“It is not easy for a visitor to the modern capital of Riyadh, which is widely spread at the present time, to be aware of everything in it, let alone realize the value of this past, as there are only a few remains even in the old city center to move the imagination of the historian.”
This is how the British orientalist William Vesey, who is concerned with the history of the Arabian Peninsula and director of the London Center for Arab Studies, wrote more than thirty years ago at the beginning of his book: “Riyadh: The Old City,” which was translated by Dr. Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al-Hilabi and published by the King Abdulaziz Public Library in two editions.
The book is one of the first books that monitored and narrated the history of Najd and Riyadh from the dawn of history until the fifties of the twentieth century, passing through various eras and historical transformations. “Since the year 1824 AD (1240 AH), the capital of Najd and “the heart of its hearts,” and William Vesey continues in this description, saying:
“Riyadh exercised its magic on a succession of European travelers, most of them British, so from the nineteenth century onwards, this book can sometimes be read as a history of British travelers to Riyadh.”
The book includes two parts, the first entitled: The Beginnings, and the second entitled: The Old City of Riyadh, and through 24 chapters, William Vesey deals with this ancient history, for the first time in an orientalist book on Riyadh, as it dates back to more than five thousand years of the history of the region, referring to the beginnings of writing according to the inscriptions Archaeological sites in the northwest regions of the Kingdom date back to more than 16 thousand years.