Lawrence of Arabia’s house restored in Saudia

 Riyadh, 4th September: After decades of neglect, the house of Lawrence of Arabia has been restored in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

According to reports from the Saudi media, Lawrence of Arabia’s Saudi home is restored as a tourist attraction after decades of neglect.

Saudi Arabia’s tourism ministry has announced that the house where Lawrence of Arabia stayed on the eve of his famous campaign in the desert is to be restored as a tourist attraction.

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The house is famous for its former resident, British intelligence officer Thomas Edward Lawrence, known as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, who lived in the old town of Yanbu at some point between 1915 and 1916 at the beginning of the Great Arab Revolt.

 

Ahmed Al Mahtout, the mayor of Yanbu informed that the once elegant two-level home became a ruin, crumbling down despite calls from historians to protect the site, restore the house, and open it to the public.

“We just finished the first phase of restoration and hope by the end of the year we have it fully ready for visitors,” he told The National. “The residence derives its value from its history and a lot of foreign tourists [would] like to stand in the home of the British intelligence officer.”

The long-abandoned house also carries a local rumor that it had become haunted by ghosts. However, Mr. Al Mahtout denied that the house was haunted and said it was not a factor in the area’s neglect.

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“I heard that fear of ghosts has led to the neglect and I am telling you it is not true. The house is now a registered part of the Yanbu’s historical heritage and tourists will be able to visit it.”

During the Arab revolt at the end of the first world war, Lawrence was deployed to help local Bedouin tribesmen overthrow their Turkish rulers, who were allied with Germany against the British and French.

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Lawrence first arrived in Yanbu in November 1916 and spent three or four days at the guest house of Abdul Qadir Al Abdo, then governor of Yanbu. The house is now owned by a well-known local family, informed Mr. Al Sayed, a historic researcher.

Yanbu’s rich history dates back to at least 2,500 years. And today, Yanbu is a hub of major industry with three oil refineries. But the city’s white sandy shores and stunning blue waters of the Red Sea also make it a popular destination for beachgoers, swimmers, and scuba divers.

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