RIYADH: Saudi author and social media influencer Sultan Al-Mousa urged Hhistory buffs to visit the new displays of ancient artefacts showcased in the National Museum in Riyadh. “I urge you to visit them before they are transferred for the planned tour in Japan, and worldwide.”
The National Museum in Riyadh is home to many different antiquities, manuscripts, documents and display boards that showcase eras of the Kingdom’s past in visual form.
Al-Mousa, who is captivated by history and human civilizations, has accomplished much in the field of anthropology, through his love of history and ancient civilizations. Also a member of the Vatican religious dialogues, Al-Mousa is working to bridge religions through his work.
“This field intrigues me; I consider myself a veteran in it, the reason being, I’ve lived through two different phases. The first, a few years ago, was unwelcome and uninteresting to some. You might say there was a struggle in this field of knowledge, to convince people that it would be an asset to us. The next phase was one of awareness, with the 2030 Vision, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s approach to concentrating on the cultural depth of the Kingdom, and now, views have changed.”
Al-Mousa talked about Saudi history and the civilizations that existed in the Arabian Peninsula, and counted various civilizations that still stand in Saudi: “We have many and vast historic civilizations. There is Madaan Saleh, which is mentioned in the Qur’an. We have Kinda’s civilizations, the first and the second, Fao, Al-Daydan and Aad and Thamud that were in the Empty Quarter, and the Ouk in Tabuk.
“The problem is, that all past civilizations were considered a religious taboo; many were told that it was forbidden. If you visit Madaan Saleh, you will find some statues broken into pieces by bullets. Extremists wanted to destroy these precious monuments that were registered with UNESCO in 2008.”
“The Qur’an has mentioned these sites and civilizations as lessons for Muslims,” explaims Al-Mousa.
The Saudi cultural scene is witnessing a phenomenal transformation. In 2013, The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage invited two sheikhs from the Supreme Council of Saudi Scholars, Abdullah bin Suleiman Al-Manee and Abdullah Al-Mutlaq, to visit Maddan Saleh in an effort to dispel old beliefs that historical sites are forbidden. The video of the two sheiks was uploaded on YouTube.
Al-Mousa pointed to the importance of history: “When the Greek economy collapsed, it was saved by the temples of the ancient gods. History has a way of preserving the past, present and future. Concentrating on our past civilization and our history, as well as the history of the world will help our economy boom.”
His latest book, a historical novel based on the life of Nefertiti, has captured the hearts of many. The “perfect woman” has found success among many readers. Relating the tale of the late Egyptian queen, it was welcomed by many Egyptians who admired the novel and thought very highly of it.
In the future, it will be turned into a movie or series: “We are looking for the perfect woman to cast as the ‘perfect woman’.”