Located in Jeddah- the “Paris of Saudi Arabia” in the Al Faisaliah district on Al Jazeerah St., is Al Tayibat International City Museum for Sciences and Knowledge (Al Tayibat). The late sheikh Abdul Raouf Hasan Khalil is the founder and at one time his palace was located here.
In achieved footage of the late sheikh speaking about the history of Al Tayibat he said “I dreamed to put a wooden window instead of aluminum, one which tells the reality of my ancestors and what architecture in my country was like in order to recall some memories of the neighborhood” he added, “The International Tayibat City of Science and Knowledge is the sun that shines and the dream which came true.” The late sheikh was a merchant who built museums throughout the kingdom and purchased most of the museum’s collections using his own funds. His desire was to preserve the multi-culture and history of Jeddah and the rest of Saudi Arabia.
Al Tayibat is patterned from Hijaz architectural design. It is made with brown painted wooden windows and painted white. It includes other wooden works adorned with heritage themes. Motifs are from the Ottoman Turks, and fishermen tribes who were the first to inhabit the region, as well as entities from the Ages of Sham, Mazloom, Yemen, Yanbaawi and Al Baher eras to name a few. The elements presented at Al Tayibat are reflective of the many diverse Muslim cultures represented in the region throughout the history of Jeddah and the rest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In addition to marble laid courtyards and decorated fountains amongst the 300 total rooms divided between the 18,000 square meters of space amid the 12 buildings is one of Al Tayibat main focal points – the 12 wing Museum that spans 4 floors and encompass 130 rooms.
Other gems located at Al Tayibat are the Masjid, Public Library & Cultural Council Center, Al-Forkan School for Quranic Learning, Center City Management, a Conference & Lecture Center, and the folkloric House of Abdul Rauf Hasan Khalil.
The museum has over 60,000 items ranging from pre-historic to present time civilization on display including a fossil of the head of a crocodile which dates back millions of years. There are also musical instruments that are thousands of years old, glass pottery, precious jewelry, manuscripts, carpets, textiles, weapons, utensils, and astronomical and surgical instruments- some date back to the 6th century AH.
Al Tayibat is home to 14 centuries of Islamic civilization periods. One of the museums halls showcases garment coverings of the two Holy Mosques. One covering is the oldest piece of cloth from the Grand Mosque in Makkah on exhibition in the kingdom and dates back over 500 years.
The extensive coin collection includes pieces of gold and silver from the Fatimid and Ayyubid Islamic eras and also the era of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Some coins have Quranic inscriptions, while others contain names of caliph’s and minted dates which further proves the history of economic strength of Islamic civilization.
It is best to plan on spending the entire day at Al Tayibat in order to really take it all in because there is so much to learn about and see. This is a place that in shaa Allah we will definitely visit again. If you are in a group, it is good to call ahead and ask about a possible tour guide and discounts.