National Day message of Amb. Ahmad Al Barrk of Saudi Arabia
Successors of HM Founder King make
remarkable achievements in all fields
The following are details of the congratulatory message of Ambassador Ahmad Al Barrak of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Seoul issued on the occasion of the 83rd National Day of his country.--Ed.
This year’s anniversary of the National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia comes at a time when the comprehensive development renaissance, based on the foundation laid by the Founder His Majesty King Abdulaziz Bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud, continues apace. Building on the intellectual, institutional, and management foundations established by the Founder King, and guided by his ideas and practices in development planning and economic management, the sons and successors of the Founding King have continued the efforts that led to the remarkable achievements and successes in all fields, which has been reflected in the continued rise of living standards, improvements in quality of life, comprehensive construction and industrial renaissance, as well as the advanced economic and social services throughout the country. These achievements are the clear testimony on the effectiveness of the developmental approach that has been adopted by the Kingdom; an approach that combines scientific planning, targeted rationalization, and continued support for private sector within the framework of economic freedom and individual initiative.
Over more than three decades, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has achieved remarkable advances in its structural and socioeconomic fields, both at the macro and micro levels. The Saudi Arabian economy has now gained enormous strength and has increased its ability to well adapt to the changes and embrace developments, capable of withstanding global economic fluctuations.
Thanks to the modernization of institution and administration as well as the development and facilitation of regulations and procedures, the Kingdom has witnessed a significant improvement in its business environment and, thereby, enhanced its attractiveness to foreign investors. The volume of the foreign direct investment in Saudi Arabia has increased markedly, placing the country at the forefront of the most attractive investment destination in the Middle East.
Focusing first on the people of Saudi Arabia as the ultimate goal of the country’s development, the human resources policy has gained great importance and has been in accord with the Kingdom's renaissance in its comprehensive development. As a result, education and training have grown to the unprecedented level, owing to the keenness of the Government to provide all the requirements needed for human resource development. Special attention and extensive interests on the health of citizens have been coincided with the attention to education and training.
Remarkably, when the development process of the Kingdom is examined, there, indeed, are clear similarities in some important aspects between the early days of Saudi Arabia-in the reign of the Founder King-and the current period. The Founder King adopted modern methods for developing agriculture and water resources, management of oil exploration, building transportation and communication networks, provision of educational services and healthcare, and building the institutions of the country with national and foreign expertise while dispatching Saudis abroad to be specialized in various fields. Following the footsteps of the Founder King, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been, and is, eager to expand the use of science and technology in all productive and service fields, and to transfer knowledge and advanced technology, through trade and foreign direct investment, as well as experts and specialists from advanced countries. There are an increasing number of Saudis sent overseas on scholarships to acquire modern knowledge and expertise. In furtherance of this trend, the Kingdom has made great strides and has begun to move towards carrying out mega-projects, in its quest to lay the foundations of a knowledge economy and an information society.
More than fifty years have passed since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea in 1962. Since then, the relations between the two countries are witnessing a qualitative leap and amazing developments that have extended to all fields; political, economic, cultural, educational, military, health and others. Such developments are responsive to the policies and principles stipulated in mutual agreements, talks, and mutual visits by officials from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea. Such efforts made the two countries’ relations one of the most important international relations within half a century. The mutual relations have been characterized by sincerity, honesty and commitment to all that have been agreed upon, without seeing problems or misunderstanding when carrying out these promises and agreements.
With the establishment of the Saudi-Korea diplomatic ties in 1962, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia opened in 1974 in Seoul as the first Arab Embassy in Korea. The Saudi-Korea bilateral relations in the early stages had witnessed a number of achievements, with the participation of Korean experts and manpower in the Kingdom to modernize its infrastructure, mainly with implementation of various projects for roads, public buildings, water desalination, power generation, information technology and many others. This was, indeed, quite enough to make Korea more qualified- thanks to its companies, experts, and well trained manpower-and thereby to win a significant share of large-scale projects carried out in the Kingdom. It also paved the way to conclude more deals between the two countries to carry out such projects, based on the needs of the Kingdom and the requirements of its development. In other words, the Saudi-Korean relations has been “ full of singularity”, as has been described by His Excellency Former President Lee Myung-bak during a meeting with Saudi businessmen last year in Riyadh.
Recent economic and trade data well confirm that the size of trade between the Kingdom and Korea has reached fifty billion dollars for the year 2012. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest trading partner to the Republic of Korea, while Korea is Saudi’s fifth largest one. There are more than 129 joint projects, where the Kingdom has recorded the highest rate for contracts for construction projects with the value of 119 billion USD till May 2013.
Those who review the economies as well as the potentials and the global economic status of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea will not be surprised at the solid Saudi-Korean partnership of over a half a century, and their capability to create a productive environment as witnessed by mutual cooperation between the two countries, and how they became the members of G20, the group of the richest economies in the world. The friendship between the two countries, the similarities in policies and chances of the two countries’ available integration enabled both governments to draw a road map of their bilateral relations with specifications appropriate for both sides, and help in making a larger stage of distinguished partnership by enhancing the yearly value added of such relationship.
A number of agreements and committees- mainly, the Saudi-Korea Joint Committee-that connect both countries assure the two countries to build a genuine partnership that does not exclude any activities, which leads the bilateral cooperation that is comprehensive and responsive to the interest of the peoples of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea.
The bilateral relations in the political domain have also witnessed similarities in views regarding their positions towards the global issues and developments over the last 50 years.
Such achievements shows the assurance and the willingness of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea to sustain and support such relationship with the desire of sides to develop mutual relations in line with the principle of mutual benefits, interests, and common policies that combine both countries.
Introduction of the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2,250,000 km square
13 provinces; Al Bahah, Al Hudud ash Shamaliyah, Al Jawf, Al Madinah, Al Qasim, Ar Riyad, Ash Sharqiyah (Eastern Province), 'Asir, Ha'il, Jizan, Makkah, Najran, Tabuk
Main Natural resources:
Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper
Islam is the official religion
23 September 1932 (unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Riyadh is the meeting place for the nation and the capital of the Kingdom. It is characterized by its geographical location since it is located in the central part of the Kingdom. It is home for the government and all governmental divisions and major companies as well as foreign embassies in the Kingdom.
Riyadh encompasses the biggest universities and scientific institutes, and is characterized by the hundreds of entertainment centers and historical sites scattered within the area.
Riyadh unites between modernity and the past by high modern buildings and architecturally unique constructions.
A high quality infrastructure is found in a large number of its quarters. A circular network of roads is available which links the whole city together along with highways that link it to the rest of the areas. A huge airport is located to the north east of Riyadh.
Riyadh hosts the most important of Gulf, Arab and International conferences on a regular basis. Hundreds of exhibitions and conferences known internationally are also held there, such as:
-Medical Conferences: (ophthalmology, dental, and medical equipment)
-International Book fair
-International motor show
Riyadh includes a host of prominent shopping malls where the best international brands are available. Al Olia Street and Al Tahila Street are considered among the most important locations where high class restaurants and boutiques are found. Numerous luxurious compounds are found along King Fahd Street such as Kingdom Commercial Center and Al Faisalya Commercial Center which include a group of international class restaurants. Popular markets are also found in Al Zil market where visitors can see the history. Visitors can shop as much as they like, for there are a lot of commercial activities that sell and manufacture traditional products such as swords, antiques and carpets.
Historical Sites & Sightseeing Places in Saudi Arabia
In 2008, the Archaeological Site of Al-Hijr (Madain Salih) was enlisted to the UNESCO’s list of the world cultural heritage as the first UNESCO’s World Heritage property to be inscribed in Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as Hegra it is the largest conserved site of the civilization of the Nabataeans south of Petra in Jordan. It features well-preserved monumental tombs with decorated facades dating from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. The site also features some 50 inscriptions of the pre-Nabataean period and some cave drawings. Al-Hijr bears a unique testimony to Nabataean civilization. With its 111 monumental tombs, 94 of which are decorated, and water wells, the site is an outstanding example of the Nabataeans’ architectural accomplishment and hydraulic expertise.
Mosque in Mecca
As the city of Mecca is the holiest place in the entire Muslim world, Saudi Arabia is no stranger to travelers. For thousands of years, pilgrims have flocked to the country to worship at the Grand Mosque and the Kabaa shrine. The city, in the West of the country, welcomes some two million Muslims a year, who come as part of the Hajj pilgrimage, which makes up one of the five pillars of Islam.
Al-Masmak was the starting point for King Abdul Aziz to recover the capital of his grandfathers. The palace was renovated and transformed into a public museum. The word "Masmak" means thick, high inaccessible building, and this is applicable to Al-Masmak, which is a strong square fortress with high towers of thick walls. Al Masmak was used for a long time as arsenal before transformed to museum.
The Gate is on the western side of the palace and made of palm date and tamarisk wood. At the middle of the gate there is small door, which passes only two persons at a time. The door till now bears the scratch of the broken spear of King Abdul Aziz when attacking the palace.
The Mosque is to the left side when entering the palace. The Mosque is a multi pillar big room with wall racks for Quran, Miharab and ventilation openings in ceiling and walls.
The Court is opposite to face when entering the palace. It is a rectangular hall with a kitchen for coffee making.
The Well is in the northeastern side of the palace. Water was withdrawn with special mechanism installed at the well opening.
At towers at each corner of the palace there is one 18 m high cylindrical tower with stair and two wooden ladder for climbing. Wall of towers is 1.25 m thick and in each lower there are special places for shooting. Also there is a square tower at the center of the palace called ‘Al Morabaa’ with upper terrace overlooking the main courtyard. The courtyard is surrounded by rooms, which connected with each other from inside and have stairs leading to the first floor and roof.
The fist floor comprises of rooms overlooking the main palace courtyard, and some of these rooms were used for residential purpose. Now the whole palace is a museum and ready to receive all those who are interested in history.
The museum consists of one hall, which contains pictures, maps, maquette and other old tools. Also shown in this hall is a map of Riyadh wall with its gates, a map of King Abdulaziz military campaigns and some of the old weapons.
National Museum of Saudi Arabia
The National Museum of Saudi Arabia is another top attraction. It is set in the sweeping grounds of the King Abdul Aziz Historical Area. It provides an extraordinary introduction to all aspects of the Kingdom's natural, religious, historical and social heritage. The museums vast displays draw on various national resources, the most impressive of which is the Riyadh Museum for History and Archaeology. It occupies 28,000sqm of floor space and consists of eight main display halls which provide an epochal sweep of Arabian history. The museum uses state-of-the-art interactive technology, including small-screen cinemas and audio commentaries in Arabic and English, all of which makes it suitable for both children and adults alike. k
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