Jeddah, a port on the Red Sea, has long held an outsized place of importance, in that it is the gateway to holy city of Mecca, located only 65 km to the east. In modern times it has been Saudi Arabia’s leading port and its most international city, favoured by foreigners due to its relatively open-minded outlook.
The present large format map was made by Professor Hussein Hamza Bindagji, of King Abdulaziz University (Jeddah), who was then by far and away the preeminent Saudi geographer. It captures Jeddah in 1982, when it had population of 982,000, and having harnessed oil money and foreign investment, it had already become a globally important commercial centre, as both Saudi’s window to outside world and World’s window into Saudi. Yet, any comparison to a map of today is intriguing, as Jeddah has since experienced explosive growth – it now had a population of over 4.8 million! In 1982, it must be remarked that several historical buildings in the old city centre, Al-Balad, were tragically destroyed by a fire, showing that Jeddah’s history has in recent times often been sacrificed by carelessness and over-development.
The map is given here in two sperate but identical versions, in Arabic and in English (2 maps on 1 sheet, printed back-to-back). The map shows all streets, labeling the major thoroughfares, and outlining and naming all large edifies, as well as the port facilities. Colour coding shows areas of the port that are to be reclaimed from the sea; built-up areas as of 1979 (shaded orange); souks or shopping areas (orange stripes); parks and gardens (light green); and cultivated land (dark green). Symbols also indicate the locations of boys’ and girls’ schools and universities of various kinds, while a numbered key identifies 12 main sites. The map also includes a detailed index, noting hundreds more sites, as well as a list of ‘Useful Telephone Numbers’ for embassies, businesses, hotels and hospitals. The inset map, ‘Greater Jeddah and Abhur‘, upper right, clearly labels the city’s neighborhoods.
Professor Bindagji made the map in four updated annual issues, in 1980, 1981, 1982 (present here) and 1983/4. All versions of the map are uncommon. We can locate only 3 institutional examples of the 1982 edition, held by the Oxford University Library, Library of Congress, and the Brigham Young University Library.
References: Oxford University Library: D50:20 Jeddah (3); Library of Congress: G7534.J2 1982 .B5; OCLC: 9556837, 1232084565.