Saudi Arabia is Celebrating its National Day Today:Released Sheetlet

\"\"By N.A. Mirza

Saudi Arabia is today celebrating its National Day. The Saudi Post released a commemorative sheetlet consisting of six stamps to commemorate the event. The stamp in the denomination of two Riyals depicts in the center founder of the Kingdom King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, (left to right) his successors –  not in chronological order – King Fahad, King Faisal, King Saud and King Khaled while in the front  row are HRH Crown Prince Sultan and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. The stamp also depicts the tower of the famous Masmak Fort in the Saudi capital Riyadh and in the background is Holy Haram in Makkah – the center of the annual pilgrimage.The day is declared a holiday for government and private sector. Elaborate ceremonies are planned for the day throughout the Kingdom that include cultural shows, traditional folklore dances from all the regions. They share their joy of their various achievement. The king and members of the royal family join the public in their traditional Sword Dance known as Ardha.

Saudi Arabia has been a home to millions of expatriates and they – in particular people from the subcontinent – too organize cultural events to celebrate the Saudi National Day with immense fervor.Saudi Arabia was unified by King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud in 1932. He was a brave soldier, a far sighted statesman. The march he launched has continued with success through both long and short term goals. Modern day Saudi Arabia has been a host to millions from around the world. It can truly boast of achievements, rapid development and progress. During the last few years, many social, cultural, economic and political developments were witnessed, for example: The Haramain Rail, linking Makkah and Madina with Jeddah; the Mashair Railway or Makkah Metro linking Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifa with Makkah; the National Day, a day of pride and patriotism, during which the emirs of various provinces highlighted the country’s progress and stability; Rofa Osman Faqih, a medical student swapping her coat for a pilot’s uniform; Dalma Rushdi Malhas who galloped to glory in the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games and won bronze medal for the Kingdom in the equestrian event; silver jubilee celebrations of Kingdom’s participation in the international space program; the Kingdom heading for a 3.5 percent growth; and last but not the least the launch of King Abdullah International Philanthropic and Humanitarian Services.

King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (this is the official title of Saudi monarchs since late King Fahad) is a pioneer in modernization and reform. The milestones achieved since he ascended to the throne in 2005 include the launch of mega economic cities, the setting up of King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) and Prince Noura University for women in Riyadh; the Interfaith Dialogue in Madrid, Spain; and many more. The king cares for his people and has recently decided monthly unemployment subsidy of 2,000 Saudi Riyals to Saudis under a programme called Hafiz (incentive) to be paid from November 26, 2011.

India enjoys excellent political, economic, commercial, labour and cultural relations with the Kingdom. Indo-Saudi ties are centuries old. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were formally established in 1948.With the historic and landmark visit in January 2006 by King Abdullah, the Saudi-Indo bilateral relations have reached a new height. And this is evident from exchanges between the two countries. The king was Chief Guest of our Republic Day celebrations.On arrival in India, King Abdullah was received by Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh in defiance of the protocol but a sign of close relation, and the importance India attached to the visit. The king described India as his second home. At the end of the visit he himself signed the “Delhi Declaration”, saying: “This is the first time that I am going to sign an agreement with any country”.The “Delhi Declaration” noted that this visit heralds a new era in India-Saudi Arabia relations and constitute a landmark in the development of increased understanding and co-operation between the two countries and creation of a mutually beneficial partnership. Reflecting the view that both countries are developing a broad strategic vision and are determined to work together closely for the welfare and benefit of the peoples and for peace and stability in the region and the world.Addressing the media in Jeddah on September 17, 2011, Mr. K. Rahman Khan, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) said “people of India fully support the Kingdom’s efforts to root out the evil of terrorism.”India Post could take the initiative of releasing a joint issue on Indo-Saudi relations as it has released joint issues on Indo-China, India-Mexico, etc.

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