Saudi National Day 2006 coincided with the beginning of the Holy month of Ramadan, a month that is characterised by family closeness that is rare outside of this period that enjoys religious and social spirits. The difference this year is that many Saudi families will be missing a son or a daughter who has decided to complete their studies abroad, after the opportunity to travel to other countries for the purpose of studying has been presented to and taken up by many youngsters.
Every housewife will recollect their son or daughter’s favourite food whilst they are away and will not be present to eat it, and the youth abroad will miss the essence of their families around the table in a joyous and loving atmosphere. However, memories will fade in two or four years when the study period is over, as well as the memories of expatriation and the hardships of study.
It is important that these young men and women know that these difficult moments are not worthless but rather the real price is in the success achieved and the desire to return and integrate into the course of progress, building and reform. This is a change that we have always insisted to be the destiny of this generation, its core and gateway to the future.
Ahmed Abdul Rahman, a master’s degree student in America, says: “Sure, it’s a difficult experience. We miss our families and their radiant gatherings and unique spirit, but I think the worst will be celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr away from that atmosphere.” Ahmed, who is 24-years-old, decided along with his friends to celebrate the national day their own way by wearing green t-shirts symbolising their national flag. He added, “We are completely aware of the high hopes that are pinned on us regarding education abroad and these years of our lives that we dedicate to learning, to return home and begin the process of building.”
On the other hand, there are families that will miss their children who have departed to unknown places after being misled by terrorist groups that take advantage of their young age and lack of experience, misleading them and dragging them into abusing their countries, and teaching them that death is the only way to live, and that destruction is better than construction in the land. May God help these families, who undoubtedly wish that their sons were present to take part in the nation’s celebration and the advent of Ramadan.
If there is a prayer for the nation, let it be that God protect the children of the country, and make them the seeds for a brighter future built upon patriotism that encompasses the concepts of forgiveness, co-existence, and building, and to elevate the meaning of civilisation. May the country always be secure and free of all evil.