The passing of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia was heartbreaking, not only for the people of Saudi Arabia but also for other Muslims in various parts of the world, including Cambodia’s Muslims. The late king (1924-2015) deserved an honourable commemoration for his tremendous generosity to the people of Saudi Arabia and the Muslim communities around the world.
King Abdullah was a role model for Saudi Arabia and other countries around the world. His resolve for building a better society in his own country and the outside world was well known. Cambodia was one of the countries that drew his attention, with a strong focus on the Cambodian Muslim community. Under his reign, the royal family and Saudi Arabian elites built strong relationships with Cambodian-Muslim communities, which King Abdullah financially supported, either directly or indirectly, for the construction of mosques and funding for religious events (slaughtering cows during hari raya (Muslim New Year), charity events, and pilgrimages by members of the Cambodian Muslim community to Mecca.
The Saudi Arabian government’s support has annually given more than a hundred members of the Cambodian-Muslim community the opportunity to embark upon the Hajj, a religious journey. Saudi Arabia has also provided scholarships to underprivileged Cambodian-Muslim students and invested in developing human resources by providing scholarships for Cambodian-Muslim students to seek higher education abroad.
On behalf of the Cambodian-Muslim community, I am grateful for the generous support Saudi Arabia has given to our communities. I hope the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Cambodia remains strong and we continue to share the same values. Our thoughts and prayers are with King Abdullah and with the people of Saudi Arabia. May Allah bless King Abdullah and may he rest in peace.
Cham Identity Project Document
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