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Saudi Arabia citizens celebrate Valentine’s day for the first time

Published: Updated:

An old tradition but kept in the dark for too long has made its appearance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia this month.

Markets and shops in Al Khobar in east Saudi Arabia have been filled with all sorts of red. Valentine’s day is no longer an occasion that is hidden, and the ban on shops is no longer being enforced. Selling red gifts is now widely seen as an occasion reflecting the depth of human sentiment.

This has allowed people to exchange red gifts and beautiful memories among their loved ones.

Salem al-Salem said his sales recorded more than 2,000 roses in mid-February due to their popularity on this day. He noted that each rose cost 50 Saudi riyals.

Flowers are not the only gift item on display, with other Valentine favorites on sale including sweets and gifts of all kinds, he added.

Maysoon al-Rawajh, the flower coordinator, said the culture of giving roses is no longer confined to a specific time or place, considering it to be a means to convey the feelings of people.

Speaking to Al Arabiya.net, al-Rawajh said that these flowers signify certain emotions from person to person, she added.

Optimism in the current generation

The coordinator also expressed her optimism in the current generation’s openness to giving flowers to one another, in comparison to previous generations.

It is optimistic that the culture of the present generations is different from the past in dealing with roses.

One citizen, Waleed Al-Ghunaim, believed that celebrating love with his wife every year is necessary no matter how simple or modest the ceremony is.

Ghunaim sees inviting his wife to a simple dinner in a quiet place or even preparing a romantic dinner at home with red candles adds a beautiful memory to their lives.

Despite the opponents that don’t believe in such events, many people still celebrated Valentine’s day.

Amidst all this, some see the growing number of Arab societies who choose to commemorate this event as a catalyst towards achieving a more peaceful and secure future, for there is no way to fight evil and hatred except with love and tolerance.