Marbella makes Saudi king an adoptive son
3 August 2005, MARBELLA – Marbella is to make the Saudi King Fahd, who died on Monday, an adoptive son of the city.
3 August 2005
MARBELLA – Marbella is to make the Saudi King Fahd, who died on Monday, an adoptive son of the city.
Marbella's councillors held a special meeting on Tuesday to vote on the issue and carried the proposal unanimously.
The move recognises the importance of the king to Marbella. The Saudi royal family, which has a palace in the popular southern resort, visit the city every year and the king was praised for his many donations to the community.
"We've lost a much-loved neighbour who stood out for his extraordinary generosity," said the city's first mayor, Isabel Garcia Marcos.
She said Marbella residents had a lot of affection for King Fahd. Every summer, they used to ask "if the king was coming, without specifying which".
She said Fahd's financial donations to the city allowed it to build social housing and to expand the Hospital de la Costa del Sol "although he showed his generosity with prudence and discretion".
At the Saudi palace in Marbella, the king received world leaders and the king was staying there when he learnt of the death of his son.
At Marbella's town hall, councillors agreed to invite the Saudi royal family, as well as the Spanish monarchy, to the ceremony to make King Fahd the city's son. A bust and a plaque thanking the king for his contribution to Marbella will be erected in the avenue which already carries Fahd's name.
Allal Bachal, the iman of the Marbella mosque of the Saudi royals, thanked the councillors for their honour. "It shows King Fahd was a son of this land and a brother of us all," he said.
He also promised that relations between the Saudi royals and Marbella would be just as good in the future. "The prince, Sultan Abdullah, will continue to live here among us all, with all the brothers of King Fahd and the Marbella people are not going to lose anything which it had," he said.
Every summer that King Fahd came to the city, workers queued outside the palace gates for work inside the luxurious interior. The king employed around 500 workers every year, "on generous salaries", according to Garcia Marcos.
Marbella has also held three days of national mourning for the king, with all flags flying at half mast from Monday to Wednesday.
Spain's king Juan Carlos, who was a personal friend of King Fahd, has announced he will fly to Saudi Arabia to give his condolences to the Saudi royals.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news