Riyadh rescues French hostage, waives $6bn debt. Where is the media recognition?


At the peak of the “hysterical” media campaign against the Kingdom, as described by Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia succeeded in getting the French hostage Alain Goma released. Goma was kidnapped by Iranian-backed Houthi militias four months ago, but has now returned to his country a totally free person. However, French and international media have devoted all their time and effort to carrying out one attack after the other against the Kingdom. They have ignored the brave Saudi humanitarian act that ended the suffering of the French hostage and freed him from the clutches of the Houthi gangs.

Do the French media know how much that operation cost the Kingdom? Do they know how it was carried out, how long it took, and how many died or were injured while recusing the French national? Do they know how it succeeded?

Also at the peak of the mad media campaign against the Kingdom, Riyadh announced its waiver of over $6 billion (SR22.5 billion) owed to the Kingdom by a number of least developed countries. Saudi Arabia reaffirmed its full cooperation with the United Nations to achieve all that the international community is yearning intensely to attain – security, stability and development.

Where were the human rights organizations hiding?

Why have they ignored these two events?

Are the Western media intentionally disparaging the Kingdom to this extent? Why are they ignoring every humanitarian act Riyadh is carrying out? Or are the Saudi media negligent in shedding light on their country’s humanitarian stances and relief aid that reflect the reality of its moderate policy?

Nobody will justify the grave mistake and ugly crime committed by those involved in killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi (May Allah Almighty have mercy on his soul). This act has harmed the reputation of the Kingdom and its people. But the fact is that Saudi policy does not have a history of assassinations. The Kingdom does not adopt a policy of being quarrelsome, argumentative or elusive or one of denial.

Saudi Arabia has admitted the mistake that has been made and has condemned and denounced it at all levels. It has also referred the 18 people involved in the case for investigation. The Public Prosecution is still in the process of investigation before it can clarify all the facts to the public. Everyone whose hands are stained with blood will receive his appropriate punishment, according to the verdicts passed by the courts. The final results will be announced in the near future and justice will be served.

Saudi Arabia can be likened to the first line of defense for Arab and Muslim nations. However loud media attacks, lies and fabrications might be, they will not break the Kingdom’s resolve nor will they be able to deter it from carrying out its pivotal role, as dictated by its Arab, Islamic and global status.

The UN and its agencies and councils bear witness that Saudi Arabia is in the forefront of countries that donate humanitarian and relief aid to the world.

Today, the Kingdom is in dire need of an integrated work plan as well as a wide media campaign in several languages. All official and private institutions and new media should contribute with integrated efforts to explain the Kingdom’s policies and facts about the country and its people. A number of national programs and initiatives should be launched within the Kingdom and abroad in several languages, for this purpose.

There is no doubt that Saudis will come out of this crisis stronger and more solid and self-confident. They are capable of facing the challenges and pressures and dashing the dreams of those who harbor hatred and malice towards the Kingdom. Their confidence in their country is limitless. They should rally behind their country to smash any misleading and deceptive campaigns and those promoting them. These biased media campaigns have separated the honest and sincere from the hypocrites.

As to the political zealots, their efforts will be futile. They will reap nothing but “sour grapes” because the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will never be shaken. It will remain a strong, proud and influential country at all levels.

The author is a Saudi writer. Follow him on Twitter: @JameelAlTheyabi