For this Saudi family, breaking fast on Al Wajh’s beach is a different experience

Breaking Ramadan fast on the beach is a different experience. (SPA)
Updated 17 May 2019

For this Saudi family, breaking fast on Al Wajh’s beach is a different experience

AL WAJH:  One of the best ways to break fast in Al-Wajh governorate in Tabuk region during Ramadan is to eat iftar at the region’s beaches or in one of its marine parks.

Zahem and Al-Darar are two of the most popular stretches of sand along the coast, as both are close to urban areas too.

A number of people said that breaking their fast on the beach is a different experience to eating iftar at home. Taking in the sunset before the call to prayer, and appreciating the natural beauty of the surf crashing on the rocks and reefs.

Local resident Mashari Salem Al-Balawi said that breaking fast on the beach is a long-standing tradition among people living on the coast. It is his family’s tradition every Ramadan, he said, adding that many families will organize beachside iftars for large gatherings during the holy month.

Ali Al-Shamri had traveled 500 kilometers from Hail in order to break fast on the beach. He said that the experience was a special one, seeing the sunset and “feeling God’s creation.” He said that he intended to stay for suhoor before returning home. 


Technical glitches on Absher prevent exempt Saudis from traveling abroad

Updated 27 September 2020

Technical glitches on Absher prevent exempt Saudis from traveling abroad

  • On Sept. 13, the Saudi government issued a list of categories of people permitted to travel outside of the Kingdom
  • However, only a few days after the announcement, many students, patients and other exempted residents were unable to apply due to a technical fault on Absher

JEDDAH: Absher, the “one-stop shop” web-portal for Saudi government services, has been experiencing technical glitches that have left many citizens and expats unable to travel, despite them meeting the “exceptional case” categories outlined by the Interior Ministry more than two weeks ago.
Earlier this year and as part of its response to COVID-19, the Saudi government suspended all international flights to and from the Kingdom in a move that has successfully reduced infections across the country.
On Sept. 13, the Saudi government issued a list of categories of people permitted to travel outside of the Kingdom. These include diplomats, humanitarian cases, Saudis who live outside the Kingdom for work or study, among others. To be able to leave the country an eligible individual must apply — with supporting documents — for a permit to the passport authority.
However, only a few days after the announcement, many students, patients and other exempted residents were unable to apply due to a technical fault on Absher.
“The option to request the permit suddenly vanished from the relevant page, so while you could access Absher you just couldn’t submit your request. I tried every day for nearly two weeks,” said a Saudi woman who holds residency in a neighboring country. She added that while there was no announcement, the only information that she read in the local press was that the service was facing technical glitches.
“Yesterday, they announced that Absher was back but said that new requirements were set,” she said. “These include providing a copy of the residency card abroad and proof that an applicant has lived out of the Kingdom for six months every year for the past three years. In addition they requested a copy of my tenancy contract.”
“I spent all day collecting the documents. When I tried to upload the PDF the first time it told me that the file was too big, so I went to find software to reduce the size and when I finally managed to do so, I couldn’t log in as the whole website was down with a message saying that it was either temporarily unavailable or that they were serving someone else,” she said.
Other people, including one Saudi cancer patient who is due to return for treatment in Germany, spoke of the same technical glitches. When Arab News tried to log on to verify earlier today, it was unable to with an automated message that said “currently we are serving others, please try again later.”  The problem seems to have been resolved for some users by 10 pm.