Saudi Arabia's Ambassador for Indonesia, Abdul Rahman Amin Khayyath, was present on University of Muhammadiyah Malang, Monday (5/31). It was related to the opening of the Saudi Arabian Cultural Festival which will last tomorrow, Tuesday (6/1). Accompanied by the Rector of UMM, Dr. Muhadjir Effendy, MAP, Rahman reviewed all the units that would be exhibited in the hall of UMM's Bureau of Public Administration.
In his speech, the ambassador revealed many relationships between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. According to him, the relationship has been established for more than 60 years, up to now the relationship is getting better. The relations of culture, education, politics and economics are expected to increase from time to time.
"Today many Indonesian people are successful in Saudi Arabia, being a soccer player and even working at foreign bank," said Rahman pointed out.
Rahman also praised UMM which has become the largest Islamic university in Indonesia. According to him, UMM has a major role in strengthening relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, the Rector said that the cooperation between UMM and the international institution was quite good. UMM has been working closely with governments and universities in almost all continents. Nevertheless, the Rector stated that the cooperation with Arab countries is still quite small. "I hope that Saudi Arabia's cultural festival will be the starting point to have other cooperation with the Islamic universities in Arab countries," Muhadjir hoped.
Meanwhile, shortly after opened by the Ambassador, the Saudi Arabian Cultural Festival was visited by the public directly. Some of them were college and high school students from Malang. They enjoyed various things, classic books, documentations, and the translated Qur'an. In that festival, there were also free Arabic foods and drinks.
Not only that, the visitors were also welcome to take photos using a typical Arabic clothing, complete with kafiyeh and white jubah for men and for women's black jubah decorated with Arabic background. "The photo can be printed and taken home immediately," said an officer.
UMM Coordinator of Cooperation Division for Middle East, Drs. Abdul Haris, MA, explained that the event was a continual cooperation between UMM and the Embassy. "The society may visit this festival to see the Arab cultural products directly, for example movie about King Abdul Aziz, the people history and culture," said Haris. At the festival, which was opened at 8 am to 3 pm, a quiz was also held with two umra packages plus the accommodation as the prize. (trs/nas/t_ris)