RIYADH: Sri Lanka’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia Packeer M Amsa has commended and congratulated Arab News, for publishing the first ever Christmas edition in Saudi Arabia.
The Riyadh-based regional leading English-language daily, has put out a special Christmas edition,on Sunday, December 25, making it the first time ever a Saudi newspaper to ever do so.
Ambassador Amsa told Colombo Times that he was delighted to see this first-ever edition which amply displays the broader vision of the Kingdom in catering to people of all faiths irrespective of any differences. Saudi Arabia is home to millions of expatriates of all faiths.
“While of course this is not a new tradition in most countries around the world, it is a first in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the ancient proverb does say: better late than never” wrote Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas.
“In fact, this symbolic edition — as simple of an idea it is — couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the remarkable reforms the kingdom has been living under our leadership which has clearly ushered in a new era of more religious tolerance and coexistence,” he added vowing to make the special supplement an annual tradition.
The special edition also features a range of features that look into how the Christmas spirit is embodied within the Kingdom’s wide ranging social transformation. The features detail how the occasion was frowned upon and celebrated in secret in the past, and how this festivity has now been tolerated and respected
While Saudi Arabia does not officially celebrate Christmas, cafes have now been offering Christmas dinners and brunches, while hotels are offering private catering to expat households.