Madinah goes thirsty as truckers strike

Updated 04 May 2014
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Madinah goes thirsty as truckers strike

Several Madinah districts have gone without water since Tuesday when water truck drivers went on strike. The drivers, working for the companies contracted by the Directorate of Water to supply water from Aziziah, Quba and Airport Road supply stations, struck work because their contractors had not paid them their salaries for four months.
The western districts of the city are the worst hit by the strike. As the price of a water truck has now hit SR450, many people have resigned themselves to using brackish water.
Resident Muhammad Ramadan said he had to settle for brackish water as it was impossible to get potable water because of the huge crowd at the water supply center.
Drivers working at water supply centers at Al-Aziziyah, Quba and Airport Road said they stopped work two days ago because of poor and most of the time erratic payment of wages.
Several citizens demanded that the officials of the Water Directorate find an immediate solution to the problem and take measures to avoid recurrence of the crisis.
Madinah experiences water supply shortage at the onset of the summer season every year. The Water Directorate, which is often at the receiving end of the crisis, tries to resolve the issue and strives to supply water to all the districts through its networks.


First Color Run excites over 1,500 runners in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province

Updated 3 min 21 sec ago
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First Color Run excites over 1,500 runners in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province

  • The 5-km marathon is part of the Sharqiah Season’s fun-filled activities

ALKHOBAR: Everywhere you looked it was a sea of color at the Alkhobar corniche as the Eastern Province’s first Color Run took place early on Saturday morning.

With more than 1,500 runners competing, the 5-km marathon began at 7 a.m., as part of the Sharqiah Season festival in the Eastern Province, which continues until the end of the month. Only one of 83 events scheduled throughout nine eastern region cities, the Color Run was rated high on the fun scale by 10-year-old Rania from the Philippines.

“I joined in the Color Run and I ran, and it was nice and fun,” said Rania who came with her cousins and aunt. “On a scale of one to 10, I think this was a nine. It was special because I got colorful and my hair got more beautiful.”

Rania, like all other runners who completed the course, received a medal commemorating the achievement.

The Color Run took participants along a 5-km path, and with every kilometer completed, those taking part would be showered by a single bright color. Each 1-km marker had its own color, so participants became more and more colorful as they progressed. 

Widyan Ayash, a mother from Syria, attended the event with her husband, Wael, and her daughter, Naya. “This is something new in Saudi Arabia,” she said. “We went through the five stops and at every stop there is a color that people start throwing on you, having fun, laughing, listening to nice music. The kids were very happy. It was a very nice family activity that we completed and we all got our small medals.”

By the time they reached the finish line, they were all a rainbow blend of neon colors that most laundromats would consider to be a nightmare. But no one Arab News spoke to said that they were rushing home to do laundry. 

It was quite the opposite.

The Color Run, also known as the ‘Happiest 5K on the Planet,’ celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality.  (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)

“I am not going to wash my clothes,” said Jessica, a nurse at John Hopkins who has lived in the Kingdom for three years. “I am going to keep them as they are, to keep reliving the experience. It was a memorable day for everyone.”

Jennilyn Martha, another nurse, also had an exciting day. 

“I came here to join the Color Run,” she said. “It was so fun, and it is the first time it happened in the Kingdom. It was really great and we were excited. We walked and jogged and ran for 5 km. It was a good experience.”

Manal Bahareth, from Ras Tanura, also joined the Color Run.

“I had a great time,” she said, as she brandished her completion medal. “I finished the 5 km. It was kind of hard. I walked and ran. There has been great improvement in the country now and we should have more and more events like this.”

The Color Run, also known as the “Happiest 5K on the Planet,” celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality. 

According to the Color Run website, it is the largest running series in the world and has been experienced by more than 7 million people in more than 40 countries.