7,532: No. of wives, children left abroad by Saudis

Updated 17 December 2014
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7,532: No. of wives, children left abroad by Saudis

A charity cares for 7,532 Saudis abandoned by their fathers and husbands in 31 countries around the world, an official from the organization has revealed.
Tawfiq Al-Suwailem, chairman of the Saudi Charitable Society for the Welfare of Saudi Families Abroad (Awaser), said that Kuwait tops the list with 780 families and 3,495 individuals. This is followed by Jordan with 909 families, Syria with 283 families and 814 individuals, Egypt with 269 families and 643 individuals, and Bahrain with 121 families and 525 individuals. China came in at 31st place with one family. There were no records of Saudis marrying non-Muslims, he said.
Al-Suwailem said those Saudis who deny they have kin outside the Kingdom would be investigated by the Ministry of Interior. He said Saudis are marrying non-Saudis because of changes in traditions and customs, and the cost of marriages rising to over SR200,000.
Arab News reported recently that Awaser has found that 70 percent of Saudi fathers who marry foreign women and then abandon them and their children abroad are over 50.
Al-Suwailem had said 25 percent of these fathers are aged 35 to 50. Many of the Saudi men who abandon their families abroad use the excuse that they are afraid of being jailed for getting married without the approval of the Saudi government, he said.
Al-Suwailem called on the government to speed up procedures so that children of Saudis living abroad can return to the Kingdom. He said many wives and children living abroad are unaware that they can get support in the Kingdom. Awaser takes care of families left behind by Saudi men.
Other countries with stranded Saudis include Morocco, Lebanon, Yemen, UAE, Qatar, Philippines, Indonesia, US, India, Oman, Tunisia, Britain, Pakistan and Sudan.


Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

Updated 18 June 2018
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Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

  • The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia
  • The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease

GENEVA: Outbreaks of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) killed 23 people in Saudi Arabia between Jan. 21 and May 31 this year, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
The deaths were among 75 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during the period, the WHO said, and take the total number of deaths from the disease to 790 since it was first diagnosed in humans in 2012.
The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia.
One outbreak in February hit a private hospital in Hafer Albatin region, where the patient passed the disease to three health workers. There was another cluster of six cases in a hospital in Riyadh in the same month, although no health care workers were infected.
Two other clusters affected households in Jeddah and Najran.
MERS-CoV is a member of a virus family ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It appears to have emerged in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012, although it has been traced in camels, the source of the infection, back to at least 1983.
The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease.
But it kills one in three sufferers, and hospital workers are at risk unless extreme caution is taken to identify MERS sufferers early and to protect health care workers from infection via airborne droplets such as from coughs and sneezes.
Susceptible people should avoid contact with suspected cases and with camels, and anyone who has contact with animals should wash their hands before and afterwards, the WHO said. Everyone should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating undercooked meat.
Three MERS cases have been reported this year outside Saudi Arabia. Oman and the United Arab Emirates each reported a case, while in Malaysia a man fell ill after drinking unpasteurised camel milk during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.