Saudi Student Refuses To Stand Next To Israeli At Olympiad

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RIYADH — A Saudi student who won an international chemistry tourna­ment has made an interesting move by refusing to stand next to a repre­sentative of the Israeli regime.

Badr Salman al-Mulhim, who garnered a gold medal at the 50th International Chemistry Olympiad in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, chose to stand next to an Iranian flag-bearer, Arshia Khadem.

The Saudi student was a topic of social media discussions on Sunday after a widely shared video showed him changing his position when he realized the next person to him was going to be an Israeli student.

A large number of Arab activ­ists flooded the social media to hail the Saudi student. A posting on Twitter said, “I admire that nice work, free people are found anywhere.”

Activists say the move shows that people of Saudi Arabia are against the Israeli occupation of Pal­estinian territories and oppose nor­malization of relations with Israel.

Saudi Arabia has been the main sponsor of the Arab Peace Initia­tive, which envisions the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The kingdom does not officially recognize Israel, but the two sides have widely been reported to have co­operated for years behind the scenes.

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