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Honors for Designer of Makkah Gate

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Makkah Gate, a magnificent structure that spans the width of the Jeddah-Makkah highway, has been welcoming visitors of the holy city for 34 years. Many asked the question of who built it, and it was announced recently by the governor of Makkah, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, that the names of all those who contributed to building the structure will be recognized, fulfilling the wish of the structure’s designer, Dia Aziz Dia. Dia spoke to Arab News about the significance of the gate and why it was important to him that every individual who contributed to the project received the recognition they deserve. “Consider this as the gateway to the heart of all Muslims,” said the artist. The large arched sculpture located 5 kms outside the city limits was initially proposed in 1979 by the Makkah municipality and a private contracting office. “The company planning the structure didn’t have an idea as to how they wanted the gate to look, all I was told was that they wanted the gate to be on top of the highway leading to the city,” said Dia.
“After a lot of thinking of what makes the city of Makkah so important, a few ideas came to mind such as Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and the Kaaba, but what sprang up to me most was the Qur’an. It all started with the descent of the Qur’an to Earth and my thoughts were searching for the appropriate way where people would recognize the idea of the descent through the design.” Dia added in this artist’s rendition a search light on top of the Makkah Gate to symbolize the structure as a beacon of peace and hope.
With over 40 years of contributions to the Saudi art scene, Dia considers his work designing the Makkah Gate the most important work in his career, his legacy.
“This is the most important accomplishment in my life, since the beginning of my career until the day I die. As far as I am concerned, there’s nothing more important than that,” he said. ”
(Extracted from Arab News)