of only two main sources of frankincense (the other being East Africa), so Saba had a virtual monopoly. Ma'rib's wealth accumulated to such an extent that the city became a byword for riches beyond belief throughout the Arab world. Its people, the Sabeans - a group whose name bears the same etymological root as Saba - lived in South Arabia between the tenth and sixth centuries BC. Their main temple - Mahram Bilqis, or temple of the moon god (situated about three miles (5 km) from the capital city of Ma'rib) - was so famous that it remained sacred even after the collapse of the Sabean civilisation in the sixth century BC - caused by the rerouting of the spice trail. By that point the dam, now in a poor state of repair, was finally breached. The irrigation system was lost, the people abandoned the site within a year or so, and the temple fell into disrepair and was eventually covered by sand. Saba was known by the Hebrews as Sheba [Note that the collapse of the dam was actually in 575 CE, as shown in the timeline in the same article in the History Files, and attested by MacCulloch (2009)].
  3. ^ Robert D. Burrowes (2010). Historical Dictionary of Yemen. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 234–319. ISBN 0810855283.
  4. ^ Mostyn, Trevor. 1983. Saudi Arabia- A MEED Practical Guide. London: Middle East Economic Digest. 2nd edition. Page 320.
  5. ^ "Marble Village of Dhee Ayn."
  6. ^ Abdul-Razzaq H. Al-Zahrani. 2001. "Social Functions of Weekly Markets in Al-Baha." Journal of the Social Sciences. ISSN 0253-1097. Published by Academic Publication Council - Kuwait University. Volume 29 (2)
  7. ^ "Al-Baha, Saudi Arabia". Albahakfhaa.org. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  8. ^ "King Fahad Hospital, Al-Baha, KSA". Albahakfhaa.org. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  9. ^ "KFH, Al-Baha Residency Training Programs". Albahakfhaa.org. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  10. ^ "KFH, Al-Baha Medical library". Albahakfhaa.org. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  11. ^ "Tradition of Family Cemeteries Disappearing From Tribal Areas." Arab News. Tuesday, 2 October 2012 | Dhulka'edah 16, 1433
  12. ^ a b c "Al-Baha City Profile". The Saudi Network. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
  13. ^ Judas, J.; Paillat, P.; Khoja, A.; Boug, A. (2006). "Status of the Arabian leopard in Saudi Arabia" (PDF). Cat News (Special Issue 1): 11–19.
  14. ^ Spalton, J. A. & Al-Hikmani, H. M. (2006). "The Leopard in the Arabian Peninsula – Distribution and Subspecies Status" (PDF). Cat News (Special Issue 1): 4–8.

External links

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