CUSTODIAN of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah was admitted to a hospital and had a successful back surgery last week. A deluge of congratulatory messages poured in from across the world after the king’s successful surgery. It also spurred the social media activities. The well-wishers belonged to different sections of the society and were from every corner of the globe, particularly Muslim countries.
Eloquent poems posted on social media outlets mirrored the genuine feelings of the participants toward the king. Poetry is one of the highest artistic forms that requires a certain level of mental maturity to understand and appreciate. The response of other participants to those poems showed how extremely they were touched by them. One wonders at the outpouring of emotions that came from poets based in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.
Most agree that the bedrock of love is affection and care. King Abdullah cares about the citizens and all Muslims. So, in return people reciprocate with true love.
Millions of Muslims still view a video posted on one of the social media outlets that shows a spontaneous conversation between King Abdullah and his teacher Essa Al-Dahbagh. He said to Al-Dahbagh, “Should I tell what you did to me, or I shouldn’t.” He turned to the attending audience and said, “He hit me.” The teacher replied in a folk proverb, “Hitting (disciplining) a loved one is like eating dry grapes.” That spontaneous short conversation shows that King Abdullah is in touch with the people disregarding the confining restrictions of the formal protocol.
King Abdullah’s care for the citizens and Muslims around the world is demonstrated practically by his actions rather than rhetoric. He has initiated several projects aimed at the wellbeing of Saudis focusing on education and health care, and also strengthening social harmony among them.
Education is the fundamental foundation for a progressive and prosperous society. Health care, on the other hand, sustains the physical and psychological health of the society. King Abdullah initiated a massive education program that covers both genders and all levels and areas of education.
The scholarship program covers foreign and local universities. The number of students at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as their dependents has reached more than 257,000, with over 90,000 studying in US universities. Female students account for more than 30 percent of the total number of students. Moreover, the Saudi government has pledged to spend by 2014 a total of $ 400 billion on education, health care and other infrastructural projects.
On the directive of King Abdullah, King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue was set up to strengthen channels of communication and dialogue between Saudi citizens and the different elements and institutions of Saudi society. It also aims to sort out domestic issues and religious differences.
Furthermore, Muslims around the world are benefited by the projects initiated by King Abdullah. The king has called for the establishment of the Arab common market, which — God willing — would be in place by 2017. In addition, universities, schools, hospitals and housing units are built across the Muslim world on the orders of the king.
He also orders economic and social aids to Muslim and non-Muslim countries hit by natural disasters. One example is the Saudi government’s generous donation to the United Nations World Food Program.
Hence, the outpouring of emotions of love and good wishes are only a spontaneous response to the practical care and affection shown by King Abdullah. May Allah bless him with continuous health.