Prince Salman, minister of defense, called on government agencies, individuals and stakeholders to preserve the Kingdom’s cultural heritage, history and identity in Riyadh Tuesday night.
Saudi Arabia, he said, would not “allow the erosion of the country's cultural values” because “the contributions of our forefathers to the culture and development of the nation was woven” into almost every segment of Saudi society and history.
Prince Salman was speaking at a commemoration ceremony organized by Abdul Rahman Al-Sudairy Foundation, a private nonprofit cultural organization headquartered in Sakaka, the capital of Al-Jouf province. The foundation, which houses a rich public library and the well-known Al-Rahmaniah Cultural Center, was named after the late Abdul Rahman Al-Sudairy, who was governor of Al-Jouf province for 41 years. A visionary leader, Al-Sudairy was the uncle of Prince Salman.
Prince Salman's cultural contributions were also felicitated during the event. The ceremony at King Fahd Cultural Center was attended by members of the royal family, writers, intellectuals, businessmen, curators and several officials of the foundation. They included Prince Sultan bin Salman, chief of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities; Prince Faisal bin Abdulrahman Al-Sudairy, chairman of Abdul Rahman Al-Sudairy Foundation; Abdullah Suleiman Al-Rajhi, chief of Al-Rajhi Bank; and Azzam Al-Dakhil, CEO of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group.
A photo exhibition featuring the growth of the Saudi nation as a modern state with special reference to Prince Salman's contributions was also organized on this occasion. The exhibition was inaugurated by Prince Salman. The prince, while touring the exhibition, stopped for a while at the SRMG stall, where he was briefed by Al-Dakhil on the activities of the group, which publishes Arab News and several other titles.
The ceremony Tuesday night was preceded by a symposium on local administration and development in Saudi Arabia, which concluded on Monday.
The event was sponsored by Saudi Research and Marketing Group together with the Jeraisy Group, Saudi Telecom and other business houses.
Referring to the activities of Abdul Rahman Al-Sudairy Foundation, Prince Salman paid tribute to Al-Sudairy’s efforts to promote culture. "This event is one among several events and efforts to preserve and promote our cultural heritage," said Ali Al-Rashid, vice president of the foundation.
Al-Rashid said this event was organized in Riyadh to commemorate Al-Sudairy and to felicitate Prince Salman, who was appointed defense minister by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah recently.
He said: "Prince Salman has been at the forefront of supporting charities in general and Abdul Rahman Al-Sudairy Foundation in particular. Prince Salman worked for over five decades as a statesman in charge of the construction and development of the Saudi capital city, during which Riyadh shifted into a modern capital to rival major international cities in terms of its expansion and organization as well as quality of life.”
Al-Rashid said the foundation had emerged as a major cultural center since it was established in 1983. He pointed out the origins of the foundation goes back to 1963 when the founder established a small public library in Sakaka. In 1983 this library transformed into a much more elaborate institution aspiring to contribute to the area, with the public library named Dar Al-Jouf Lill-Ulum as its nucleus, he added.