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French Professor Dives Into The History of Asir in Saudi Arabia

Professor Thierry Mauger documented what went on in the communities around the Asir region between 1979 and 1991, while he lived in Saudi Arabia.

Image from Thierry Mauger’s ”Flowered Men and Green Slopes of Arabia” book

Five republished books by Professor Thierry Mauger are set to stir interest in Asir’s unique culture. With stunning imagery, the books by the famed French ethnographer and photographer will be a fantastic way for Saudi’s younger generation, known for their love of scenic pictures, to get to know more about the southwestern region.

The books being republished by the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission, in cooperation with Obeikan Publishing, include “The Bedouins of Arabia” (1987), “Flowered Men and Green Slopes of Arabia” (1988) and “Undiscovered Asir” (1993). The other resurfacing works by the photographer who lived in Asir between 1979 and 1991 are “Impressions of Arabia” (1996), and” Rijal at the Stroke of a Brush” (2020).

The books that detail life in Asir captured global attention by highlighting the unique cultural traditions and customs of the region, as well as the ancient architectural structures. For example, Mauger’s renowned book “Flowered Men and Green Slopes of Arabia” introduced the world to the fascinating tradition of men wearing flower wreaths to attract beauty and health.

The professor lived in Saudi Arabia for 12 years and captured over 10,000 photographs that have been published in 20 different books about the Kingdom. His curiosity and admiration for the life and traditions in Asir led him to go on three expeditions to the area to document different cultural aspects, including art and architecture.

“Mauger’s books contain valuable cultural information and rare images showing the heritage and traditions of the Kingdom’s southwestern region,” Mohammed Alwan, CEO of the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission, said. “Through their republication, we hope to reintroduce the unique identity of the Asir region as part of the diversity of culture and heritage in the Kingdom.”


An announcement about the exciting addition to book shelves and coffee tables was recently made by the commission, which was founded in 2020, at a book launch event held at the newly developed creative district of JAX in Ad-Diriyah.
The republication of the books is part of the commission’s aims to preserve the Kingdom’s heritage and traditions through the publication and translation of significant books, highlighting the efforts of international writers and researchers who are interested in learning and documenting Saudi culture.

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