Riyadh’s normally busy King Fahd Road is deserted last Monday evening after Saudi authorities imposed a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images)

When Man’s True Nature is Put to the Test

Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, March 29

One of the most interesting things about crises and natural disasters is that they reveal the true nature of man: his morals, his humanity, his patriotism and, above all, his sense of loyalty to others. The coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world from one extreme to the other, including in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has revealed our people’s love for their homeland. A group of real estate owners in the kingdom has taken the initiative to waive all rent payments for tenants while other owners have postponed them until further notice. Such generous initiatives demonstrate the loyalty and kinship that our countrymen feel for one another. These noble individuals understand that now is the time to return a favor to the country that gave us so many great opportunities. No matter how long it takes, the pandemic will eventually end. Once the storm clouds clear above us, we will finally be able to see how ordinary Saudis served their homeland at dire times, how they practiced selflessness and empathy at times of despair. Our country, my friends, is going through an unprecedented crisis and it needs you to stand up and make sacrifices! Those who fail to step up to the plate will be remembered. The kingdom has provided us with a sense of security and prosperity, and the time has come for us to return the favor to our beloved homeland. Just look around us and compare the fully-stocked shelves in all of our supermarkets with the long queues outside grocery stores around the world. This is the ultimate manifestation of our solidarity and sense of obligation to each other. In this context, I call upon all of those in positions of power to help the state as much as possible. This is not only the moral thing to do, but also the egotistical thing: In the end, the survival of the country means the survival of our own wealth. This pandemic will not end unless we continue to share our resources, help each other and practice tolerance. – Muhammad Al-Sheikh (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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