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Al Khobar Street Graffiti Art: A Breath of Fresh Colors

Two neighborhoods in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia stand out with street graffiti arts, created by local artists early this year. One is in Bayooniyah and the other in Thuqbah.

From houses to malls, buildings in Saudi Arabia are typically desert sand or beige in color. You will rarely see houses here painted with bright colors as you would in other countries. (For one, our house in the Philippines is mint green with yellow accent! Not my idea, by the way.)

Aside from the almost uniform color, many neighborhoods in Al Khobar are fairly old and poorly maintained, making them a little unsightly.

Alfan Sharqy: Saudi Arabia's First Street Graffiti Project

A few months ago, a team of more than twenty Saudi graffiti artists worked for the "Alfan Sharqy" ("Art is Eastern", or maybe it should be Eastern Art) in the area of Bayooniyah, Al Khobar

It was headed and organized by Saudi artist Madawi Albaz and was sponsored by Princess Abeer bint Faisal Al-Saud. (Reference: Streets come to life in Saudi Arabia’s first graffiti project)

The first 'exhibition' was made in Aqair Street, Bayooniyah.

The project aims to spread art in the Kingdom and alongside beautify some neglected neighborhood.

I've seen photos of the graffiti before but didn't dig deeper about its location to actually look for it.

But, apparently, a newer set of graffiti has been made right in the street where one of our staff houses is located! I thought it was time to go look for the first one.

Al Aqair Street Graffiti

📍 Location: Aqair St. cross 7th St., Bayooniyah, Al Khobar

📷 Pictures of the Al Aqair Street Graffiti Art

A tall date palm in the yard of one of the houses. Date palms usually grow about half (or even a third) of this. It just suggests that this palm was left to grow freely and was rarely trimmed.

Many of the murals in this street depict people and nature. Common also is the use of Arabesque designs, for obvious reason, and the awesome use of the Arabic calligraphy.

Though some of them look totally random and abstract, I am eager to find out if some of these forms are actually Arabic words and if they mean anything at all.

Unfortunately for me, vehicles are parked right in front of the murals and I couldn't take full front shots of the walls.

Hail Street, Thuqbah, Al Khobar

📍 Location: Aqair St. cross 7th St., Bayooniyah, Al Khobar

📷 Pictures of the Hail Street Graffiti Art

I am thinking that this particular mural could be from the same artist who made the one above (last photo from the Aqair graffiti.)

There are less works here and the theme seem to be dominantly flora/l.

It is great that the Saudis are becoming more and more open to such ideas, showcasing local artists' talents. Al Khobar is just the start and the project aims to 'spread the art' around the Kingdom.

Murals and graffiti are not new to me especially that they are quite common back home, but it's a real breather to see such works in the middle of a rather getting old neighborhood.

Thanks and Mabruk to the excellent artists!

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