A jubilant Saudi Arabia celebrates its past, present … and future

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The images of King Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's founding father, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are shown in a laser light show at a stadium in Jeddah as part of National Day celebrations on Sunday across the Kingdom. (SPA)
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Residents were treated to a spectacular laser light show in Jeddah on Sunday night as part of National Day celebrations across Saudi Arabia. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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hildren participate in National Day celebrations at the Al-Masmak Palace in Riyadh. (SPA)
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ireworks light up the sky of the city of Riyadh to celebrate the 88th National Day of the Kingdom. (SPA)
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Fireworks light up the skies of Tabuk City to mark the 88th National Day of the Kingdom. (SPA)
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Fireworks light the skies of Najran in celebration of the 88th National Day of the Kingdom. (SPA)
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National Day celebrations in the the northern region of Al-Jouf. (SPA)
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First Day of National Day Celebration in Amlaj, Tabuk. (SPA)
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National Day celebration in Al-Ahsa, Eastern Province. (SPA)
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National Day celebrations in the central city of Buraidah. (SPA)
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National Day celebrations in Riyadh. (SPA)
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National Day celebrations in the southern city of Jazan. (SPA)
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National Day 88 event in Jeddah. (SPA)
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National Day 88 event in Riyadh. (SPA)
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National Day 88 event in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Air show by the Saudi Royal Air Force in Jeddah in celebration of National Day. (SPA)
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Youths participate in a cycling event during National Day 88 in Jeddah. (SPA)
Updated 24 September 2018
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A jubilant Saudi Arabia celebrates its past, present … and future

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said National Day is an opportunity to recall the achievements of the country’s founder
  • Saudi Arabia’s friends around the world outdid themselves in expressing their wishes to the Kingdom

RIYADH/JEDDAH/DUBAI:  It was a day that captured the heightened spirit of a nation.

In a year of remarkable changes, Saudi National Day on Sunday took on an exuberance like no other celebration before it, with enough fireworks to break a world record, people celebrating together outdoors across the land and landmarks around the world illuminated with the flag. 

In a speech marking the Kingdom’s 88th National Day, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman praised the nation’s growth under King Salman, saying that while Vision 2030 “looks forward to the future,” Saudi Arabia “will remain committed to the principles” of Islam, “the religion of tolerance and moderation.”

The crown prince said National Day is an opportunity to recall the achievements of the country’s founder, King Abdul Aziz, and his sons. “On our National Day, we take pride in our country’s position on an international, Islamic and Arab level.” 

His sentiments were echoed by citizens, who gathered last night in 20 cities to watch more than 900,000 fireworks light up the sky.

Laser light show at a Jeddah stadium Sunday night as part of National Day celebrations. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

“I am so happy with all the changes going on under the visionary leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi women are happy to join the National Day parades, this year behind the wheel,” said Saudi actor and presenter Khairiah Abu Laban.

“We went around the city to see the lighting and the fireworks,” said Saleh Al-Omri, a pharmacist in Riyadh. “Green and white balloons fill either side of Riyadh streets.”

Saudi Arabia’s friends around the world outdid themselves in expressing their wishes to the Kingdom over the weekend, culminating on the day. 

The Burj Khalifa was illuminated with the Saudi flag, while the Nasdaq Tower’s digital billboard in New York’s Times Square was lit up with photos of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the flags of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

In Lebanon, Pigeon Rocks, in Raouché off the coast of Beirut, were lit in the colors of the Saudi flag. 

The UAE’s airlines got in on the game. Emirates operated a special one-off A380 service on Sunday to Riyadh, and crew handed out scarves emblazoned with the countries’ flags.

Not to be outdone, Etihad said it was using the only Saudi A380 pilot in the world, Wesam Sameer Al-Najjar, to fly its Year of Zayed plane to Jeddah with the UAE’s Captain Ahmed Almalood. 

And if all that wasn’t enough, King Salman added an extra day, Monday, to the holiday.

Air show by the Saudi Royal Air Force in Jeddah in celebration of National Day. (SPA)

 


Houthis have smuggled various weapons from Iran: Arab coalition

Updated 24 June 2019
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Houthis have smuggled various weapons from Iran: Arab coalition

  • Col. Al-Maliki also said that the Houthis are digging trenches and building fortifications in Hodeidah
  • Said Iran-backed militia is trying to provoke the coalition

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government said on Monday that the Houthi militia has received various types of weapons smuggled from Iran.
Speaking at a weekly press conference in Riyadh, spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the militia has suffered heavy losses and as a result they have been targeting civilians and civilian installations.
Col. Al-Maliki also said that the Houthis are digging trenches and building fortifications in Hodeidah in violation of the Stockholm agreement.
He said that the Iran-backed militia is trying to provoke the coalition, but “we will apply international law.”
He added that the coalition has started providing financial assistance to those affected by accidents in Yemen and the coalition has already compensated 116 people affected.