Tuesday, 25 September 2007
By Adel Al-Malki and Mohammed Al-Kinani
IT took motorists more than an hour-and-a-half to cover the 3-km distance. In Jeddah's Al-Tahlia Street and Corniche Road, everybody was seeing green.
Cars, with Saudi flags, had posted King Abdullah's photos. Others redecorated their cars with green and white stripes. Saudi Arabia's National Day celebration was festive. There were signs everywhere: "For you my country", "Long live my country" and "Abdullah is in our Hearts".
"The National Day is one of our important days," Mohammed Al-Ghamdi said. "We should celebrate the day with love for our country and inspire the young to realize and recognize the victory of our great King Abdul Aziz."
A few were distributing flags for free. One of them, Mohammed Qurmali, said that the occasion renewed and reaffirmed Saudis' love and loyalty for their country and leadership.
"I went here early because I expected these people would come. I bought flags as well as a music player to play nationalist songs on the occasion," he said.
Jeddah celebrated the day by holding several activities in Jeddah's historic zone, during which citizens and expats alike participated.
"There will be lectures about the efforts of all of the Kings of Saudi Arabia," Sami Nawar, head of tourism and culture department in the municipality, said.
"There will also be competitions, prizes and an exhibition that will include pictures for King Abdul Aziz and his late sons," he added.
Traditional singers performed songs that praised the country and the King.
Nawar said that these events are to remind people of the history and successes of King Abdul Aziz.
"The historic area will remain open for people for four days so that visitors can take part in the celebrations," he added.
For the first time, Jeddah is using the latest technology to celebrate the national day, through sending Bluetooth messages. The technology is called Blue Media, which can send 30 messages a minute.
"This service will be in Al-Balad area and many other parts of Jeddah to allow mobile users to send and receive a group of messages along the year, and on various occasions," Nawar said.