Saudis find innovative ways to give Eid gifts amid pandemic

Eid Al-Fitr is one of the favorite times of the year for Muslims. Children look forward to celebrating Eid Al-Fitr because on this day they receive money and gifts from their elders. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 25 May 2020

Saudis find innovative ways to give Eid gifts amid pandemic

  • Some stores offer special boxes or envelopes to hold cash, or sell cards with a little slot for holding rolled-up bills

RIYADH: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Saudis are exploring different ways to exchange gifts and eidiya. They are mostly relying on internet and different apps available to solve this problem by sending e-gifts and transferring money using electronic channels.

“I got my eidiya this year from my cousin though STC (app),” said Waleed Bukhari. “I normally receive cash from the family’s elders, but I was happy to get something different.”

An eidiya is hard to define. Its literal translation is “of Eid” and it is usually a money gift that children — and sometimes adults — receive on the morning of the first day of Eid, with amounts generally depending on one’s age.

The Saudi Telecom Co.’s payment app, STC Pay, is offering a fun way for people to send their eidiya money electronically. There are options to customize the envelope and attach a personal message, and many might find this a suitable alternative to the traditional aspect of doling out Eid money.

But some prefer to send e-gifts instead of money for Eid.

Dana Al-Harbi, a college student, said her parents never gave her money for Eid but that she had yet to receive an Eid gift from them that she did not love.




A box to hold money with ‘Blessed Eid’ written on it in Arabic.

“Money is useful, sure, but they’ve always given me stuff I appreciated much more,” she told Arab News. “They put a lot of love and thought into their gifts, and that’s more important to me than money.”

Some stores offer special boxes or envelopes to hold cash in interesting ways, or sell cards with a little slot for holding rolled-up bills. Some decorate bouquets of flowers with money, hide money inside chocolate wrappers, or even make scavenger hunts for their families with bills hidden around the house for them to find.

Wafaa Al-Mansour, a mother of five, recommends handing out gift cards.

“There’s something I don’t like about straight-up giving cash out, and I’m always out of the loop when it comes to what my children want as gifts, so I give them the option to choose what they like, but also make sure they’re not wasting money on something I don’t approve of,” she told Arab News.

She recommended gift vouchers offered by different bookstores as a good option.

“I like to get the SR100 ($26.66) vouchers, as they’re an appropriate amount, the ones under 12 get three and the ones over 12 get five. They can choose to buy books, toys, games, stationery, or even do what my sons did and save up the vouchers for the more expensive electronics. They got their PlayStation that way,” she said.

Haifa Abduljaleel prefers to send her three kids their cash by bank transfer, a process that she says has made her life much easier over the years.


Global organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s role in e-learning

Updated 23 October 2020

Global organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s role in e-learning

JEDDAH: Six international organizations have completed two studies on e-learning in the Kingdom and praised its efforts in providing a rapid response, multiple options and continuous improvement during the coronavirus pandemic.
The studies involved the participation of 342,000 respondents and were conducted under the supervision of the Kingdom’s National Center for e-Learning.
The center said that the global organizations completed two comprehensive studies on the experience of public and higher education in Saudi Arabia during the pandemic, with the aim of documenting and studying the reality of the experience and coming up with initiatives to develop e-learning practices in accordance with current global practices and standards.
The studies were conducted with the participation of students, faculty members, teachers, parents and school leaders.
The number of participants in the public education study reached 318,000, while the number of participants in the higher education study reached 24,000.
The first study was prepared by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), with the participation of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Quality Matters (QM), the UNESCO Institute of Information Technologies in Education (IITE), the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) in the US.
The second study was prepared by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with the cooperation of the Harvard Graduate School
of Education.
In the studies, reference comparisons were made with more than 193 countries. The two studies showed the Kingdom’s distinction in the diversity of options, including, for example, electronic content and satellite channels available for e-learning in public education.

NUMBER

342k

The studies on e-learning involved the participation of 342,000 respondents and were conducted under the supervision of the Kingdom’s National Center for e-Learning.

The percentage of countries that succeeded in providing these at the national level was only 38 percent.
The study conducted by the OECD and the Harvard Graduate School of Education included a comparison of the Kingdom’s response to education during the COVID-19 pandemic with 37 member states.
The results showed the Kingdom’s progress in 13 out of 16 indicators on the average of
these countries.
The study also revealed that teachers received significant support to overcome obstacles to e-learning.
The study of public education indicated that there was a clear strategy for the Ministry of Education to reopen schools in the Kingdom and address any issues.
OLC hailed the efforts of the Saudi Ministry of Education in dealing with the crisis by providing a variety of options for e-learning, and the quick response to the pandemic and immediate shift to remote instruction.
The two studies recommended 71 proposed development initiatives for public education and 78 proposed development initiatives for higher education.
The National Center for e-Learning is working in coordination with the Ministry of Education to present the initiatives and begin their implementation.
The center announced that the organizations that conducted the studies would publish their results and complete the second phase at the end of the current semester.