This is my 42nd day of my days in the land of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is actually my official day that I had already exceeded my stay in this land.
I tried to grab everything that I have in my mind to cheer me up so that I will have a better mood the spend of with my last counting hours in Saudi Arabia.
My first week was so energetic. I had a full program for 7 days non stop with meetings with diplomats, business partners, acquaintances, future prospect partners and of course the best was to meet my friends and my family relatives.
The reason that I have been planning for the trip to Saudi since mid year 2012 is to support our business partners on the marketing side who distribute our products and to charter our sales forecast for the year 2013. Besides,we want the MATRADE in Jeddah to acknowledge us that there is such existence in this country where almost everybody in the food industry dreaming of entering the market, and yet this group of young energetic boys managed to bring our flag through our food products into Saudi Arabia. This is something considered big yet it is still small.
After many discussions, we would like to self proclaimed that we are the only Malaysian company, plus SMI who only managed to penetrate our market and established ourselves in Saudi Arabia in food industry and distribution. Other than that, Malaysian should be proud of our construction companies from UEM to Muhibbah, financing and services, developers such as the Al Bukhari, our engineers in Aramco and scattered all over MNCs, doctors and nurses and many more, which mainly on highly respected post.
Malaysia has a good name in this country and we are all well known with out work culture and ethics.
On the second week, the schedule and the mood has changed as I am having my good friend to accompany me in Saudi. It is indeed both for Umrah and we cannot run away from doing courtesy visits. We performed our Umrah and spend 3 days in Mecca and 3 days in Medina. We visited my relatives in Mekkah and friends in Medina. We went to experience the life of desert people with a big bowl of camel milk drinking, ‘hashi’ the basmathi rice cooked with camel meat and thank god we manage to skip the camel urine. It is part of the tradition to consume the camel urine for medication and it is stated in Hadith by our Prophet.
Besides, we paid a few courtesy calls and one of the best was to visit the Director General of Islamic Development Banking which happened to be our old neighbour and a father to my closest classmate in UTP. The incident was not planned at all as I had received an SMS by Deputy Chief Minister of Penang that he is in Saudi and would like to welcome me to join him at MATRADE one of the evening.
When I met Prof. Dato’ Azmi with the team, immediately I turned my head and told Mr. Abdullah from MATRADE that my request to have a courtesy visit to IDB is considered done!
But of course the best moment was when we were in Madinah, experiencing the cold weather of 16 degrees, the warm welcome of Madinah friends, the visit to Figrah Mountain with a good friend, Mr. Abdulrahma Alahmady and of course the peak was to be in Raudha and to sit close to Rasullah. Nothing is comparable to the experience. We do not have to wonder why Rasullah chooses Madinah instead of other city nearby.
In the other hand, I believe it wasn’t only me disturbed, buy my friend and the people of Madinah and anybody will be angry by seeing that beside the well planned of the new development of Al Haram, many historical sites has been sacrificed without any trace. Many has been disappear since many years and the only surviving is calculating its fate in the name of development.