‘Eid Bus’ tours Saudi capital to spread happiness on Muslim holiday

The “Eid Bus” initiative was aimed at encouraging youth to extend their Eid greetings to their love ones and reach out to people in need.

Shounaz Meky

Published: Updated:

A bus toured different parts of the Saudi capital Riyadh on Friday as part of Saudi youth initiative to celebrate the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday along with friends, children suffering from illness and domestic workers.

The “Eid Bus” initiative was aimed at encouraging youth to extend their Eid greetings to their love ones and reach out to people in need.

During the one-day trip, the bus toured Riyadh and stopped at several destinations to visit patients and spend time with labors.

Sultan Al-Fakeer, a Saudi entrepreneur and the founder of the initiative, said he began planning for the initiative two days before the end of Ramadan.

“It was a personal initiative that turned public,” he told Al Arabiya News on Saturday.

Al-Fakeer said he hasn’t spent Eid in Riyadh for about 10 years and his friends were discouraging him from doing so, telling him there was not much to be done on the day.

“I work in marketing and I thought how can I come up with a creative idea for my friends and I to enjoy Eid,” he said.

“This is when the Eid Bus idea came across my mind; it resembles the old days, when our parents used to walk to the doorsteps of their friends and relatives to greet them.”

“I sent my friends the Eid Bus invitation, but the initiative unexpectedly got publicized.”

“My friends began to share the poster I created for the event on social media and many users began interacting with it.”

Upon hearing about the idea, some companies contacted the youth and asked if they can sponsor food distributions for domestic workers and labors.

Other social media users suggested the bus heads to hospitals.

“Because it was an invite-only event, not everyone could be with us,” al-Fakeer said.

“As a compensation, we decided to ask people on social media to send their greetings along with their names so we’d write them on the bus and make them feel part of the event.”

The Saudi defense ministry-backed initiative received positive reactions from Saudis on social media. Several accounts were created on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for those interested to follow up on the event.

“In a day, you managed in a distinctive way to visit patients in hospitals, injured soldiers and domestic workers…” wrote one Twitter user.

“Smart ideas turned into a beautiful reality! And it also opens new prospects for ways to spend the holiday. Thanks #Eid_Bus,” wrote another user, who expressed delight over the attempt to celebrate the Muslim feast in a different way.

Al-Fakeer said the cost of the initiative did not exceed $1,000.

He said the positive feedback they’ve received will encourage them to repeat the event next Eid.

We are also considering to encourage the participation of Saudi women next time, he said.

“Simple things can bring happiness to others. The Eid Bus initiative was just one way to do so. All people have great ideas, but to make it a reality, you just need to take the decision and act on it,” al-Fakeer added.