SAUDI ARABIA: Executing father’s will, son revamps 400-year-old house


For two-and-a-half-year, a son worked hard to make sure his father’s dying will is implemented. The man’s heir renovated the family’s 400-year-old mud house, that passed hands several generations.

The house is located in Al-Fis Ar’in village in Ahad Rafidah governorate in Asir, 45 km away from Abha. In that village, 40-year-old Khaled bin Ghanem Al-Qahtani strives to make his father’s death wish come true; that his son keeps the house that his forefathers sacrificed for.

Aside from his father’s wish, Khaled has other motivations to keep his old house. His mother wanted him to rebuild the house while a medical consultant advised Al-Qahtani that living in mud houses has important health benefits.

“My two children have heart diseases which is why they need to live in a warm house,” he told Xinhua news agency.

Khaled says he acquired experience in the renovation process from his father as he accompanied him since he was 13 years old. As an art teacher he always had a connection with visual art and a passion for heritage which he says has enabled him to combine the identity of the house with new generation’s amenities.

After staying in the house for a month since renovations began, he claimed he had stronger feelings of love and nostalgia.
“The house isn’t entirely finished, there are still minor things to be done, but I wanted to live in the house sooner to be able to enjoy the fact that I followed my father’s wish,” he added.

The total rehabilitation and restoration process had a total cost of over SR600,000, as he used some technical colors, wood and amenities as well as some labor workers he hired to help him during some stages of the construction.
Not only does Khaled enjoy the house, but he also wants others to feel the history of the dwelling. “I want to leave a part of the house as a museum and art heritage, where I can highlight my technical and artists abilities as well as my passion for heritage,” he explained.


Categories: Arab World, Asia, Saudi Arabia

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