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Saudi Royals throw farewell party for SL driver

18 January 2016 06:02 am - 19     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A Saudi royal family went out of their way and gave a warm farewell party to its non-Muslim Sri Lankan private driver after 33 years of service, Emirates 24/7 news reported.  

Several royal figures had broken protocol to attend the party which was held at Prince Abdul Raman bin Farhan Al Saud’s palace in the capital Riyadh on Thursday night.

'Sabq' newspaper identified the 76-year-old driver as Watti but said he was nicknamed Samy by the royal family as a “gesture of affection for him".

It quoted the driver as saying he felt as a “member of the family” during his work for the royals and that this encouraged him to stay for such a long period of time with them.

“I cannot forget the humanitarian gesture by the Prince when my relative stole 10,000 riyals which I had sent to my wife. The Prince heard of what happened and quickly summoned me and gave me the money,” Samy said.

“I have found affection, warmth, respect and good treatment in this place. The Prince had always joked with me by calling me ‘Prince Samy’.”

'Sabq' also quoted Emir Mansour bin Saad Al Saud, director of the strategic planning at the state Saudi Industrial Development Fund, who is Prince Abdul Rahman's grandson, as saying: “I was born and brought up in this place. I cannot image it without Samy. I have always considered him as part of this family.”

Yousuf Al Hadithi, a university professor who is related to the royal family said: "We decided to give Samy a party when he told us he wanted to rest after this long service, which was characterised with sincerity and commitment. The entire family was upset by his decision because we all have considered him part of the family.”

He added: “This shows that we in Saudi Arabia respect all religions, contrary to beliefs by some. Samy is not a Muslim and I am sure that he would not have stayed with us for 33 years hadn’t he been treated with respect and appreciation.”
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  Comments - 19

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  • Sylvia Haik Monday, 18 January 2016 09:33 PM

    That is why it became news.

    Sylvia Haik Monday, 18 January 2016 09:35 PM

    It may be rare, but they do exist.

    BanisMama Monday, 18 January 2016 01:17 PM

    Saudi, The good, the bad and the ugly.

    David de Silva Monday, 18 January 2016 01:18 PM

    I lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for 10 years. I have to say that there are those who are anti non muslim but there are heaps of them who are not anti muslim as well. It depends on whom get to know........if you are lucky.

    Fassey Monday, 18 January 2016 01:41 PM

    It is indeed very happy to read this news of a non Muslim diver being treated so nicely with dignity and honour in a Saudi Royal family. We always get news as Arabs are nasty and cruel to those who work under them. Anywhere whether in Saudi or SL it is how you conduct yourself , your attitude and your behaviour that gets you good or bad in return.

    sukmydik Tuesday, 19 January 2016 11:45 AM

    1 good thing in 100 Billion bad things ha ha good on u Saudi via DM Android App

    Mason Monday, 18 January 2016 01:42 PM

    Much appreciate the good side of the Saudis.

    Mfzsr Monday, 18 January 2016 01:45 PM

    Good gesture..

    Greg Tuesday, 19 January 2016 11:53 AM

    If a saudi does something good for a non-muslim all the muslims living in Sri Lanka shout that "this is what islam is all about". But when a saudi beheads another, refuses to recognize the rights of a non-muslim the same muslims say that "this has nothing to do with islam". People, the muslims are deceiving you. Learn what their cult is all about.

    spirit Monday, 18 January 2016 01:50 PM

    Some Sri Lankan Muslims feel that they are the owners of Saudi Arabia once they go there. Really some Saudis are very kind and good regardless of religion.

    Saudi Expat Monday, 18 January 2016 02:10 PM

    Saudi Arabia is no different to any other country when it comes to peaceful living. Expat goes there to earn money and stay peacefully. Its a country with strict laws to those who violate. If expats do not violate their rules any one can stay any longer they want as long as job is open. We have no right to speak about freedom to their own people as we have no right to interfere in internal affairs of other countries. Our country is different all foreigners interfere into our country affairs and our governments allow that. This is the difference.My advise is to expats is to find a good job with a good sponsor show your ability then you are the winner. If you incapable and not giving your expected service any foreign country will trouble you until you leave.I know there are non muslim Sri Lankans working in Saudi for more than 4 decades.

    kumar Tuesday, 19 January 2016 01:59 AM

    In the context of reality this news storybelongs to comedy.

    Sudhu Mahaththaya Sunday, 24 January 2016 08:24 PM

    People like these is a "rare find" these days!! Appreciate the gesture and hope these princes can talk some sense in to the extremists who are still at large in Saudi Arabia....

    Gunapala Monday, 18 January 2016 02:38 PM

    Oh is it?

    Buddhika Lokubandara Tuesday, 19 January 2016 12:15 PM

    ONE IN FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND.

    onlooker Monday, 18 January 2016 03:07 PM

    When you do good deeds you get them back. Well done Sammy you have taught the Saudi royals what our culture is all about.

    aotherbuddist Monday, 18 January 2016 03:08 PM

    I hope he got a retirement fund. They can afford to give not one but more retirement funds!

    Riz Monday, 18 January 2016 04:22 PM

    well said.

    Ghazali Tuesday, 19 January 2016 11:54 PM

    Sick mind


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