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.


Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

Updated 24 min 47 sec ago
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Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

RIYADH: The Halat Ammar Customs on the Kingdom’s northwestern border prevented two attempts to smuggle a quantity of 184,737 Fenethylline tablets, also known by the brand name of Captagon.
The pills were discovered hidden on two buses that were transporting passengers to the Kingdom’s holy sites.
Mohammed Qaisi, the customs general manager, said the first bus was carrying 47 passengers and after the customs procedures were finalized and the passengers were processed, a bag containing 100,000 tablets was found.
“The narcotics were hidden in an artistic way and were placed inside the bag’s lining,” he said.
Qaisi also said the second attempt was thwarted in a similar way. The other bus was transporting 31 passengers, on which a total of 84,737 Captagon pills were seized.
Saudi Arabia usually witnesses a rise of smuggling attempts during the Umrah and Hajj seasons, as they are exploited by smugglers trying to transport narcotics and other contraband. 
Saudi Customs said it is exerting great efforts and working with all its human and technical capabilities to prevent the entry of illegal substances.