Averting yet another crisis
Finally, those conspiring against Yemen bowed to UN’s Resolution 2216 and the international will. They had been under the wrong impression that they could hijack Yemen and hold Yemenis hostage at gunpoint and push the country into the lap of Iran.
Fortunately, the Saudi-led operations “Decisive Storm” and “Restoration of Hope” managed to maintain the balance of power in the region and averted a new regional crisis.
It was unprecedented in the Middle East when a militia swept a whole country exploiting fragility and weakness of the government to grab all institutions by force. However, the Kingdom’s firm stand against the step through forming a broad-based Arab coalition played a key role in deterring a serious danger looming over regional and international security.
In the past few years, Al-Qaeda terrorist group experienced a series of setbacks by a Saudi-American coalition, which considerably minimized its capabilities.
Had the Houthi coup succeeded in Yemen, the situation of the country under Iranian influence, Saleh with links to Al-Qaeda would have become catastrophic. It is no secret that under the Iranian influence and deposed President Saleh, Al-Qaeda terrorists would have flourished in Yemen.
We were apparently close to another Afghanistan model in our backyard where Iran and Al-Qaeda were about to share power in the most important water pass ways and we still remember how pirate attacks led to global militarization of the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden region.
Riyadh has frustrated this destructive project.
— By Aiman Al-Hamadi
Promoting healthy practices
THE Arab world is still lagging behind in terms of protecting public health. The striking proof of this is the growing number of smokers, fast-food restaurants and their huge ad campaigns.
According to statistics, the GCC countries are facing growing number of obesity, diabetes, cholesterol and hypertension cases.
Unfortunately, use of soft and energy drinks is on the rise in this part of the world and we are under the wrong impression that these are natural drinks with no artificial sugar, preservatives and artificial flavors.
Saudi Arabia has taken initiatives to minimize dominance of energy drinks and banned them in sports occasions while the Ministry of Education has banned the marketing of soft drinks in schools.
In the meantime, the Kingdom has taken a series of measures aimed to curb smoking in public places and, further, hiked the prices of cigarettes. The Saudi community is looking forward to seeing the Ministry of Commerce and Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) increase measures to curb risks arising from fast-food restaurants and consumption of soft drinks and artificial juices.
— By Khalid Al-Suhail
Credibility at stake
When the state budget was announced at the beginning of this year, the minister of water and electricity said that 87 percent of water bills of consumers would not be affected by the new tariff.
However, the water bills, which were recently issued, came to contradict the announcement where the increase reached unbelievable figures to exceed 1,000 percent.
The new tariff is not properly explained and the way that consumption is calculated is not clear, especially when comparing the previous consumption and old tariff with the new consumption and tariff.
When fuel or electricity prices were increased, people accepted the increases as logical but increase in water charges are seen as illogical. The new hike in water tariff led one of the Shoura Council members to call for reconsideration of such prices following enormous public resentment.
We lose 15 percent of our water resources in the form of leakages but why should a citizen who lives in a small house pay costs of these leakages?
With all reservations and resentments expressed by people, the ministry has, ironically, said in a statement published by media that the new tariff was extremely reasonable.
— By Ibrahim Mohammed Badawood
Citizens are suffering due to the poor performance of some service ministries. Surprisingly, despite huge allocation of funds to these ministries, the services of these departments are not improving.
Amid this gloomy picture, there are some outstanding ministries among them comes the Ministry of Interior and in particular the Passport Department whose services are improving on a daily basis. What has encouraged me to write this article is the opening of an office for people with special needs at Riyadh Passport by Director General of Passport Dept. Maj-Gen Sulaiman Al-Yahya.
The office provides services to people with special needs while seated in their cars without the need to go into the office of the passport department.
— By Nasir bin Mohammed Al-Mutawa
Handle with care
One of the important (physical and mental) developmental stages for children is transition from childhood to adolescence before entering the maturity stage.
This new stage, or adolescence, needs more understanding and how to deal with it without excess or negligence where the parents have to recognize developments experienced by adolescents at this stage.
However, some parents do not know that their sons and daughters are in search of their personal identity at this stage. Therefore, entering into conflict with the adolescents will bring about big loss and catastrophic results.
An adolescent normally does not know physiological and psychological developments he (she) is experiencing; he is shifting from a child free of responsibilities to an adolescent supposed to bear responsibility and make balance in his speech and reactions.
An adolescent also feels that he has grown up and has his (her) independent opinion but, still, treated by parents as a child and, accordingly, wants to live in his own world and desire to live alone. To address this critical stage of adolescence, parents are urged to follow certain steps. They should avoid degrading or humiliating their sons or daughters.
Parents also have to share unconditional love with them and know how to contain their erroneous behaviors through dialogue and understanding. Parents have to win confidence of their sons and daughters. They should appreciate and encourage their positive behaviors and, sometimes, spend a good time with them.
— By Haifa Safouq
Unfounded societal fears
Our planet has become a small village wherein all countries are exchanging products and information. In this small village, every country is making efforts to protect its interests.
Unfortunately, some of us are closing doors tightly and dealing with the current global civilization timidly putting their artificial weapon in front of them as if we are outside this universe.
We banned women from driving cars because of this phobia, which made us one of the first countries to recruit foreign drivers, and, thus, allowing billions of dollars flee from our country at a time we badly need such money.
This phobia has created unemployment of women by preventing them work in shops, ministries, pharmacies and supermarkets and, hence, allowing foreign workers benefit from this situation.
Our daughters get university degrees but still their employment is hardly restricted to one ministry but if they were given chance in other ministries, their problem would have been resolved long time ago but as long as this phobia is nesting in minds of some people, our daughters will remain unemployed.
A Saudi widow sells her products on the sidewalk and under the sun with possible exposure to harassment while a foreigner sells his products in an air-conditioned store with due dignity because of this phobia.
Female graduates of pharmacy colleges have been seeking jobs for years and if one of them is employed in a private pharmacy, a man may enter that shop and stop her from work for the same reason — phobia.
Our daughters were barred from representing our country at global sporting events, as they were earlier denied entry into stadiums to watch games because of this phobia.
— By Saud Al-Fawzan