When 14-year-old Khalid Alquraishi had an idea for promoting tourism in Saudi Arabia, his efforts won royal approval
An idea that started as a lockdown project became reality for Khalid Alquraishi, when the booklet he wrote to attract tourists to the Kingdom brought him an invitation to the Saudi Embassy in London to be congratulated by the Ambassador, Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Al Saud.
Khalid’s mother - who's a member of MCC - Nouf Alangari said she was proud and happy that her son had been recognised. “The idea started during the first covid lockdown. We were in London and he was extremely homesick so he decided to start something to put all his emotions in it. I told him that if he finished the project, then as a gift I would have it printed.
“The most important thing for children to achieve is to be happy and recognised for their work and to make them feel that they matter.”
Khalid is in year 9 at boarding school in the UK, where his favorite subjects are history and biology. He has 11-year-old twin siblings, Zaid and Basma, and his hobbies are football, skiing and being with his friends.
We asked Khalid to tell us more about what motivates him and his experience at the embassy.
How did you come to be invited to the Saudi Embassy in London?
I sent His Royal Highness a letter and a copy of the booklet. Then I had a call from his secretary that I was invited to meet the Prince. She told me he wanted me to come to the embassy and he would like to meet me.
What happened during your visit?
I was greeted by the secretary and she escorted me over to His Excellency’s office. I wasn’t nervous at all, I was very proud and honored. His Royal Highness was very willing to support and help me with my future ideas and plans.
Can you tell us a little more about the booklet you have produced?
The booklet is intended for foreign schools which might be considering coming to the Kingdom on educational trips.
What prompted you to write the booklet?
When I was in Saudi Arabia I went on school trips to other countries and saw that it was very expensive, so since Saudi has opened its doors for tourism, in my opinion this is a very good source of income for the economy. The Kingdom is a very rich, historic land and has a lot to offer visitors.
Where would you recommend first-time visitors should go?
It depends on what your interests are – Saudi is very diverse geographically and culturally. I would recommend that first-time visitors go to Jeddah because it's next to the Red Sea and close to other places such as Taif and Alula, so there's lots of interesting things to experience.
What’s your favorite place to visit when you’re in KSA?
My favorite place to visit is Makkah for sure, because it's the home of Islam and Allah’s messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and for me this is the most peaceful place in the world.
Do you have any other projects lined up?
I do have some ideas I’m considering but I’m focusing on my studies at the moment. I hope to work on them in the future.
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