By Arab News
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah yesterday stressed the need of his people’s cooperation in achieving greater progress and national solidarity.
“I have more ideas. If Allah wills, they will be achieved with yours and my joint efforts. Without you I am nothing, without the Saudi people I am nothing. I am one of you and for you. I seek Allah’s help first and then yours,” the king said while receiving a report on the achievements of the Ninth National Meet of Intellectual Dialogue recently held in Hail.
“There are two things I’ll tell you. Saudi Arabia’s position globally is excellent, and its economy is robust. But I wish for more, but what I tell you is that you help me and thus you’ll help yourself,” the king added.
King Abdullah received at the reception the member of the Presidential Committee of King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND) Abdullah Al-Obaid, deputies of the president of the committee Abdullah Omar Naseef and Rashid Al-Shareef and KACND’s Secretary-General Faisal Muammar, at his palace in Riyadh on Friday.
The topic of the discussions at the two-day meet was “Saudi Media: Reality and Means of Development, Foundations, Roles, and Outlook.”
The king continued to state that “his only goal is to serve the nation, people and religion.” “This is my only goal. All what I feel is that it is my duty as well as every other Saudi citizen’s duty.”
The king said the dialogues have benefited the Kingdom as well as other countries. “Now the word dialogue is used by most of the world,” the king said. He also said the national dialogue has great value.
The king added that the tragic developments in the Arab world were caused by the enemies of Islam and the Arabs, and that the enemies could be defeated if people unite.
The king praised the Saudi people for understanding the situation and not being influenced by extraneous ideas. “I am speaking as a brother to a brother or from heart to heart… Thanks to Almighty Allah the country is peaceful and stable. But no doubt I am hoping for more than the present,” the king said.
During the reception Al-Shareef said the king initiated dialogues because of his realization of the need for protecting the society from evils such as fanaticism, hatred, factionalism and violence, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
“Many participants at the meet stressed the need for media to be guided to the right track. They also pointed out that the media should be logical, realistic and in harmony with the special features of the country in order to be productive,” Al-Shareef said while referring to the recently concluded national meet at Hail.
He added that the two special features of the Kingdom are its being the center of Islam and it has a lofty cultural system.
The participants in the meet also underscored the social commitment of the media while it exercises its freedom of expression.
Speaking at the reception, Professor of History and Civilization at the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University and former Member of the Shoura Council Abdul Rahman Al-Fareeh said: “Difference of opinion in religious or other ideological matters need not call for formation of partisan alliances or marginalization of others.
“Difference among the sons of the land is in fact an incentive for integration on common grounds. The integration should lead to national development. It is binding on all of us to contribute to the building of the nation.”
The discussions at the meet focused on the freedom and responsibilities of the Saudi media, its relation with the government, responsibility of modern media in dealing with national issues in addition to what the society expected from the Ministry of Culture and Information and the future of the Saudi media.
The previous eight national dialogues that were convened in different cities in the Kingdom since 2003 have addressed issues such as questions of national unity, extremism and moderation, the role of women, youth education, employment, and culture, the labor market and interaction with the other civilizations.
National dialogue is a democratic tool to build consensus between government and other factions in society and a major instrument for communication. It is a key strategic component in strengthening modern governance and a step toward social and political modernization.