Al-Rabeeah wins top medical award

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Updated 06 December 2012
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Al-Rabeeah wins top medical award

Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah has been named the recipient of the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences for outstanding medical personalities in the Arab world, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced here yesterday.
An MoH official said the minister will be honored with the award at the 7th Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences which will be held on Monday at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibitions Center.
The prize comes in appreciation of Al-Rabeeah's contributions to the development of health sector and to other humanitarian medical services at a global level.
During the award ceremony, Al-Rabeeah is slated to deliver a talk on his experience on separation of conjoined twins in the Kingdom.
This award is for distinguished personalities who have dedicated their life to the development of medical science in the Arab region. The objective of this award is to recognize the work that influenced the medical development of excellence in the Arab region and the Arab community.
The winners are selected through recommendations from health ministries of the countries from the Arab world and based on the individual's scientific and academic achievements which are reflected in his/her personal contributions and dedications for the medical development in the Arab world.
Since its establishment in 1990, around 28 physicians and volunteer workers in the area of humanitarian services had won the prize the winners included Americans, Brtons, Australians, Italians, Germans and a Finn besides winners from the Middle East region.
Al-Rabeeah became the Kingdom's health minister in 2009. Prior to his appointment as minister, he was the chief executive officer of National Guard Health Affairs at the King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh.
Globally renowned as a successful surgeon for separation of conjoined twins, Al-Rabeeah has successfully separated conjoined twins from various countries such as Poland, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and the Kingdom.
Al-Rabeeah vowed to continue his contribution toward separation surgeries.
Al-Rabeeah performed the first separation surgery in the Kingdom in December 1990 at Riyadh’s King Faisal Specialist Hospital. The operation, which was successful, was performed on Saudi twin girls joined at the stomach.
Under the leadership of Al-Rabeeah, Saudi Arabia has a team of top surgeons specialized in the separation of twins with the experience of treating 63 twins from 17 countries of which 28 have been successful. The remaining cases were not fit for separation owing to health reasons.


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.