US consul general bids farewell at packed iftar

US Consul General Anne Casper
US Consul General Anne Casper

Mohammed Al-Tayeb, the Foreign Ministry’s director general of its Makkah Region branch, gives US Consul General Anne Casper and her husband Karl Delinger a present at the farewell iftar.

JEDDAH — An emotional US consul general bid farewell to her friends and colleagues in the Kingdom during the annual iftar held at the US Consulate.

Anne Casper, who is leaving following less than two years at her post in Jeddah, was visibly moved by the number of people who had come for the iftar and farewell party, attended by US Ambassador Joseph Westphal and his wife as well as several Saudi officials.

Commenting on a verse from the Qur’an (Surat Al-Hujurat 49:13), Casper said that “God created us to know one another,” and that had been her job in Jeddah as well as that of all diplomats worldwide.

She thanked everyone who had left their homes to join her for iftar at the consulate.

Casper, who regretted having to return to the US for personal reasons, also commended the relationship between the two countries.

“It’s phenomenal and it’s deep,” she said, adding the large number of Saudi students in the US would be “a marker and make a real difference.”

Addressing the audience, Westphal thanked Casper for the “great service” she had done to both “our and your country.”
Westphal, who arrived in the Kingdom in May this year, said Casper had been a great help to him in getting to know the Western region.

Casper, in turn, thanked Westphal for his support during the two months they had worked together and for allowing her to represent him in this part of the country.

“We are sad to see her leave, but are glad she made an impact here,” were the words with which Westphal ended his speech, which also included a statement by President Barack Obama on the occasion of Ramadan.

Praising the relationships she had established, Casper invited her Saudi friends and colleagues to come and visit her in the States, giving all guests prayer beads with a note that read: “Goodbyes are not forever. They simply mean I’ll miss you until we meet again.”

During her stay in the Kingdom, the US consul general had the opportunity to thoroughly get to know the western part of the country during visits to Jazan, Najran, Abha, Taif, Makkah, Madinah and Tabuk, among other places.

She recommended Saudis explore their own land as well, because “seeing the diversity here is really amazing.”

 

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