(MENAFN - Arab News) Najran Province Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah welcomed Italian Consul General Simone Petroni on the occasion of his four-day visit to Najran (Jan. 17-20) for the inauguration of the first AC Milan Park in the Middle East.
The park - containing various inflatable games and recreational facilities where children will be able to enjoy themselves from Jan. 18 to 27 - was inaugurated on Wednesday at King Fahd Park under the sponsorship of Prince Mishaal, who attended the event with Petroni and world famous former Italian AC Milan defender Franco Baresi.
Enthusiastic supporter of AC Milan, one of the most famous Italian teams, Prince Mishaal decided to sponsor the initiative to foster passion about sports among Najran's younger generations.
"We consider AC Milan and Baresi as Peace Ambassadors," said Petroni. "People from all over the world share the same passion for football and these kind of initiatives are able to encourage dialogue and understanding especially among youths," he added.
During his meeting with Petroni, Prince Mishaal also highlighted the important cultural and historical heritage of Najran region, rich in ancient archeological sites, marvelous landscapes and folklore.
"We are working together with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities to propose Ukhdud, the old city of Najran, as a candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage List," explained Prince Mishaal.
Full of building units and inscriptions that can be traced back to 535 BC, the Ukhdud site is just one of the 80 places of historical interest found in the region.
Petroni, who visited a number of these sites along with Najran's traditional souk, had a unique chance to enjoy traditional dances, performed with swords, to the beats of drums at the historical governorate palace.
"I was touched by the sincere hospitality and overwhelmed by a feeling of joy, energy and enthusiasm during the ceremonies that I saw tonight in Najran.
In the West music has become more and more technological and full of instruments but has often lost its link with tradition and the unique emotions and vibrations that derive from genuine feelings," said Petroni to a local TV channel.