JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia faces “great challenges” in preserving its national identity as it keeps up with modern society, the minister of Islamic affairs said Saturday.
Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh told delegates at a conference in Cairo that it was a shared duty to preserve religious constants and national identity.
“This is especially significant as we face great challenges of building the national character that combines preserving authentic national identity and keeping pace with contemporary civil society,” he said.
He was speaking at the 29th International Conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, which was organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf (religious endowments) under the patronage of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
More than 150 people — including ministers, scientists, intellectuals and professors — took part in the conference.
The Saudi minister stressed it was important for people to actively participate in developing their nation and contributing to its progress and prosperity.
He explained that the process was hard on a practical level as it demanded loyalty and perseverance, “especially amid the unprecedented openness” of traditional and new forms of media and communication.
Al-Asheikh said that Saudi citizens were proud of their identity and protected their nation against any danger because they loved and respected their country and leaders.
“It has also made Saudis respect other peoples who love their countries and prevented them from intervening in their affairs,” he added.