Hajj Paintings

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Many of the houses and workshops in Qurna have murals on the outer walls, and often on the main rooms inside also. Most of these are 'Hajj Paintings' recording the owner's travels on the Great Pilgrimage. They will depict the means of transport - an aeroplane, ship or even camels and horses. Usually the pilgrims will be shown, sometimes on a prayer mat, and the Great Mosque in Mecca and the Kaaba. Most of the Hajj paintings were painted by professional local artists, though some are obviously by non-professionals.

In the 1980s and 90s most of the best murals were done by Mohamed abd el Malek, who was also the headmaster at the Valley of the Kings Primary School. In recent years Fenan Tayib has been the most prolific and recognisable artist. Tayib also did amazing work at the luxurious Al Moudira Hotel which opened 4 k to the South in 2002. A beautiful book, Hajj Paintings - Folk Art of the Great Pilgrimage by Ann Parker and Avon Neal (1995) has copies of many of the Hajj paintings in Qurna, especially those of abd el Malek and Tayib.

Qurnawi painters

Mohamed abd el Malek painting the signs for Qurna Discovery 2001
Fenan Tayib and a lion he had painted, 2004
Fenan Tayib and some English tourists 2015
Old paintings of local scenes that were on the back of the Omda House, 2001