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Jakarta Post

Saudi ambassador rewards free haj to ITB’s top graduates

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung, West Java   /   Mon, July 22, 2019   /   01:12 pm
Saudi ambassador rewards free haj to ITB’s top graduates Vice President Jusuf Kalla (right) and Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia Esam A. Abid Althagafi (left) attend a ceremony to mark the departure of the first haj group from West Java at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on Sunday. As many as 631 haj groups from four embarkation points — Jakarta, Banten, West Java and Lampung — will depart for Mecca, Saudi Arabia, via Soekarno-Hatta. (Antara/Muhammad Iqbal)

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Indonesia, Esam A. Abid Althagafi, has promised free haj to the top graduates from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), class of 2018/2019.

Islamic studies lecturer Shohib Khoiri announced the reward as he translated the commencement speech delivered in Arabic by the ambassador during the graduation ceremony at Sasana Budaya Ganesha, Bandung, on Friday. 

“The ambassador will reward free haj to graduates with the top scores in every subject, to the top students of every school,” Shohib said. 

The announcement was well received as the audience applauded Esam’s speech.

In his speech, Esam expressed his happiness to be able to attend the graduation and fulfill the invitation of ITB’s rector Kadarsah Suryadi. 

The ambassador said that relations between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia were strong in several aspects such as politics, religion, economics, culture and education.

“As of now, we could see the results of cooperation have a positive impact on many aspect,s particularly on the aspect of political cooperation,” Esam said.

He said the relations manifested in cooperation over religious affairs, particularly the haj. “Saudi Arabia's government is very proud because [we] could serve the needs of Islamic communities in haj services,” Esam said.

For economic cooperation, Esam said, the two countries were part of the G20. “The two countries are strong economic forces in the world; this could have a positive impact on internal economic growth and employment,” he said.

Similar cooperation was also being engaged in by the ministries of education in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia in terms of student exchanges for education and research, which could make a positive impact on both countries, Esam added. 

ITB would inform the top graduates of the procedures of the haj reward.

As many as 1,760 students graduated on Friday, 1,148 of whom earn their Bachelor degrees, 575 of whom earned Master's degrees and 37 of whom earned doctoral degrees. The graduates were students of 12 schools at ITB.

In addition, 21 international students from several study programs and from 15 countries such as Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Pakistan and Vietnam, also graduated from ITB.

“It is an honor and [a source of] happiness for ITB because we could share science and knowledge with several international students,” Kadarsah said. (awa)