King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman and second deputy prime minister Prince Muqrin seen during a reception in Riyadh on Tuesday where senior ulema came to greet the King in his palace. (SPA)
Foreign workers violating labor and residency laws will get three months to rectify their situation or face deportation, the official Saudi Press Agency said today.
“King Abdullah has ordered the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labor to give workers in violation of labor and residency regulations in the Kingdom a chance to rectify their situation during a period of three months maximum,” SPA reported in a brief statement.
Saudi Arabia has begun in recent weeks a camping to crack down on illegal workers, part of a push to create more jobs for its citizens. Local media reported that inspectors have raided many places around the country where they suspect illegal workers are employed.
King Abdullah has made his first public appearance in four weeks when he received senior princes and clerics in his palace Tuesday afternoon in the Saudi capital Riyadh. The state television played footage showing members of the royal family greeting the elderly monarch and kissing his hand. Crown Prince Salman and the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Alsheikh sat next to him.
This was the first time the King appears in public since December 29 when he chaired the cabinet meeting to announce the annual budget. Earlier Tuesday, a group of clerics were reportedly arrested after they gathered outside the royal court to protest. Asim al-Mashaali, one of the protesters, said on Twitter that they were stopped by the security forces and taken into buses. Lawyer Abdulaziz al-Hussan said he went to the police station in Sahafa district where 13 protesters were detained, but the police refused to tell him the reason for the arrests.
The clerics have staged a similar sit-in outside the royal court earlier this month to protest what some of them described as “recent changes in the country” including the King’s decision to appoint 30 women to the advisory Shoura Council.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia appeared on state television Wednesday, making his first public appearance since he has undergone a back surgery on November 17. The official Saudi Press Agency said the King has received members of the royal family who came to visit him at the National Guard Hospital in Riyadh. The footage shown on television showed the King drinking coffee and chatting with his visitors.
This looks like an old video but it has only been uploaded to YouTube recently and it has been circulating widely among Saudi Twitter users today.
In the video, King Abdullah can be seen listening to an elderly man. As the elderly man finishes talking, King Abdullah thanks him then says: “This Sheikh was my teacher,” says the King of the man. “Should I tell them what you have done to me or not?” the King asks. The audience laughs, and the man begins to praise the King, apparently because he knows what the King is about to say would be embarrassing. His attempt to make the King forgo telling the story miserably fails.
“I want to ask you something,” the King says to the man. “Do you remember that hit that you gave me, huh?”
The attendees immediately burst into laughing, and the embarrassed elderly man responds quickly with a famous Arabic proverb, saying: “Being hit by a by a loved one is like eating raisins.”
The response makes the King chuckle, then he thanks the elderly man again, gesturing that the friendly conversation has come to an end.