A message of hope to the world against terrorist evils
It is a message of love and hope that the US, France and Saudi Arabia continue to unite against twisted minds
As Saudis try to make sense of the events that have taken place - the relieving closure of the 9/11 file reasserted by our Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir and prior to that, the horrific Nice truck attack - I reflected back on last month’s visit by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to the countries involved in these events, the US and France, and how the need to unite is now more than ever is crucial.
As part of the accompanying delegation in the US, we visited many think tanks, universities, media outlets and the United Nations. In France, our most memorable visit was the Senate and our greeting by one of the most dynamic and assertive senators Nathalie Goulet who shared our strive to collaborate, change stereotypes and make the world a better place. That is part of a global plan as we venture into our Saudi vision 2030, a vision that will transform Saudi Arabia economically, socially and internationally.
I’m not a politician, I’m a former captain of Jeddah United women basketball team, and presently the CEO of Jeddah United Sports Co., a leading local company that was established to promote team sports for women and youth in Saudi Arabia. Our team has traveled throughout the world and played friendlies to promote sports diplomacy and change stereotypes of Saudi women in specific and Saudis in general through the universal language of sports.
As a graduate of Communication from George Mason University, and a student of the American University in Paris and the Chamber of Commerce in Strasbourg, I am motivated by the need to bridge the distance that exists between the various cultures. The United States and France does not only share historical and economic ties with Saudi Arabia but with America’s educational institutions. The hundreds of thousands of Saudi US graduates, as well as the increasing number of Saudi graduates from France, have gone back home to hold several posts in Saudi Arabia's government and industrial infrastructure, from ministerial to medical to administrative positions and beyond.
The common denominator
America is the heart of the free world, France is the heart of Europe, and Saudi Arabia is the heart of the Muslim world, yet Islam is a religion that is now more than ever misunderstood, especially after ISIS claimed responsibility for the horrific Nice attack on Bastille Day.
The evils of 9/11 and the attacks in Oklahoma, Riyadh, Orlando and on Dallas police may differ in motive and the nationality of the perpetrators and their religious beliefs, but one thing the attackers have in common is that they are full of hatred.
This month was also a very sad one for Saudi Arabia. We were under attack; hit by triple suicide bombings during the holy month of Ramadan, one in the Muslim world’s second-holiest site – the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. The prophet who told us about our fathers Adam, Abraham and strengthened our belief in Moses, Mary and Jesus. To us Muslims, Islam is an extension of Judeo-Christian religions regardless of whether or not we are reciprocally perceived.
I have no idea of the fate of these words, It is a message of love and hope that the US, France and Saudi Arabia along with the rest of the international community, their governments and citizens, continue to unite against twisted minds, extremists and terrorists with the realization that terror has no race, gender or religion.
Lina K. Almaeena is a Saudi writer, she is a member of the Young Saudi Business Committee and Sports Investment Committee in the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, and the Kingdom Young Business Women Council.A She is listed as one of the 200 Most Powerful Women in the Middle East by Forbes Magazine 2014.