© AP Photo/Amr Nabil

MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. The events of the week of Saudi culture, which was launched on 2 October at the New Manezh in Moscow on the eve of starting on Wednesday of the state visit to Russia by the king of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, cause a positive response among Muscovites, TASS reported its organizers.

“Today we can say that the events that take place within the week, aroused a positive response in Moscow. We didn’t expect such traffic,” – said the press service of the project.

The aroma of amber and songs on the eve of

It is no wonder that visitors of the New Arena can feel thick and spicy scent of Oriental perfume, a train of people walking from one room to another. “This is a traditional men’s perfume used in Saudi Arabia. They add the ambergris. This ingredient gives the perfume a specific scent,” he told TASS cultural studies, Agacher Musa.

In one of the halls in the afternoon rehearsing folk groups . Saudi artists performing tunes on traditional instruments: the kanun (a plucked string musical instrument in the form of a trapezoid – approx. TASS), the Oud (a stringed instrument, the predecessor of the lute – approx. TASS) and the darbuka (an ancient percussion instrument, traditionally made of clay and goatskin leather – approx. TASS). In the evening, the musicians give full-fledged concerts.

Kingdom on canvas

The main event of the week – art exhibition “the Kingdom – an inside view”. In two halls of the New Manege, white walls which is built in the form of a maze, the works of the best artists of Saudi Arabia. The exhibition consists of paintings and sculptures, photographs and digital installations. The exhibition also presents objects of everyday life of the inhabitants of Saudi Arabia. In a separate space – the desks of the pupils, on the surface of which is painted a whimsical figures and scribbled names of their owners, and sacred carpets for prayers.

“Caution. Don’t step – warns cultural studies. – On this rug cut positions for the feet, knees, hands and head during sujud (prostrations committed by Muslims during prayer when reciting the Quran – approx. TASS),” explains cultural studies Musa.

On the wall a large photograph of modern Mecca, taken from a height. “Soon, If only the main temple, an important pilgrimage centre, rise hotels and apartments. This development is a necessity. Every year the number of pilgrims going on the Hajj increases and reaches tens of millions”, – said the expert.

The works in the exhibition surprise you with a variety of materials. Raed Ashour in his mosaic used pure gold. And Ahmed Angawi in the “Simplicity in multiplicity” has fulfilled a complex geometric pattern of wooden planks taken from urban Windows. Once they performed the function of grids that protect women from prying eyes of passers-by under their Windows.

Long rosary hanging from the ceiling, is also part of the exhibition. Contrary to popular belief, they are not written the 99 names of Allah and names of women. “Traditionally, Saudi Arabia was considered a disgrace to say the name of his mother, wife or sister on people. In 2015, one woman decided to end it. This rosary is a symbol of women’s emancipation in Saudi Arabia,” explained cultural anthropologist.

Virtual tour of Saudi Arabia

The exhibition “the Kingdom – an inside view” gives visitors a chance to see Saudi Arabia with my own eyes, thanks to virtual reality technology. The exhibition included a virtual tour, through which viewers will be able to visit famous places of the Kingdom, to see sculptures and art installations, visit the ancient quarters of the traditional cultural centers of the region.

Saudi drama

On 6 and 7 October in the framework of week of culture of the Kingdom in Moscow will be evening screenings of films in Saudi. Their visit is free subject to online registration on the official website of the event.

“Over the last ten years, the Saudi film industry has produced more than 500 films reflecting national culture. Cinema of Saudi Arabia occupies an important place at festivals in Europe,” organizers say.

The audience in Russia will show three pictures of Saudi Directors. “Virtue to be nothing” (directed by Badr al – Hamoud) – a film about a passer-by who picks up a passing car, and he starts a conversation with the driver. The painting “Departure” ( directed by Abdul Aziz al-Salahi) tells the story of a desperate man who planned his last journey from which he did not want to return. However, a chance meeting changed his plans. Russian viewers will also be able to rate the movie “Complaint” ( directed by Khan al-Omer). The picture of the nurse who takes the complaint to his colleague in the hospital.

All events held in framework of week of culture of Saudi Arabia in Russia, free and runs until October 8 at the New Arena.