P.K. Abdul Ghafour
IN a heart-warming gesture rarely witnessed, a Saudi businessman in Buraidah celebrated the wedding of his Indonesian driver and, what is more, handed over the keys of his personal car to the groom as a wedding gift that has been applauded by Saudis and expats alike.
Rashid Al-Shallash, the businessman, not only footed the wedding bill of Solikin Abu Ahmed, but also paid his salary and that of his wife for a year besides taking on the expense of transferring the wife’s sponsorship.
Al-Shallash did not stop there. To make it a truly memorable event, he invited prominent personalities in the town, including businessmen and religious scholars, to attend the wedding that was performed as per Saudi tradition.
Al-Oudah commended the businessman for responding positively to the initiative aimed at fighting the racist behavior of some Saudis against foreign workers.
He urged all Saudis to behave decently with foreigners working under their sponsorship, especially house servants. In his program titled “Wasm” (brand), Al-Oudah had addressed the issue of Saudis’ misbehavior against foreigners.
“I am extremely happy to hear this news,” said Dr. Abdelelah Saaty, dean of the College of Business in Rabigh. “This is what we should do while dealing with foreign workers. This is what we have learned from Islam. People who ill-treat their workers are very few. They don’t represent the Saudi society,” he told Arab News.
“We should treat all foreigners including non-Muslims in a nice manner and we have several examples for this from the life and teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him),” Saaty said, and praised Al-Oudah for encouraging people to do such wonderful things. “I wish I can see many more such good examples from Al-Shallash and other businessmen.”
Speaking to Arab News, Akbar Batcha, a senior business executive, said all Saudis should emulate Al-Shallash to improve their image and uphold the Kingdom’s reputation.
“All are equal before Allah. No Arab is better than a non-Arab except in faith and fear of Allah,” Batcha said, quoting a Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him). “If Saudis follow the Prophet’s teachings in their lives, their country will become a Paradise.”
Stating that he was very happy with what Al-Shallash did for his Indonesian driver, he said: “I have not seen or heard of such an inspiring incident in all my 27 years of life in Saudi Arabia. There are many good people like Al-Shallash in the Kingdom but the bad behavior by a handful of Saudis makes headlines.”
Monday, 20 January 2014