‘The day Israelis rained bombs on us’

Updated 21 March 2016
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‘The day Israelis rained bombs on us’

JEDDAH: Saud bin Badi Al-Ramali, a 90-year-old veteran of the Saudi Armed Forces has recounted his participation in the 1948 war in Palestine and still remembers many stories from the war.
Al-Ramali, who lives in Jubah, 103 km to the northwest of Hail, was among 1,200 Saudi soldiers who participated in the war in the ranks of the Arab League at that time, according to the online new source, Alarabiya.net.
Recounting some of the stories from that time, he said that all Saudis across the Kingdom were very disturbed by the news about how the Jews were treating the Arabs in Palestine, so he left his town when he was only 20 years of age and marched to the north and crossed the borders where he acquired permission to join the Saudi troops on the battlefield.
"I stayed for two years in Palestine, moving from one location to another with the group fighting battles with the enemy in Jenin, Koun and Rafah. They were strong fighters, and many women even used to fight on the battlefield," he remembered.
He recounted events on one night in particular when he was with his friend, Ganem Al-Fairouz, on the front line and they were digging a trench where they hid as bombs rained all around. "I saw this horrible dream one night and I begged him to dig two trenches — one for each of us — so we would not both be killed in the same trench. In the evening the Israeli planes returned and there were Iraqi troops lying in our previous trench. One of the soldiers shot at the plane causing the enemy to know where the soldier was. The Israelis bombed the position intensively killing 400 Iraqi soldiers, but my friend and I survived the bombing".
He said he knew many Saudi soldiers who died during Palestine war from Hail and from other parts of Saudi Arabia. When the war ended in 1949 and the truce was signed, military vehicles carried them both back to Taif.
"In Taif, we were welcomed by Crown Prince Saud. He walked among the ranks of the soldiers who fought in Palestine and saluted each one of them. He granted each soldier a reward of 200 Arab riyals and six pounds of gold. This amount was supposed to have been 12 pounds but because of the war and the economic situation at that time, we each received only six.
"We stayed in Taif and performed Haj and Prince Saud told us that whoever wanted to join the army was welcome to stay, and that those who wanted to instead go join their families were free to go home. Some of us stayed and others left. For me personally, I chose to go home at that time with a fortune of more than 200 Arab riyals and got married," he said.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

Updated 24 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize on Wednesday the launch of the “Qiddiya” Project which is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom.
The project will be built in Al-Giddiya area, some 40 km west of the capital, Riyadh.
The foundation stone ceremony of will be attended by a host of local and international officials, as well as a number of decision-makers, major investors and representatives of the regional and international companies, marking the launch of the project’s formal infrastructure. The first phase will be completed by 2022.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi, Secretary General of the Foundation Council of the Qiddiya Project of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) said that the inauguration of this vital project is a real translation of the aspirations of the Kingdom’s wise leadership and its relentless efforts to develop mega projects that would contribute effectively to achieve many direct and indirect economic returns, and to advance sustainable development for the benefit of the homeland and the citizen, in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“About two-thirds of the Kingdom’s population is under the age of 35. There is a great need for Qiddiya Project to provide them with entertainment. The project will save about $30 billion, which will be used to develop the domestic economy and create new job opportunities for Saudi youths,” he added.
For his part, Michael Reininger, Chief Executive of Qiddiya, said, “we are delighted to be a key contributor to boost the Kingdom’s economic development and investment, not only for the entertainment industry but also to projects that will develop the capabilities the young Saudi people.”