Riyadh welcomes Eid Al-Fitr with fireworks display

Updated 18 August 2013
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Riyadh welcomes Eid Al-Fitr with fireworks display

A 30-minute colorful fireworks display lit up the sky over the Kingdom’s capital late Thursday as residents welcomed the Eid Al-Fitr holidays.
The dazzling fireworks display had about 400 to 500 residents of Malaz district and nearby areas spellbound. They thronged the park near the Riyadh Zoo to have a better look at the breathtaking spectacle of various colors such as violet, yellow, green and red, among others.
“What a sight it was indeed! Many watched it with bated breath, so to speak, as a way of welcoming Eid Al-Fitr holidays,” said Abdulaziz Al Hendi, a Saudi who works for a news agency.
Erma Elshiger, a housewife married to a Sudanese, said: “The fireworks display was fascinating to watch. The explosion of various colors with black sky as backdrop gripped the imagination. My four kids really enjoyed watching it.”
The fireworks display was preceded by an intermittent explosion of firecrackers. The crowd watching the spectacle spilled over into the street, blocking cars headed toward Al-Ahsa Road.
The traffic buildup was exacerbated by the fact that cars passing on Al-Ahsa Road stopped, with the drivers taking pictures of the fireworks display with their cell phones.
Others pulled over, got off their cars and joined the crowd watching the fireworks display.
As a result, drivers blew their horns as they hurried to go home or for an appointment in other parts of the city. 
Eric P. Asi, an engineer at a local firm, who was with his family and relatives, including one from Alkhobar, could not help but smile at the impatient drivers.
“What to do?” he said. “The dazzling colors of the fireworks display were really attractive against the black sky as backdrop. My two kids and my wife could not be persuaded to go home as they watched the colorful night spectacle.”
Meynard Pesig, also an engineer with a local firm, said, “This event is rarely held in the Kingdom’s capital, so I have taken advantage of this opportunity to watch it,” he said.
To others, like those working or living in other parts of the Kingdom but spending their holidays in the Kingdom’s capital, the event was something to remember.
Residents of adjoining areas like Suleimania said that they were not able to watch the fireworks spectacle but could hear its explosions from two to three kilometers away.


King Salman invites Indonesian centenarian to perform Hajj

Updated 52 min 28 sec ago
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King Salman invites Indonesian centenarian to perform Hajj

  • The man said he and his family can’t financially afford to perform Hajj
  • He was welcomed by the Saudi ambassador to Indonesia

DUBAI: King Salman has invited an Indonesian man, who is reportedly 140 years old, and his family to perform Hajj, the Saudi embassy in Jakarta said on Wednesday.
“The Custodian of the Two Holy mosques invites elderly Indonesian man and his family to perform Hajj,” the embassy tweeted.

The centenarian sent his appeal to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a video, asking the Saudi rulers to invite him and his daughters to perform Hajj for the first time, as they were unable to afford it on their own.
Social media users shared his video, in which he and two of his daughters explained their situation in Arabic

The man was hosted by Saudi ambassador to Indonesia Esam Al-Thagafi in Jakarta, who broke the good news to him.
The Saudi rulers saw the video and Hajj authorities will take care of their travels and necessities, Al-Thagafi told the man and his family.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and Muslims should aim to perform the ritual at least once in their lifetime.