Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — A new era of relations...

Updated 14 August 2013

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — A new era of relations...

ON the auspicious occasion of our 67th Independence Day, I extend my heartfelt felicitations to all the Pakistanis in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is a day to revive our pledge to serve and defend our country, protect it and work for its progress and prestige.
Islamic Republic of Pakistan has strong Muslim ideology, Pakistan gained independence in the blessed month of Ramadan. In 1947, Aug. 14 coincided with the 27th of Ramadan, a day considered most auspicious and blessed in the Islamic calendar month. Pakistan is a very important Islamic state being the only country created in the name of Islam on such an auspicious date. We should be proud of our heritage that we belong to this country brought into being at a most blessed time chosen by the Almighty Allah Himself.
Allama Iqbal gave the idea of having an independent state for the Muslims of the Subcontinent where they could practice their religion according to their own wishes. The dynamic leadership of Quaid-i-Azam united them to achieve this goal.
This day reminds us of the historical struggle and sacrifices by our forefathers for a separate homeland. Now, it is our responsibility to make Pakistan an enlightened, tolerant and a progressive welfare state. The challenges that we are facing today demand that we remain united. We must endeavor to utilize our energies in transforming Pakistan into a modern, Islamic welfare and democratic state. I would stress to renew our pledges to make Pakistan a prosperous, strong and developed country. I also call upon the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia to work with dedication and devotion for the growth and development of not only Pakistan but also Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia's relations are very strong based on love, affection and care for each other and with time these relations have strengthened further. People of Pakistan have always felt a special reverence for Saudi Arabia as the land where Islam grew. Saudi Arabia considers Pakistan a leading Muslim state. Close geographical proximity, religious affinity, historic trade ties and economic facilitation have developed trustworthy relations based on mutual respect.
More than 1.5 million Pakistanis are working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has always been a second home for Pakistanis and they feel blessed to contribute to the progress and prosperity of the Kingdom. The strength and stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is our own strength and stability.
Remember Pakistan in your prayers, May Allah (SWT) keep our beloved country and the Muslim Ummah safe in His kind care and protect from all enemies, calamities and disasters and bless the Muslim Ummah with  Peace, Stability, Prosperity and Unity (Ameen).

Sen. Sehar Kamran is Tamgha-i-Imtiaz and is:
• Member Senate of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
• Member of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production
• Member of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan
• Member of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Resource Development
• Member of the Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis
• President Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS).

Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing

Updated 20 July 2019

Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing

  • The TV images beamed from 320,000km away in space left viewers astounded but happy
  • The TV coverage influenced thinking and attitudes in the Kingdom just like everywhere else

DUBAI: It was a sleepy afternoon in Saudi Arabia, just days before the end of the school vacation, and Saudis had their eyes glued to their TV sets as they waited for live coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Before July 20, 1969, the idea of a human walking on the moon was the stuff of science fiction. However, almost overnight, sci-fi had turned into reality with a live broadcast showing American astronaut Neil Armstrong’s dramatic descent onto the empty lunar landscape.

Between science fiction and science fact, the live coverage of the lunar landing amounted to an unusual fusion of news and entertainment.

Saudi TV technicians bring the first live images of Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moon landing to
viewers around the Kingdom. (Supplied photo)

The historic images — beamed back to Earth more than 320,000 km away — left Saudi viewers astounded and confused, but mostly elated to be witnessing such an epoch-making event.

The event was covered live on television and radio stations in Saudi Arabia. Most Saudis and residents living in the Kingdom watched it on Saudi channels 1 and 3, owned by Saudi Aramco.

Hessah Al-Sobaie, a housewife from Al-Dawadmi, recalled watching the moon landing from her grandparents’ backyard as an 11-year-old.

“It felt weird watching a human walk on the moon,” she told Arab News. “I remember the endless questions I asked as a child.”

While most people were aware that going to the moon was risky, many Saudis believed that such a journey was impossible and all but unthinkable.


1. NASA’s Apollo 11 mission control room in Houston has been restored to its 1969 condition and regular tours
will be conducted by the Johnson Space Center.

2. NASA ‘Science Live’ will have a special edition on July 23 on board the aircraft carrier that recovered the Apollo 11 capsule.

3. A summer moon festival and family street fair will be held in Wapakoneta, Ohio, from July 17-20.

4. Downtown Houston’s Discovery green will host a free public screening of the ‘Apollo 11’ documentary, with an appearance by NASA astronaut Steve Bowen.

5. Amateur radio operators will host a series of events on July 20-21.

6. The US Space and Rocket Center is staging a special ‘Rockets on Parade’ exhibition.

The Apollo 11 mission prompted discussions across the Middle East over the reality of what people saw on their TV screens. Some Saudi scholars found it hard to believe their eyes.

“I watched it, and I clearly remember each and every detail of the coverage,” Hayat Al-Bokhari, 68, a retired school principal in Jeddah, said.

“My father, Abdul, was 56 at the time. He said the landing was faked. He couldn’t believe or accept that a human could go to the moon.”

Khaled Almasud, 70, a retired university lecturer, was a student in the US state of Oregon at the time of the mission. “Americans were stunned and over the moon, happy with their national achievement. But many Saudis like me were either in denial or insisting on more proof.”

Since the beginning of the 1960s, King Faisal had been rapidly transforming Saudi Arabia, inviting foreign-trained experts to help build a modern country with world-class infrastructure.

Billie Tanner, now 90, lived in the Kingdom for many years with her husband, Larry, and their two children, Laurie and Scott, aged six and four. The family had just arrived in Saudi Arabia and headed to the Aramco compound in Ras Tanura in the Eastern Province.

A screengrab of video of the first lunar landing beamed toward Earth and shown on television worldwide. 

“We were going through a culture shock,” she told Arab News. “I wasn’t thinking of the moon landing, but we heard about it on the news from Dhahran.

“My kids tried to see the astronauts on the moon with their binoculars and said they could see them walking around.”

The Apollo 11 spaceflight has become a milestone in the annals of human history and science. Since 1969 space exploration has greatly expanded man’s knowledge of the universe, far beyond Earth’s limits.

The captivating live coverage of the moon landing inspired millions of people around the world, profoundly influencing their thinking and attitudes.

The people of Saudi Arabia were no exception.