Saudi family bids tearful goodbye to Indonesian maid after 33 years of service

Al-Arfaj tweeted this photo with: "You've been an amazing person to all of us, for 33 years, Houriya. You've been a mother to us all, never a maid. We are forever saddened to see you go." (Courtesy: @arfajam on Twitter)
Updated 18 January 2018
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Saudi family bids tearful goodbye to Indonesian maid after 33 years of service

JEDDAH: The video of a Saudi family’s tearful farewell with their maid, Houriya — who has spent 33 years in their household — went viral on social media platforms.
People who’ve seen the video couldn’t hold back the tears as they watched Houriya wipe her tears as the family’s children, adolescents and adults bid her one final goodbye after 33 long years of “raising and caring” for them.
A member of the family, Abdullah Al-Arfaj, told Arab News: “Houriya first came to my maternal grandfather’s house in 1986 and has been in our family for 33 years. During those years, she’d travel to Indonesia to visit her own family, but she always came back. She helped raise my maternal uncles, my generation, and now our children — that’s three different generations. She has become indispensable to us, an entity that exists alongside my grandfather, Rashid and my grandmother, and we view her respectfully, kiss the top of her head, just as we do to elders in the family.”
“Now that she’s been gone only a number of days — she took away the serenity that comes with having an elder in the family. My grandmother passed back in 2012, my grandfather in ‘93, and the gap Houriya leaves is something we all feel in the family.”
Al-Arfaj revealed that he hadn’t anticipated this unbelievable reaction the video garnered. He disclosed that it was not his intention, or his family’s, to spread it for views.
“This is a person we cherish whom we had to let go, not due to any illness or fatigue, but out of respect to her growing old and tired, to give her rest and to be merciful as would anyone in our situation.”
On any communication happening between the family and Houriya, Al-Arfaj said that the family plans to visit her hometown in the summer to check up on her, and they are waiting for her to call as soon as she settles down in Indonesia.


Launch of Joint Al-Jazeera Shield Drill in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province

Updated 23 February 2019
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Launch of Joint Al-Jazeera Shield Drill in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province

  • The two-week drill was launched in the presence of commander for the exercise, Gen. Abdullah bin Saeed Al-Qahtani, and commanders of participating Gulf forces
  • Al-Qahtani welcomed all participants and thanked them for their efforts in the planning and preparation of the drill

JEDDAH: Saudi armed forces and security sectors teamed up with land, maritime and air forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for the tenth Joint Al-Jazeera Shield Drill on Saturday.
The two-week drill was launched in the presence of commander for the exercise, Gen. Abdullah bin Saeed Al-Qahtani, and commanders of participating Gulf forces.
Al-Qahtani welcomed all participants and thanked them for their efforts in the planning and preparation of the drill.
He said that the exercises aimed to promote cooperation and exchange experience between the Saudi and GCC countries forces to improve the level of training for all forces.
The exercise sought to develop skills and use the available resources to develop concepts and promote joint work, he added. The drill was part of a series of joint military drills between the GCC countries at various levels.
He said that the Joint Al-Jazeera Shield Drill was one of the largest exercises in the region and part of a comprehensive strategic vision by the Saudi Defense Ministry, which aims to constantly gain experience, promote security and military readiness under different circumstances to preserve security and stability in the Arab Gulf and the world.
Spokesman for the drill, Brig. Gen. Abdullah Hussein Al-Subaihi, said that it included four phases.
The first phase is the arrival of the forces via land, maritime and air entry points. The academic training phase, including conferences for all participating forces from all GCC countries, was also launched on Saturday.
The second phase is the command center drill; this exercise will train commanders to manage military operations and use simulators in virtual military operations.
The third phase consists of field training with live ammunition, and the fourth includes the closing ceremony and departure of forces.