Christmas: “Saudi Arabia wishes you a Merry Christmas” – Financial Times

Christmas tree

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Saudi Arabia has allowed the sale of Christmas trees in a shopping mall in Riyadh

We begin our tour of the British newspapers with the Financial Times newspaper, which published a report on the Christmas celebrations event in Saudi Arabia, prepared by its correspondent, Samer Al-Atrash.

The reporter begins his report with the phrase, “Saudi Arabia wishes you a Merry Christmas!”, indicating that the world is not accustomed to any ruler of this conservative Arab country allowing the celebration of this important day in the Christian calendar to be held publicly.

He notes that this year it looked completely different. In the Saudi capital, Riyadh, “the Saudis bought Christmas trees, and an official Saudi newspaper prepared a festive edition for this occasion for the first time in the country’s history.” The headline on the front page of the Saudi English-language newspaper Arab News read, “Saudis are feeling the Christmas spirit more than ever,” with recommendations for readers of the best places to have a turkey dinner. The newspaper’s editor-in-chief also wrote an opinion article entitled “Better late than never,” referring to the unprecedented Christmas celebrations in his country.

The newspaper stated that the restrictions imposed on Christmas products – which were banned in Saudi Arabia – have been gradually eased in the past few years.

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