Al Ula is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site which was built more than 2,000 years ago by the Nabateans, a population of Arabs.
The untouched land, a walled city named Madain Saleh, is packed with mud-brick and stone house, it’s currently hosting events for the Winter at Tantora, and a Dubai-based artist was commissioned to create a piece for the land.
A tough feat, considering the history of the area. However elSeed, a French-Tunisian street artist who is based in Dubai took the history of the site and combined it with his recognisable street style to create something truly special.
“When I visited AlUla a few months ago for the first time, I realized that there is no way I could compete with Nature.”
Steering clear from his usual eye-popping colour choices, elSeed commented he needed to create something that wouldn’t clash but blend in, ‘disappear, almost impossible to grasp, like a mirage.’
The piece acts as a metaphor for a heartbreaking love story etched deep in history, read the story of Jameel and Buthayna in the caption below
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In the 7th century, Jameel Bin Ma'mar was famous as a lover of the lady Buthayna from a neighboring tribe. The story of their romance is that Buthayna’s people turn down Jameel’s marriage proposal because they feel Jameel’s verses praising their love have compromised her honor—merely saying that a woman loved a man was considered a blot on her honor in ancient Arab tribal society. Buthayna is forcibly married off to another man, but she and Jameel continue to be in love with each other, although they never consummate their love. Jamil continues to visit her at Wadi ‘l-Kura (Al Ula), and to complain in verse of his longing. “If only the prime of the youth were new and old times come back, Buthayna, should my poetry spend a night in Wadi AlQura, then I’m happy.” These words summarize the love the poet has for this region and I choose them to shed new emphasis on it to residents as well as visitors. The poetry offers a lens through which to witness the entire landscape. The words come from within the heart of the region and are, in many ways, an ode not only to one woman, but to nature itself. Mirage acts as a metaphor for the love Jameel had for Buthayna; a love so infinite, ever longing to be reached and grasped, like a Mirage. PS : it was a coincidence that I am wearing a beige pants. Thank you @_desertx @sultanthe1st @nevillewakefield for believing in me. Thank you @raneemfarsi for being such an amazing curator. Thanks to my team for their continuous support. Thanks to Masa, Rasha, Tala, Raneen, Loubna, Aya, Jeff, Nasser, Bicky, Prasanta and Ganga. #dxalula #elseed #mirage #JameelandButhaina #arablovestory 📸 @wbaqer