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The Bulletin September Issue 42:Layout 1 28/09/10 9:20 AM Page 1

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September 2010 Issue 42 Vol 5

AMBASSADOR NAZER:  CELEBRATING THE GROWING  SAUDI AUSTRALIA RELATIONSHIP ON THE 80TH NATIONAL DAY Full Story Pg. 4

MP VAMVAKINOU : AUSTRALIA & SAUDI FRIENDSHIP Full Story Pg. 5 www.saudiaustraliaonline.com

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e history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dates back to 1747, but the region’smodern history is closely linked to the Al Saud dynasty. Saudi Arabia’s stability is attributed to the single ruling dynasty that was formally established by King Adbulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud in 1932. e first Saudi state was established in 1747, when Mohammed bin Saud decided to form an alliance with Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul-Wahab, which was aimed at returning to the proper Islam. In 1824, the second Saudi state was established under the leadership of Imam Turki bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud who proceeded down the path of his forefathers. On September 23,1932, a new era began when King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud retook Riyadh and laid SAUDI ARABIA QUICK FACTS the foundation for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the basis Official name: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of the Holy Koran and Population: 27.6 million to 2 million Sunnah. Saudis, 5.6 million foreign nationals us, Saudi National Capital city: Riyadh Day is celebrated anNationality: Saudi(s). nually on this date. Currency: Saudi Riyal After the unification of Annual growth rate: 2.06percent. the country on the Ethnic groups: Arab(90percent of basis of Islam, King Abnativepop.),AfroAsian(10percent). dulaziz followed the Religion: Islam. same pattern Language: Arabic (official). in his country’s foreign Education: Literacy total = 78.8 % relations. He called Gender Ratio: Male 84.7 % for Arab cooperation Female 70.8% and Muslim solidarity

HRH. King Abdulaziz bin Saud and positively contributed to the establishment of the Arab league.e Kingdom also participated in the United Nations as a founding member. Moreover, King Abdulaziz had a say in regional and international events, while he also developed international relations with the world’s great powers. After the death of King Abdulaziz, his son, King Saud, followed in the footsteps of his great father. King Saud was then succeeded by his brother, King Faisal, in 1964 and during this era the Kingdom achieved major industrial growth. Aso under the rule of King Faisal, the Kingdom began to implement its ambitious fiveyear development plans. King Faisal died in 1975 and his brother, K i n g Khalid was inaugurated. e Kingdom steadily went ahead on the path of progress and development and King Khalid oversaw the second and the beginning of the third five-year development plan. (Continued Next Page)

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he Newsweek published a list of the top 10 most respected leaders around the world, and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was featured on the list as “e Reformer". e piece noted the many strides King Abdullah has made in opening Saudi Arabia to foreign investors, providing the best education for his citizens, eliminating extremists within his borders and opening the job market to women. Over the course of his five years as King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah has achieved a lot of firsts. In February 2009, King Abdullah appointed Norah Al-Fayez the Deputy Education Minister for Women's Education. is was the first time a woman was appointed a minister in the Kingdom. In addition, in September 2009, King Abdullah opened the first co-educational high education institution in the Kingdom, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). KAUST is the realization of King Abdullah's vision for an international graduate-level research university in the Middle East to act as a beacon of learning and understanding throughout the region. King Abdullah has stood firm against those who wish to harm the Kingdom and its allies. In 2005, King Abdullah launched the first-ever awareness campaign to reinforce the true values of the Islamic faith and to educate Saudi citizens about the dangers of extremism and terrorism. e campaign, conducted over several months, featured advertisements on television, radio and billboards, as well as programs on television, in schools, mosques and at sporting events.

In order to help bridge the gap between cultures and encourage dialogue, King Abdullah launched the Interfaith Dialogue Initiative in 2008. e initiative has brought together hundreds of religious and political leaders from throughout the world to unite behind the commonality of their faiths and cultures. In addition, King Abdullah initiated the Religious Education Program to educate imams (prayer leaders) and monitor mosques and religious education to eliminate extremism and intolerance. roughout his reign, King Abdullah has worked tirelessly to bring people from different cultures, religions, and backgrounds together. e King Abdullah Scholarship Program is an example of this. e program sends qualified Saudi students to colleges and universities around the world to learn, make friends and experience foreign cultures. e Saudi government has already offered scholarships to more than 60,000 students worldwide. (Continued from Page 2) King Fahd then succeeded King Khalid and did his best to accomplish further achievements, making historical steps to revise the Kingdom’s political system. Following the deathof King Fahd in July 2005, King Abdullah ascended to the throne, in line with the fifth article of the country’s basic rule system. Upon his inauguration, King Abdullah announced that he would follow in the footsteps of his father King Abdulaziz and his sons. He pledged to abide by the Holy Koran as the constitution of the country and to devote his time to enhancing the pillars of justice.

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A message from H.E Ambassador Hassan Nazer

O

n this cherished occasion of the 80th National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I am pleased to extend on behalf of the members of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia , culture attaché, Saudi students in Australia and on my own behalf, our deep congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, the Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, His Royal Highness Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Premier, and the noble people of Saudi Arabia. e National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represents crowning moment of the struggle led by the founding father Late King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al-Saud, who led his people in a long struggle that culminated in the birth of this great country which he named the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. King Abdul Aziz was able to unite the land of his ancestral rule into a single country which proudly hoists the flag of divine unity, serves the Two Holy Mosques, and building the Saudi society into a modern nation. At the National Day anniversary, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has attained an eminent place in the comity of nations in all fields, political, social, health, education and economical. e Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now one of the group of twenty world economic giants which has contribution in shaping the new form of the world financial and economic system.  In September 2009 we have witnessed the inauguration of King Abdullah University for science and technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. is international university of research at the higher studies level is an epoch-making scientific achievement of the Kingdom which will benefit the whole world. In order to help bridge the gap between cultures and encourage dialogue King Abdullah launched the Interfaith

Dialogue Initiative in 2008. e initiative has brought together hundreds of religious and political leaders from throughout the world to unite behind the commonality of their faiths and cultures. e significant increase “In the last few years the in Saudi Students studyrelationship between Saudi ing in Australia and Arabia and Australia has around the world continued to maintain a through recent years restrong and cordial relationflects the outstanding ship that grows day by day development which has in a positive way in building occurred in Saudi Arabia real partnerships between in all sectors, especially the two countries” in the field of higher edAmbassador Hassan Nazer ucation, which occupies an important and unique role in the academic development of the Kingdom. In the last few years the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Australia , has continued to maintain a strong and cordial relationship that grows day by day in a positive way in building real partnerships between the two countries and developing it in more than one field. I am very pleased to see the rapid growth in the numbers of Saudi students in Australia, which was only a few dozens in 2006 with a budget of not more than 50 million dollars, As these numbers increased reaching an amount of well over 12000 students in 2009, the yearly budget was also increased to a value of 500 million dollars. Also the numbers of Saudi and Australian local staff working in the Saudi Cultural mission has also grown from a five staff team a few years ago to more than 195 staff now.    I am personally pleased to witness the Australian government officials on all levels who are continuing to acknowledge the unique role of Saudi students in Australian societies and describing them "as unique and dynamic cultural bridge between the two countries”. (Continued Next Page)

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Federal Member for Calwell, Chair of the Saudi Australian Parliamentarian Friendship Committee

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t is with great pleasure that I acknowledge the twenty-third of September as Saudi National Day. e Australian Government has long enjoyed a healthy and positive relationship with Saudi Arabia and as we capitalise on the increasing trade, investment and cultural ties between our two nations, I am confident that it is a relationship which will continue to grow well into the future. As Chair of the Australia/Saudi Arabia Parliamentary Friendship Group, which hosts membership from both sides of politics here in Australia, I can reaffirm Australia’s ongoing commitment to our enduring partnership. is bond allows for mutual respect and an acceptance of each other’s values, beliefs and cultural diversity. Australia has long recognised that Saudi Arabia presents great opportunities from which to expand on our people-to-people ties, as well as build on our existing government-to-government links. As Chair of the Industry, Science and Innovation Committee, I recognise the importance of Saudi Arabia as a key partner for Australia’s manufacturing industry, and it is my understanding that across the many roads and highways throughout Saudi Arabia, it is Australian cars which can often be seen. In acknowledging the various stages of reform and development in Saudi Arabia, Australia’s relationship with the Kingdom is one which is built on mutual respect, and the understanding of common strategic interests. As a Federal Member of Parliament and in my capacity as both Chair of Australia/Saudi Arabia Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Industry, Science and Innovation Committee, I look forward to working closely with representatives of the Saudi Government in further expanding our relations through a variety of cultural, economic and educational programmes, as well as cooperating across all levels of society. I welcome the many thousands of students from Saudi Arabia studying in our universities. ese students are future cultural am-

bassadors and serve as a source of first-rate intellectual capital for our respective education institutions, as well as for our two countries as a whole. e presence of students from Saudi Arabia in our universities adds to the learning experience shared by our local students. e presence of your Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Hassan Talat Nazer, will allow us to continue this partnership, and his presence here in Australia is testimony to a fruitful relationship. I look forward to engaging with our Saudi Arabian friends, with whom I envisage we will maintain harmonious interactions well into the future, InshAllah.

MP Maria Vamvakinou of the Saudi Friendship Association with Saudi Trade Minister Dr Khaled Al Anqari (Continued from Page 4) Likewise the balance of the trade exchange between the two countries showed a huge increase in the last few years and there is a true desire to sign up a free trade partnership between Australia and the Gulf Cooperation Council whose job is to increase trade exchange and economic relationships between the two sides, also to increase education, academic training, preparation of teachers and much more of other positive projects.

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“ The decision of the international heritage committee for registering UNESCO’s to list Turaif District in Al-Diriya historical region of Riyadh as a world heritage site, reflects the Kingdom’s position as a center of civilization replete with historical and heritage sites of high value,” The Cabinet

Registration of Turaif Quarter of the Historic Al Dir’iya in the World Heritage List has created a great interest in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and confirmed the historical importance of the Arabian Peninsula as the home of ancient civilizations. Turaif Quarter is the second Saudi heritage site to join World Heritage List after Madain Saleh, the archeological site, which had joined the list two years ago. Registering Al Dir’iya in World Heritage List is not surprising as the region during its different historic periods had witnessed important humanitarian events. Al Dir’iya was a leading station along the trading route linking the east of the Arabian Peninsula to its west, besides it was controlling the pilgrimage road up to Makkah. It was also controlling a number of villages along the Wadi Hanifa valley and its influence was felt up to Darma in the western side of the Twaiq Mountain and Aba Al Kabash to the north. Al Dir’iya is an oasis located on the bank of Wadi Hanifa in the outskirts of Riyadh. It is located specifically on the curve of Wadi Hanifa. Its traditional name was Al Awja, the previous name of the Al Dir’iya. It had attracted urban settlement since ancient times. Set out in a region with beautiful natural views, rich fertile soil, and water streams featuring stunning landscape all strongly linked to inhabitant’s cultural experience with regard to human settlement,

architecture and development. e cultural attainment of the region is manifested in its residential buildings, irrigation systems, canals, tunnels, the surrounding agricultural villages and its unique geographic environment. e name Al Dir’iya is attributed to its inhabitants and the early settlers. It was believed to be derived from the name Al Doroa Hissan “Shield Fortress”. Al Doroa is a tribe that had settled in Wadi Hanifa and ruled Hajr and Al Jaza areas for a long time. “Bin Deri”, one of its rulers had a cousin named Mani Al Maredi, who hailed from a tribe of Marda and lived in the land on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, to settle in Wadi Hanifa. On August 13, 2006, a Royal Decree, No. m/5455 was issued according to which SCTA was assigned to work for registering Al Turaif Quarter in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. On October 16, 2006, SCTA submitted the site of Al Turaif within the initial list of sites which had been scheduled to be registered in the World Heritage List. SCTA submitted the site’s nomination file and management plan which were developed in accordance with the requirements of the World Heritage List. On July 31, 2010, Al Turaif Quarter of Al Dir’iya municipality was registered with the World Heritage List. Al Dir’iya was an important station along the trade route which linked the west of the Arabian Peninsula to its east, as well as it was controlling the pilgrimage road up to Makkah. It also controlled a number of villages along the Wadi Hanifa and its influence was felt up to Darmain in the western side of Twaiq Mountain and Aba Al Kabash to the north of Al Dir’iya.

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e giant clock of Makkah is all set to tick home a new time standard, as some scholars believe that it will be an ideal alternative to the Greenwich Mean Time. Many scholars are of the opinion that Makkah Time can provide the world an alternative to the GMT. ese people have scientific arguments to back their contention, as Makkah is situated in the center of the world. At a conference in Doha in 2008, Muslim clerics and scholars presented “scientific” arguments that Makkah time is the true global meridian. ey said that Makkah is the center of the world. “Putting Makkah time in the face of Greenwich Mean Time, this is the goal,” said Mohammed AlArkubi, general manager of Royal Makkah Tower Hotel. e Royal Clock is sitting atop the central tower in the Abraj Al-Bait Project, 50 meters opposite the Grand Mosque in Makkah. e clock will be visible from 17 km away at night and 11 to 12 km away during the day. e tower featuring the world’s

largest clock also includes a Lunar Observation Center and an Islamic Museum. While the Royal Clock will announce daily prayers, the Lunar Observation Center and Islamic Museum will serve to protect the heritage for future generations. e observatory will also be used to sight the moon during the holy months. On special occasions, 16 bands of vertical lights will shoot some 10 km up into the sky. e clock is placed on the fifth tower of the King Abdul Aziz Endowment Project at a height of 380 meters and could be seen from all sides. e Makkah Clock Tower when completed will be the tallest of its kind in the world

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audi Arabia has distributed 1,000 truckloads of relief supplies and also SR300 million to the Pakistani flood victims. e relief is being arranged on the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, it said, adding that Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif would supervise the program. During the two-month-long relief program, trucks will carry foodstuffs such as rice, flour, cooking oil and milk, beans and lentils, the statement added.In the first phase, 80 trucks will go to the floodaffected areas of Punjab and Kashmir. About 8,000 families in Punjab will receive 160 tons of flour, 40 tons of rice, 40 tons of lentils, worst-ever natural disaster in terms of the amount of 16 tons of milk and 40,000 liters of cooking oil. King Abdullah had earlier ordered a nationwide fundraising cam- damage and the number of people affected, with more paign to support Pakistan's flood victims, which raised more than than six million people have been forced from their SR400 million. Eight Saudi planes arrived in Islamabad carrying homes, about 1,600 people have been killed, billions of dollars in damage to homes, infrastructure and the vital medical equipment for a field hospital. Dr. Saeed Al-Orabi, Adviser to Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Sec- agriculture sector. ond Deputy Premier, Minister of Interior and head of the relief campaign, said the campaign is a continuation of the Saudi Arabia officials deliver truckloads of relief to Pakistan Kingdom’s efforts to help those afflicted by disasters around the world. Lauding the role of the Kingdom in the ongoing relief efforts, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani said King Abdullah’s initiative for organizing a campaign for the flooddevastated country will help alleviate the suffering of flood victims. Gilani said that all efforts would be made to ensure transparency in the relief efforts so that the aid can reach the deserving. e flood Pakistan is experiencing has been the nation’s

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42- SA Bulletin September 2010 Issue 42  

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