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SEPTEMBER 2011 ISSUE 49 VOL 6

September 2011 Issue 49 Vol 6

www.saudiaustraliaonline.com


ISSUE 49 SEPT 2011

PAGE 2 SAUDI AUSTRALIA BULLETIN

The 81th Saudi National Day It is an occasion to celebrate the Saudi’s achievements as well as its heritage and culture. The achievements are almost too numerous to mention but at the forefront is education. Its towering importance in Saudi thinking cannot be overstated and is seen in the fact that education accounts for a quarter of budget spending. A massive $37 billion, was allocated for education and training in the year 2010. Few other countries in the world, certainly none with the same population size, are spending so massively that the next generation, women as well as men, can have the skills and the knowledge that will be needed for the country’s future growth — a growth that will not always be oil-based. During the king Abdullah rule, 24 government and nine private universities have been established. They provided higher education to some 1 million men and women and employed a teaching staff of 33,000 in 2009-2010. The king also established 34,000 schools for five million students. This investment, which stems directly from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s personal vision of a Saudi Arabia that is as high-tech, high-skilled as any developed economy, is so widespread that it is perhaps beyond most observers’ comprehension. New universities, new colleges, new schools and new facilities are springing up all over the country, but seeing them all and appreciating the scale and speed of the development is virtually an impossibility. It was the king’s realization that advancement in the science and technology is the key to the country’s real progress that resulted in the founding of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology . Another step the king took in the direction of transforming the Kingdom into a knowledge-based society was to send a large number of students abroad for higher studies. As many

as 80,000 men and women have been sent to more than 25 countries including Australia under the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Foreign Scholarships. The Kingdom, again at the personal direction of the king Abdullah , has taken a leading role in promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue. Learning to live with each other and respect each other’s beliefs is an absolute priority in a world that seems to be increasingly bigoted and inward looking. The furor over the proposed mosque and Islamic cultural center near New York’s Ground Zero provides stark evidence of that but no faith community is without its bigots and there are Muslims who fit into that mold just as there are Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others. The barrier has to be broken down and helping that happen is no mean achievement. Heritage is another crowning development. For too long, the world — and Saudis — has seen the country as a land with a great future but no past. This year’s remarkable exhibition in Paris of treasures from the Kingdom brings an end to the stereotype. It shows that Saudi Arabia is a land with a rich

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history that has been a crossroads of civilizations for millennia. That is definitely something to celebrate. The king’s move to forge an industrial strategy with the aim of making industry as the leading source of revenue for the Kingdom by 2020. the accession of the Kingdom to the World Trade Organization a vital move for the rapid development of the Kingdom’s economy. The king participated in the G20 Summit in Washington in November 2008 to discuss solutions to the global financial crisis. The Kingdom has been awarded Prize of Merit from the World Bank in recognition of the steps taken recently in the area of economic reforms. The Kingdom also figures in the list of the top 10 countries that have undertaken economic reforms. In June 2008 the king opened the Jeddah Energy Conference in which 36 producing and consuming countries participated. King Abdullah announced the allocation of $500 million in

soft loans through Saudi Development Fund for financing projects in developing countries. The Kingdom’s budget totaled SR540 billion in the fiscal year 2010, the largest in the Kingdom’ history. In 2009, the king launched many vital industrial projects. While the new projects in Jubail Industrial City were worth more than SR54 billion, Yanbu Industrial City received investments totaling SR 45 billion. With the aim of finding a solution to the acute water shortage in the country, the king approved the establishment of integrated projects for water desalination and electricity generation with a capacity of 550,000 cubic meters of water and 1700MW of electricity at a cost of SR10 billion. In his quest for clean energy for the country, the king issued an order to establish the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE). In 2009, king was awarded ‘’Prize of World Champion in the Battle Against Hunger in 2008’’ in recognition of his support for UN humanitarian programs and his donation to World Food Program. including the expansion of the Jamrat Bridge aimed at the safety of the pilgrims. The King Abdullah’s primary concern was the development of the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. The Kingdom has spent more than SR70 billion for the development of the two holy cities in Makkah and Madinah in recent years. “The most notable of the king’s service to the Haram was the expansion of the Masaa (the running space between Safa and Marwah) to four floors at a total cost of more than SR3 billion so that pilgrims can perform the Haj rites comfortably,”. Besides the expansion work of the courtyard of the Grand Mosque, he referred to the huge expansion work, including the installation of 182 giant umbrellas, being undertaken at the Prophet’s Mosque.

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On the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I wish to convey to His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, his Government and the people of Saudi Arabia, my warmest wishes, together with those of the Australian Government and people.

Prime Minister Gillard with Dr Khaled Al Anqari June 2010

Australia greatly values its friendly and cooperative relationship with Saudi Arabia, underpinned by our shared commitment to peace, stability and development in the Middle East. Australia welcomes Saudi Arabia’s leadership role and significant contributions in the Middle East region and broader Islamic world. The Australian Government is strongly committed to working with Saudi Arabia in the year ahead both bilaterally and through the multilateral system. I am very pleased by the growing number of Saudi students in Australia. There are currently over 9,000 Saudi students enrolled in Australian educational institutions. These students play an important role in strengthening the people-to-people links that underpin our bilateral relationship and help promote inter-faith dialogue and cross-cultural understanding. May I express my confidence that the close relations existing between our two countries will continue to prosper in the coming year. The Hon. Julia Gillard MP Prime Minister of Australia

Prime Minister Gillard with Ambassador Nazer June 2010 “ I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Prime Minster of Australia Hon Julia Gillard, the Australian officials and people of Australia for providing kind messages and wishes to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the occasion of 81st National Day which reflect the growing, positive and encouraging development in the relationship between the two countries on all levels .“ H.E Hassan Nazer

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On this cherished occasion of the 81ST 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 New Zealand 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. Also I would like to expressed my sincere thanks to the Prime Minster of Australia Hon Julia Gillard ,the Australian officials and people of Australia for providing kind messages and wishes to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the occasion of 81th National Day which reflect the growing, positive and encouraging development in the relationship between the two countries on all levels . The 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. The 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. The Saudi Students studying in Australia and around the world through recent years reflectsthe outstanding development which has occurred in Saudi Arabia in all sectors, es-

pecially in the field of higher education, 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 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”. 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. H.E Hassan Nazer Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Australia

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“I wish to convey to the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia my warmest wishes on the occasion of your National Day. Australia values greatly the strength and breadth of our relationship with Saudi Arabia. This partnership is underpinned by a shared commitment to fostering peace, security and economic progress in the Middle East and beyond. It also enjoys substantial economic and people-to-people links. Saudi Arabia, for example, is the largest importer of Australian passenger motor vehicles and the world’s largest oil exporter. We are fellow members of the G20. Our education ties are strong, with over 9,000 Saudi students enrolled in Australian tertiary institutions. Australia also values the major contributions that Saudi Arabia makes to regional and multilateral forums on the many issues of shared interest between our countries. Australia is committed to strengthening our relations with the Muslim world, and sees Saudi Arabia as an important partner in this regard. Over 400,000 Muslims from across the globe have made Australia their home. The contribution of this community to the economic and social fabric of Australia is valued and enduring. This year the Australian Government appointed its first Special Envoy to the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, which is headquartered in Jeddah. It is my sincere wish that the warm and friendly relations between our two countries will continue to prosper in the years to come. I wish you all a safe and joyous celebration on this special day.

The Honourable Kevin Rudd MP Minister for Foreign Affairs Australia

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reflects our ongoing interest in a bipartisan expression of respect and acceptance of each other’s values, beliefs and cultural diversity. This is also an opportunity to acknowledge the wealth of academic acumen Australia nurtures from the large contingent of students from Saudi Arabia enrolled in our academic institutions. No doubt the benefits of this engagement have informed the cross-cultural experience of our tertiary sector. And it is my belief that the positive experience of students across both countries will continue to benefit us all well into the future as the knowledge base achieved filters into our trade and technology portfolios. With growing numbers of tourists from Saudi Arabia, the Arab-Australian partnership as well as diplomatic and official visits beAustralia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia tween the nations has also furthered have a warm and constructive relationship our cultural appreciation. The growbased on our shared interest in fostering and ing number of Australian citizens taking up employment opportunimaintaining peace and stability. We recognise the valuable role played by Sau- ties in Saudi Arabia is also a reflection of the goodwill and cooperation di Arabia as a leader in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is an important export market for our countries continue to share. Australian products including motor vehicles Overall, celebration of Saudi National Day represents a fitting occaand agricultural produce. Each year, Australia welcomes thousands of sion to reflect upon the success story that is our bilateral relationship. Saudi Arabian students to study at our schools While the gains we have each made and universities, while tourism is also increasare numerous, achieving these at a ing. I wish the people of Saudi Arabia well for time of comparative global unrest in celebrations this year of National Day. much of the world is testimony to Hon. Julie Bishop MP our shared vision for harmony, security and prosperity, InshAlllah.

I am delighted to once again offer my best wishes for this forthcoming 23rd of September, celebrating Saudi National Day. On behalf of the Australian government, I take this opportunity to affirm our longstanding relationship with Saudi Arabia, particularly in the fields of education, trade, investment and cultural capital. Saudi Arabia continues to enjoy a continued expansion of an export market with Australia, chiefly in regard to automobiles, agricultural and dairy products. And similarly, Australia has in turn maintained its continued partnership in our import of oil and oil based products from Saudi Arabia. The ongoing development of the Council for Australian Arab Relations established in 2003 by the Australian government

The Hon Julie Bishop MP

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SAUDI ARABIA RAISES

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz patronized the stone-laying ceremony on August 19 for the expansion project at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. The plans involve construction on the northern part of the facility and will cover approximately 400,000 square meters. Once the work is complete, the Grand Mosque will be able to accommodate more than 1.2 million worshippers. The current expansion of the Grand Mosque, which will cost an estimated $10.67 billion, will be the biggest in the history of the Kingdom. The project was undertaken to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims and visitors who come to the holy site from around the globe. After laying the foundation stone at the Holy Mosque, King Abdullah was briefed on a number of other development projects at the holy sites. These included the expansion of the Masaa (passage between Safa Mount and Marwa Mount), the Development Project of the Yards of the Prophet’s Mosque of Madinah; the AlMashaer Train and Jamarat Bridge Projects; the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project; and the Makkah Watch Project. The King also inaugurated the Makkah Clock Tower, the highest structure of its kind in the world.

$54 MILLION FOR SOMALIA The Saudi National Campaign for the Relief of the Somali People announced that it has raised $54 million in relief funding for the people suffering from famine in Somalia. In addition to financial assistance, donations including food, shelter materials and medical supplies have been distributed to the people of Somalia. “The Kingdom’s contribution to alleviate the suffering of the Somali people is in accordance with its pledge to help those in need around the world,” said Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir. “We hope that the people affected by the famine in Somalia will be able to overcome this tragedy.” The assistance campaign was initiated by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz who urged all Saudis to donate generously to the Somali people. The relief funds will be distributed by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and, according to the organization, donations will be used to feed Somali children suffering from malnutrition. In July, Saudi Arabia pledged $50 million in emergency humanitarian assistance for Somali refugees to be used for food supplies in cooperation with the World Food Program (WFP) and $10 million in medicine and vaccinations in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). Saudi Arabia is a valued partner of the World Food Programme and has donated more than $600 million to the United Nations food agency during the past five years. On August 17, the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) pledged $350 million for a Somalia anti-starvation program.

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