The Supplication Sculpture

Many of the sculptures in Jeddah have recurrent themes. Religion and the Islamic culture is probably one of the most dominant themes reflected in the city’s public art. Many of the monuments are based on Arabic calligraphy and highlight verses from the Holy Quran. The Supplication sculpture (called Al-Doaa in Arabic), which features a pair of praying hands, bears an inscription on the pedestal which reads, “O my Lord! Expand me my breast; Ease my task for me.” It was designed by artist Mahmoud Banat is carved from marble and is located on the Corniche which runs along the Red Sea in Jeddah.
I have featured many of Jeddah’s fine works of public art on this blog, and you may recall that much of the art is positioned in the center of large roundabouts of major intersections in the city. With the rapid growth of the city, traffic has increased tremendously and many of the roundabouts have created severe traffic congestion and many accidents. Consequently, some of the famous artwork is in the process of being relocated as the roundabouts are removed to aid in the flow of traffic and for the public’s safety. To read more about this controversial issue, you can read this article that was published recently in the Saudi Gazette.


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Art, Culture, Landmarks, Religion, Sculptures and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The Supplication Sculpture

  1. mustafa says:


    hii this is mustafa and iam from india….long back

    Ago i had visited jeddah..its is a nice and intresting place in the world..

    ….we rase aur hands for beg allaha what ever we want…and….,,and we bleave that if we

    open hand and make a wish we can,,,take all thing from allah,,,,,,,,,,,,

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  4. Alexandra says:

    Hi Susie
    my name is alexandra and im a student at one of the schools in Jeddah.
    i am south african.
    and im 15 years old.
    for one of the subjects i chose for igcse is art. and what we are doing is we are writing essays about different sculptures and this is one of the sculptures that i chose to write about.
    we have to write how the sculptuers are connected to them religiously, culturaly, historically and socialy.

    and i need help with this sculpture.
    can you please answer these questions?
    what does praying hands mean in Islamic culture mean?
    what do open praying hands mean?
    what does sunnah mean?

    thank you very much for your help Susie.
    i hope you can help me.

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  8. SandyCarlson says:

    I like that very much. Grand, yet humble.

  9. m_m says:

    Very nice shot! Interesting what you said!

  10. Lily says:

    so beautiful. this sculpture is clearly inspired by a deep faith.

  11. Jacob says:

    Hi Susie…you probably should have your blood pressure checked on a daily basis! Or maybe the screaming brings the blood pressure down? Can’t say I blame you, in either case!

  12. Hi Mike – Welcome!

    Hi Jacob – Another thing that they do here as far as traffic goes is the men drivers (because there aren’t any women drivers here) totally ignore the traffic lanes, so where there should really only be two lanes, somehow they squeeze four lanes into the space. Cars are literally inches apart. That accounts for a lot of my screaming!

  13. mike says:

    Hello from New York! That is a very nice sculpture.

  14. Jacob says:

    Susie…what you said about roundabouts makes sense. Frankly, I don’t like them much at all…

    That’s funny about you screaming and your husband trying to drive.

    Well, it’s probably not funny to the two of you, but I got a funny picture in my mind!

  15. Hi Hilda & Jacob – I think roundabouts work great when there is moderate traffic, but with very heavy traffic, the roundabouts become a nightmare. It’s literal chaos. Merging is difficult, cars need to exit from the inside lane, crossing over the other lanes that are crowded with cars trying to get through. It’s so horrible I have to close my eyes all the time so I’m not screaming constantly, which upsets my husband at the wheel!

  16. Jacob says:

    Another amazing sculpture…it is interesting that they are removing roundabouts…in the States they are installing roundabouts claiming that they have been a great success in other parts of the world!

    I guess what goes around comes around!

  17. Hilda says:

    Sounds similar to what happened in Metro Manila several decades ago — now we have very few roundabouts left and I think they were only allowed to remain because of their historical significance.

    Arabic calligraphy is beautiful and a work of art on its own. I like this particular verse — definitely resonates with me now.

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