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Spirit of National Day fills the air.

Jeddah: Khadija HabibThe spirit of nationalism was there for everyone to see as streets of Saudi cities went chockablock with vehicles carrying enthusiastic citizens waving the national flag in celebration of the National Day.

Across the country, Saudis used every which way to celebrate the day, with some doing it on city streets while others created Web pages online to express their love and loyalty to their king and country. But it all went on till the wee hours of the day.

For Ali Al-Jahdali, a 25-year-old Saudi, preparations for National Day celebrations usually begin a day or two in advance. Together with his friends, he always decorates his car with the colors of the Saudi flag, a celebratory must, he says.

Abdullah Al-Qarni and his family also planned in advance on how they will take advantage of the National Day holiday. Typically, Al-Qarni and his younger brothers celebrate with the public on the streets, and then meet at a friend's house where they stay till the morning hours.

Said Al-Qarni: "The joy of Saudi National Day is not exclusive to Saudi citizens, but embraces all non-Saudi residents too who take part in the celebrations." Saudis expressed gratitude and prayers of good health for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. Some launched Web pages on social networking sites such as Facebook, on which they portray all the achievements of King Abdullah to show their love and appreciation.

Said Mohannad Al-Khayyat, founder of the Facebook group named Blessed Abdullah: "The group is an expression of our feelings toward our father, King Abdullah. May God protect him." The campaign is only one of many that similarly represent admiration and good wishes of the public toward the king, he said, noting that any viewer will notice that they are a pure reflection of the public's support of the leadership and free of any media biases or frills.

Web pages also contain video clips of famous national songs and poems, as well as space where readers can express their opinions, feelings and supplications.

Common sentiment expressed on these pages, as reported by the members of these groups, include: "I love you," "May God protect you, Abo Miteb, the pride of generations, and the King of Peace."

Copyright: Arab News 2013 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Sep 24, 2013
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