Saudi students studying in India have extended their good wishes to Indian expatriates living in Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the 67th Independence Day of India.
Every year, many Saudis go to India for higher education.
Mustafa Issam Yousef is a student pursuing an Information Technology degree under the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program at SSR College in Bangalore University, the IT hub of the Indian subcontinent.
“India has an amazing diversity in history, culture and traditions with vibrant tourism destinations apart from a wealth of quality academic environment,” Yousef said. “All Saudi students here hope for strengthened bilateral relations in all spheres in future,” Mustafa told Arab News by phone.
With the recent bolstering of Indo-Saudi ties, especially in education, information technology and sociocultural fields, India is becoming a popular destination for Saudi students seeking quality education in diverse academic programs.
While a majority of Saudi students pursue their academic interests in India under the scholarship program, many have sought admission through the Indian government's Direct Admission of Students Abroad scheme.
This year Mustafa is participating in the two-day annual Independence Day celebration program organized by the cultural committee on his university campus in Bangalore.
Mustafa, who is an established rap artist, has given various winning performances in Saudi Arabia as well as in India. The rapper performs by stage name “Mister Crow.”
Another Saudi scholarship student, Abdul Aziz Al-Harthy, is pursuing Bachelor of Business Management in India.
“I like the Indian greeting of ‘Namaste’ with a simultaneous folding of the two palms together, expressing both welcome and respect to every individual,” Al-Harthy said. “From the moment we set foot in India, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our life. We thank Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for giving us this opportunity for cultural exchange while pursuing our academic goals.”
Taking their passion for soccer — the National Game of Saudi Arabia — with them to their new destinations, these energetic performers have conquered many foreign football grounds at Indian universities.
“We passionately play football matches here and have an excellent team representing Saudi boys,” said Muhammed Al-Ataeidy, a BCA student at an Indian university.
Saudi students studying in India missed the family celebrations and festivities at home this Eid. Social media platforms, however, helped them share their sentiments on the occasion.
Muhammed Abdullah Al-Mutlaq, a second semester engineering student in Mumbai, said: “Most of us prefer to live with Muslim families here. On Eid, we performed our salah at the Eidgah and spent time with friends. My sister constantly shared pictures of family get-togethers via WhatsApp.”