December 16, 2011

SAUDI ARABIA: King Abdullah, 87, Honored with Parenthood Award

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia / Arab News / December 16, 2011

On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Saudi Ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Kattan, right, receives on Thursday the Arabian Parenthood Award from United Nations Ambassador for Humanitarian Services Elham Harasani in Cairo. (SPA)

CAIRO: The children of the Arab world have awarded Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah the Arabian Parenthood Award in appreciation of the king’s pioneering role in building a new generation that loves peace and virtue in the Arab world.

On behalf of King Abdullah, Saudi Ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Kattan received the award from United Nations Ambassador for Humanitarian Services Elham Harasani at a function organized by the Arab League in Cairo on Thursday.

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, former Egyptian President Essam Sharaf and former Premier Ali Lutfi were also present at the occasion, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Elarabi commended Saudi Arabia’s role under the leadership of King Abdullah in spreading the ties of family affinity in the Arab world, which, in turn, has served as the basis for social awakening and progress.

“King Abdullah has been supporting comprehensive developmental plans covering family, education, culture and information, which resulted in higher levels of living and prosperity for the Arab and Saudi people,” Elarabi said.

The secretary-general also noted with appreciation the Saudi plan to host a Social, Economic and Developmental Summit in Riyadh in 2013.

Speaking after receiving the award, Ambassador Kattan said it was an honor for him to receive the award on behalf of the king from the children of the Arab countries.

“The award is an expression of the love and appreciation of all people in various parts of the world for King Abdullah’s kind and just deeds and policies stressing nonviolence and peace everywhere,” Kattan said in his speech.

The Saudi ambassador also highlighted the remarkable achievements of the king in spreading the spirit of peace including the launch of the interfaith dialogue on a global level.

The Kingdom under the leadership of King Abdullah donated $1 billion to support global efforts to root out illiteracy and provide compulsory primary education for all children by 2015, the ambassador said.

Saudi Arabia also allocated $500 million in loan assistance for educational projects in developing and less developed countries, Kattan said.

He added the king also allocated $500 million to lighten the burden of rising fuel prices in poor countries and $1 billion to support developmental projects in developing countries.

While the Kingdom allocated $500 million to the World Food Program, it waived debts worth $6 billion from poor countries, a move far ahead of international efforts to make similar concessions.

The ambassador also outlined the king’s efforts to achieve greater social progress with better school curricula and higher spending on general and higher education besides the development of hospitals and health care centers across the Kingdom.

© 2010 Arab News
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