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Saudi Arabia: The Return of King Abdullah

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz returned home on Wednesday 23 February, 2011, after a three month period abroad for medical treatment. His treatment started in New York-Presbyterian Hospital in the USA, followed by a recovery period in Morocco.

King Abdullah as he appeared on Saudi TV upon his arrival (by @waa3ad)

King Abdullah as he appeared on Saudi TV upon his arrival (by @waa3ad)

Saudis have been expecting serious political and economic reforms, and coinciding with the King stepping out of the plane, new changes were indeed announced. However, they were met with disappointment, as most were minor and did not affect a large number of the population.

It's Just Not Enough!

Below are some reactions from disappointed Saudi citizens:

@alghamdi_R
يا ترى هل يحتفل الآن بعودته من كان لديه أب أو أخ أو قريب مسجون من غير تهمة ولا محاكمة ؟! ، #saudimataleb الفرح جيد ، ولكن العدل مطلوب أيضا
Celebration is good, but fairness is required too. I wonder if the ones who have a father or a brother or a relative imprisoned without charge or trial are celebrating his return?!
@essamz
نتمنى أن تكون الأوامر الملكية المعلنة اليوم مجرد أوامر قديمة متراكمة تنتظر عودة الملك. وأن هناك إصلاحات حقيقية ستعلن قريبا #saudimataleb
We hope that the new reforms are old cluttered ones, and that the new real ones will be announced soon.
@mothaqf
أتمنى ممن أراد أن يهنئ الملك بسلامته بإعلان في جريدة -لن يراه الملك- أن يتصدق عنه بكفالة أسر فقيرة بذات القيمة فهي أنفع #saudi #saudimataleb
I hope those who wanted to congratulate the King on his recovery in the newspaper – which will not be read by the king – donate the money they paid for advertisements to charity for poor families as that is more beneficial
@abualkhair
#saudimataleb وبمناسبة عودة الملك والمكرمات الملكية ثم البيانات المطلبية أطاب د.عائض القرني بصرف كتاب لا تحزن مجانا لكل مواطن سعودي
On this occasion and after the announcement of the new reforms, I ask Dr. Aydh Alqarni to give away a copy of his book “Don't Be Sad” to every Saudi citizen

Regardless… We're Happy He's Back!

On the other hand, many Saudis were happy that the king is back. To mark the occasion the streets of capital Riyadh were decorated with banners and flags, wishing the king good health and welcoming him back. Moreover, many Saudis went to the airport to cheer and welcome him back in person.

Celebrations went on all over Riyadh and in the sky army jets performed for the crowd. Television presenters wore special scarves in the colours of the Saudi flag in a special coverage programme entitled “The Joy of a Nation” to mark the king's return. Below are some reactions of the Saudis on Twitter:

@BeeTaz
#kingabdullah #saudiarabia aaalffff 7amdellah 3al salama ♡ http://plixi.com/p/79417396
Welcome back!

@waa3ad
ADORE Him :”( #KINGABDULLAH http://yfrog.com/hsofncyj

@SaudiiAmerican
7mdelilah 3slaama ya #KingAbdullah, and thank you for everything. N7bk :)

Welcome back King Abdullah, and Thank you for everything, we love you!

In this video, oeziiL shares pictures of the king's arrival and celebrations around Riyadh:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c9-BRkkyy0

@LaylaAJ_
​والله يبو متعب لو غيابك أطول خذنا السعوديه بيدها وجيناك #OnlyinSaudiArabia #KSA #kingabdullah
If you stayed longer, we would've taken the kingdom by its hand to you.

@Sarah_AlAyed
#KingAbdullah return energized ppl across KSA Bless him looking 4ward 2much awaited developments alf hamdlilah 3ala salamt (thank God for the safety of the) Father of Nation

@NouraAgeel
الشعوب تحرق انفسها لرحيل رئيسها نحن احترقت قلوبنا شوقاً لعودة مليكنا الله يحفظك لنا #kingabdullah

Nations burn themselves for the demise of their presidents, however we had our hearts burned because you were away for too long. May Allah keep you well.

Here's another clip of King Abdullah's return from YouTube user iJihadTv:

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