100,000 tweets support hashtag defending KSA

Updated 29 September 2015

100,000 tweets support hashtag defending KSA

RIYADH: “If my denunciation came from an imbecile, it is a testimony to my perfection,” is how the Twitter hashtag that defends the Kingdom and its services offered to the guests of God started.
Three hours after the setting up of the hashtag, it collected more than 100,000 spontaneous tweets that defended the Kingdom and its achievements in the Holy Sites.
The hashtag came under the title — # management – Saudi Arabia – success. Tweeps were surprised that a country that was famous for its history in criminal acts and its attempts to smuggle arms into the Grand Mosque to compromise its security is now crying over the martyrs of Mina.
A country with such a history shouldn’t belittle or question the Kingdom’s ability in serving guests of God. Tweeps wrote that this other country couldn’t control a football field with 30,000 people, and more than 800 people were killed during that riot, in addition to 1,000 injured.
This other country, that claims it is a Muslim country, chose to forget the thousands of people killed in Iraq, Syria and Yemen by its terrorist organizations. The Kingdom manages more than 2 million pilgrims in a space of eight square kilometers, which is the area of Mina, speaking different languages and coming from over 188 countries. Activists published photos of security officers serving the guests of God. A tweep started his tweet by listing figures, saying the Kingdom, through four decades, received more than 70 million pilgrims and deaths didn’t exceed 5,000 during the entire period.
Qatari journalist, Khalid Jasim wrote: “I say it in all honesty, from the heart of the Holy Sites: Those who wish to see jihad in its true form should see the actions of Saudi security officers.”
Saleh Mkharish commented on a picture where a security officer is carrying a child saying: “My brother pilgrims, you and your children are in the hands of God and the care of the men of this land.”
Writer Bassam Al-Flaih wrote that security men have acted out the best meaning of heroism, humanity and loyalty in serving pilgrims and those who have grudges will not be able to belittle them.
Humaid Al-Inizi said the success of the Haj season and the management the crowds annoys enemies of the nation.
Dr. Hakim Al-Mutairi from Kuwait and undersecretary of Al-Ummah Party wrote: “The call from Iran to globalize the Two Holy Mosques, like its call to protect Karbala and the Zainab Tomb, ended with American-Iranian invasion of Iraq and a Russian-Iranian invasion of Syria.”
Media activist Hassan Mufti was ironic about the stand of the Iranian government on the incident saying: “Hundreds of years ago their forefathers stole the Black Stone and now they are talking on the art of managing pilgrims.”

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

AD DIRIYAH: The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”