The Hague, the international city of peace and justice, witnessed on September 23 an animated celebration of Saudi Arabia’s 93rd National Day. This remarkable event was orchestrated by His Excellency Mr. Ziad Al Atiyah, the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the Netherlands. The festivities attracted an illustrious gathering, including Dutch officials, ambassadors from brotherly and friendly nations, members of the diplomatic corps, and secretaries-general of international organizations. The occasion not only commemorated Saudi Arabia’s rich history and culture but also underscored the burgeoning bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands.
Ambassador Al Atiyah, in his opening address, extended heartfelt congratulations on behalf of himself, his colleagues, and the Saudi citizens residing in the Netherlands to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, as well as to the Saudi people.
One of the key highlights of the ambassador’s speech was the thriving bilateral interactions between Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands. Over the past year, the two nations have witnessed substantial growth in cooperation across various sectors. This includes high-level ministerial visits, engagements with prominent officials, and the signing of agreements and Memorandums of Understanding, particularly in the domains of energy and port management.
However, beyond economic and political ties, Ambassador Al Atiyah emphasized the significance of academic cooperation. A notable example is the partnership between Radboud University Nijmegen and the Saudi Heritage Authority. This collaboration focuses on the study of historical water resources, particularly the Canal of Ain Zubaida, known in Arabic as ‘Ain Zubaida. This ancient aqueduct, dating back to the early Abbasid era, was completed in 801 CE with the primary purpose of supplying water to the city of Mecca. It represents a fascinating engineering feat, with parts of it constructed as a qanat, an underground water channel.
The ambassador’s words resonated with the audience as he highlighted the importance of preserving such cultural and historical landmarks. The cultural exchange between Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands, particularly in the realm of academia, enriches both nations by fostering an appreciation for shared history and heritage.
Ambassador Al Atiyah concluded his address by extending an invitation to the guests to partake in a visual presentation. This presentation showcased the collaborative efforts between the two nations in studying for Ain Zubaydah. The Saudi Heritage Authority’s tireless endeavors to preserve the historical importance of this aqueduct were on full display, highlighting the enduring commitment to safeguarding the cultural legacy of Saudi Arabia.
The celebration of Saudi Arabia’s 93rd National Day in The Hague served as a testament to the growing partnership between Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands. It emphasized the shared commitment to fostering cooperation in various fields, from economics to academia, and underscored the value placed on preserving cultural heritage. The event not only celebrated the Kingdom’s rich history but also heralded a promising future of continued collaboration between these two nations.