Saudi students extend good wishes on India’s Independence Day
Saudi students extend good wishes on India’s Independence Day
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.”
Height of adventure: Treading the ‘Edge of the World’ near Riyadh
- Cliffs in Tuwaiq were formed as a result of the movement of the Arabian plate toward the northeast because of the spread of the Red Sea rift
- Several prominent Saudi tour companies offer daylong excursions to the site
Thrill seekers and fitness gurus all over the Kingdom will be pleased to know that their choices for weekend activities have increased.
Several tour operators in Riyadh have started offering trips to the area known as the Edge of the World, making the location more accessible than ever.
With the country’s obesity rates on the rise and many citizens growing more concerned about their physical health and stress levels, people are seeking ways to maintain their fitness without having to restrict themselves to the monotony of a gym routine.
One such solution that has steadily increased in popularity over the past year is hiking, which many have embraced as being much more exciting and fulfilling than spending hours on the treadmill. And most popular of all for hiking and other fitness activities in a natural setting is the magnificent landmark of Jabal Fihrayn, more commonly known as the Edge of the World.
Described as a “window framed by rock,” the Edge of the World offers stunning views of the valley below, a lush grove of acacia trees teeming with wildlife and vegetation. The spot is well-known for being a favorite of visiting picnickers.
Hikers can choose from several trails of varying levels of difficulty, making their way to the top of the Tuwaiq escarpment to take in the magnificent views at the top of the trail, where the colossal cliff faces drop off to reveal the dizzying height from the valley below. In addition to the rich wildlife unique to the location, you can also find samples of fossilized coral and raw mineral deposits in certain areas of the valley.
The cliffs in the areas were formed as a result of the tectonic movement of the Arabian plate toward the northeast because of the spread of the Red Sea rift situated 1,000 km to the west of Tuwaiq.
Due to the increasing popularity of the site, the authorities have built a hardtop that leads to the gates of the sites and arrangements are in place to protect the area and its natural treasures.
Several prominent Saudi tour companies offer daylong excursions to the site. The more intrepid explorer also has the option to go alone; though past visitors recommend that solo travelers take an all-terrain, 4x4 vehicle and extra precaution. Visitors can spend the day at the site and leave before 6 p.m. (when the gates are closed for the night) or stay behind for a night of camping to enjoy the sunset and the breathtaking celestial views of a star-studded night sky.
Nora Alfard, amateur hiking enthusiast and two-time visitor to the location, was quick to offer praise about her trip.
“The trip out there was a bit tiring, but totally worth it,” she said. “The views are stunning, and the hiking itself is not that difficult. Most people should be able to make it to the top without too much trouble.” She said she was likely to go a third time, and encouraged others to do the same.
The Edge of the World is roughly 100km northwest of Riyadh, about 1.5 hours’ drive from the capital. Visitors should be prepared for at least 30 minutes of hiking, possibly more depending on your trail and your level of fitness and experience. Previous visitors recommend bringing water and snacks, and stress the importance of dressing appropriately — hiking shoes only!