Middle East Online
WASHINGTON, - In his first year as US president, Barack Obama, his family and administration members were showered with more than 300,000 dollars in gifts from Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.
The Federal Register reported Tuesday that King Abdullah gave some 34,500 dollars worth of presents to Obama, some 146,200 dollars worth to First Lady Michelle Obama and 7,275 dollars worth to their children Malia and Sasha.
The monarch offered a total of 108,245 dollars worth of gifts to White House staff, presents valued at 23,400 dollars to a senior US diplomatic interpreter and gifts estimated at 12,000 dollars to the US charge d'affaires in Riyadh...
The Saudi king gave the First Lady a ruby and diamond jewelry set worth 132,000 dollars as well as a pearl necklace with a value of 14,200 dollars, according to the register...
All the presents go to the National Archives as US law bars any US government official from receiving a present from a foreign government.
Obama and others accepted the gifts because "non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and US government," according to the register.
- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html