Saudi education ministry dampens down Al-Hilal celebrations

Saudi fans cheering for the Al-Hilal during the Saudi team's match with Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds on Sunday. (AN photo by Basher Saleh)
Updated 25 November 2019

Saudi education ministry dampens down Al-Hilal celebrations

  • Asir governor's request for region's schools to let students leave early and watch game rejected
  • Schools must stay away from such events, or else in the future other team supporters will be expect the same treatment

RIYADH: The streets of Riyadh were ablaze with celebrations after the Saudi football team Al-Hilal beat Urawa Red Diamonds 2-0 early Sunday in the second leg of the AFC Champions League in Japan, bringing the aggregate result to 3-0. However, the ministry of education was concerned.

The governor of the Asir region, Prince Turki bin Talal, instructed education directors in the region that schools allow students leave early so they could watch the match, a spokesman for the Emirate of Asir province said.

However, the ministry of education did not approve.

The Ministry of Education spokesperson, Ebtesam Al-Shehri, tweeted, “The Ministry of Education considers that educational institutions are vital systems of society, with educational messages that do not fit their involvement in the competitions of sports clubs.”

In a letter she wrote that education must stay away from these events, or else in the future other team supporters will be expect the same treatment.

Nonetheless, many parents kept their children at home or picked them up early to watch the match. “My son is a pure Hilaly in and out. I told him I’d pick him up from school early, but he didn’t believe me and didn’t want to miss out on watching the game. He was absent for the day,” said Um Abdulrahman, mother of a 7th grader.

Celebrations and festivities alike lit the country, with mass celebrations in the capital celebrating the victory. Cars honked with the Al-Hilal flags waving and drove through the streets with cheers and songs blasting through the windows.

General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Al Sheikh said in a tweet: “Tonight 50% discount to enter the Boulevard and all cafes, restaurants, cinema and everything inside the Boulevard on the occasion of the victory of Al-Hilal. Fireworks at 9 p.m. Congratulations!”

KSRelief launches prosthetics' center in Taiz

Updated 23 January 2020

KSRelief launches prosthetics' center in Taiz

TAIZ: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) on Wednesday launched an artificial limb center in Taiz, Yemen, providing high-quality prosthetics for up to 600 patients.

Abdulqawi Al-Mikhlafi, who is the deputy governor of Taiz, expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom’s generous support to Yemen across all sectors over the past few years, particularly in the areas of health, the environment and development.

Al-Mikhlafi said such efforts helped local authorities to deal with the many challenges they faced in providing comprehensive services to needy Yemenis.

He added that the Kingdom’s support reflected the deep historical and cultural ties between the people of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and he praised the Kingdom for standing by the country and its government for more than 50 years.

Dr. Elan Abdul Haq, deputy governor of Taiz for health affairs, thanked KSRelief for its continued support for Taiz and Yemen, assistance he said had alleviated the suffering of millions of Yemenis during the ongoing conflict.

The head of the Artificial Limbs Center, Mansour Al-Wazei, announced that the center would begin receiving patients soon, providing vital aid to amputees for whom prosthetics meant regaining the ability to live full and productive lives.