RIYADH: From tasty treats to traditional handicrafts, when it comes to celebrating local produce, few places in the Kingdom are as successful as Jouf.
The northern province is known for a host of annual celebrations, including the International Olive Festival, Date Festival and Tasting Festival, to name but three.
Not only do these events attract thousands of visitors to the area but they also give hundreds of local families the chance to showcase their skills and make a decent living.
Among the most popular goods on sale are the beautiful embroideries known as Sadu. This craft is regarded as part of the Kingdom’s intangible cultural heritage and the skills of its practitioners are passed down from one generation to the next.
Other festivals in Jouf celebrate the region’s food and drink, especially items like molasses, ghee, olive oil and a range of cheeses and pickles.
At each event, local growers and craftspeople show off their wares to the delighted visitors.
Jouf Gov. Prince Faisal bin Nawaf and other authorities support families with a host of initiatives and training programs to help them hone their skills and better market their products.
Among them is the King Abdulaziz Women’s Society for Social Development, which has played a key role in empowering women to learn new skills and become economically self-sufficient.
It provides courses in Sadu, carding, printing, bead making, olive oil processing, hospitality, printing, crochet and sewing.