Departing Saudi student’s heartfelt message of thanks to UK neighbors goes viral

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Time: September 05, 2018 

A general view of a street in Newcastle City Center. (Shutterstock)
  • The Saudi graduate left a warm message for the people of Newcastle
  • Al-Shahrani message has gone viral on social media and been praised

A Saudi Ph.D. program graduate left a touching message in his apartment before leaving the UK and returning to Saudi Arabia. The act proves that Saudis are open to the world with its various cultural and even religious backgrounds.

The post has put the landlord in an embarrassing situation: How will he or she remove a sign conveying a moral lesson, and a symbol of loyalty that is supposed to exist for a long time.

Aiyedh Al-Shahrani, who recently obtained his doctoral degree in media and cultural studies, tweeted the image of a banner he had hung in front of the house he was residing with his family in Newcastle, northeast England. The placard read: “Dear Newcastle… Neighbors, friends, and everybody who knocked on our hearts and our doors, we would like to say ‘thank you’ for being amazing for the last six years (2012-2018). We are moving back home and you will always be in our thoughts. From Aiyedh, Norah and children.”

With the image he tweeted: “Dear fellows of both genders across the UK and beyond, we have learned a lot from you. You have treated us warmly and gently, even during the periods of pain and nostalgia which we went through. On behalf of my family and me, I would like to thank you all for everything, and we will be waiting for you in Saudi Arabia, the homeland of security and safety.”

 A banner hangs outside the house of Aiyedh Al-Shahrani.  (AN Photo)

The tweet, which has gone viral on social media channels, was hailed as positive by the Education Ministry’s Vice Minister for Scholarship Affairs, Dr. Jasir Al-Harbash, who expressed his appreciation to the Al-Shahranis. He also extended his congratulations to Aiyedh on his graduation.

Another Twitterati, Dr. Haila Al-Twaian, said the gesture was a reflection of Islamic teaching as to how a Muslim should always treat his neighbors and friends, regardless of their backgrounds.

“Respect is the mainspring of any human relationship. It can bring people of different civilization backgrounds closer, away from racism and selfishness,” she said.

Meanwhile, a family member of Al-Shahrani, Nourah Al-Shahrani, posted the same photo with the comment: “One of the hardest lessons that life can ever give is to say goodbye to the ones you love.”

Islam has great respect for the mutual rights and duties of neighbors. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Jibril always used to advise me to be generous with neighbors, till I thought that Allah was going to include the neighbors among the heirs of a Muslim.” It was also reported that the Prophet said that he is not from me who sleeps contentedly while his neighbor sleeps hungry.

This article was first published in Arab News

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