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[LifeStyle] Al-Aqsa, the first and last inspiration.. Wood and glass artifacts adorn the house of an elderly Jerusalemite


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Occupied Jerusalem - Despite his 74 years of age, the Palestinian Azzam Abu Al-Saud is still passionate about learning, practicing his hobbies, and developing them daily since 2013, when he was retired.





The house of Abu Al-Saud, located in the Ras Al-Amud neighborhood, overlooks the historic wall of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

One of the interior doors in the house of Azzam Abu Al-Saud, in which the art of wood carving and glass coloring (Al-Jazeera) mixes
In the basement of the house, the visitor imagines that he is entering an art gallery that includes a group of pieces made with care and high craftsmanship, starting with windows and doors, through paintings, antiques, chandeliers, and ending with furniture.




All of which the owner of the house worked on producing manually by practicing his hobby in 3 crafts: decorated wood, interlaced wood, and stained glass.

Abu Al-Saud was born in 1948, to an ancient Jerusalemite family that was housed during the Mamluk era in an endowment building called "Abu Al-Saud's Corner", which was demolished by the Israeli occupation forces in 1968. It was adjacent to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and its balconies overlooked its courtyards.




Azzam Abu Al-Saud works on coloring a glass masterpiece in one of the rooms of his house, which he turned into a workshop (Al-Jazeera)
Early life and practice of art
Abu Al-Saud spent his childhood in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, accompanying his uncle and Italian artists who arrived at the Holy Mosque in the fifties of the last century to carry out rehabilitation and restoration of its windows and decorations, and he closely watched their work until he perfected some of it, and contributed to the stage of glass interlacing at the time.




A luminous masterpiece that brings together 4 periods of Islamic motifs: Fatimid, Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman (Al-Jazeera)
Abu Al-Saud did not practice this hobby for a long time because of his involvement in school and then university education, which he completed in the specialty of commerce in Egypt.

After returning to his motherland, he worked for 45 years before retiring, during which he held several positions; One of them is in the field of managing a commercial company, and the second is in Birzeit University, where he managed the Tenders and Supplies Department for 15 years. Then he headed the Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jerusalem, and retired from this position in 2013, to begin a new journey of passion.

Abu Al-Saud explored the depths of the world of Islamic motifs by developing his hobby of research and reading to produce distinctive pieces of art (Al-Jazeera)
At the beginning of the journey, the man felt the need to explore the depths of the world of Islamic motifs, and saw the need to develop his hobby by research and reading in order to be able to produce distinctive pieces of art. Each era is different from the others.




One of the rooms of Abu Al-Saud's house and everything in it that he made with his hand, from the chandelier to the seats, the door, the window, and the luminous artifacts on the walls (Al-Jazeera)
Abu Al-Saud produced the first work of art in a purely manual manner, then he learned about the developments in the field of woodcarving art, and kept pace with them, and he was fascinated by the details to the extent of restoring all the windows and doors of his two-storey house.

"I decided to display my artwork in front of people, so I organized an exhibition that dazzled the audience, and displayed 20 pieces of art, 18 of which were sold, which encouraged me a lot because I used to spend out of my pocket on my artistic hobbies, then the sales began to cover the costs of the works later," says Abu Al-Saud.



Old windows that Azzam Abu Al-Saud worked to restore and color their glass (Al-Jazeera)
An ancient building and original art
Today, the elderly Palestinian lives with his wife in an old house built in 1885, and his artwork is in harmony with the ancient stones of the ancient walls and the high vaulted ceilings. He recalls the houses of the Old City, where "all of its windows were made of stained glass, and all of its balconies were made of mashrabiyas, but two strong earthquakes in Jerusalem during the twentieth century blew this ancient art to its core."

Regarding the disappearance of this character from the old houses, Abu Al-Saud says that a foreign traveler visited Jerusalem in the past and wrote in his memoirs that the number of mashrabiyas in the Old City reached 455, "but today it does not exceed 10 mashrabiyas."



A wooden library made by Azzam Abu Al-Saud manually (Al-Jazeera)
Abu Al-Saud decided to revive this heritage architectural element in his house, and pointed to the importance of the matter in the Old City in light of attempts to hide its Islamic and Christian character and to replace the Jewish character on its buildings.

The aesthetics of the ancient stories of Jerusalem flow through the tongue of the old Jerusalemite, just as the joyful colors flow on the glass, which he paints with great craftsmanship.

During the exit from his house, the picture is no less beautiful with an exceptional view of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Abu Al-Saud describes as his "first and last inspiration."



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