Hundreds of Egyptian overstayers request repatriation

Updated 08 November 2012
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Hundreds of Egyptian overstayers request repatriation

Hundreds of Egyptian overstayers, men and women, continue to gather in front of the Egyptian Consulate in Jeddah, on Tuesday, demanding a facilitated and speedier repatriation back to their home country. The Egyptian overstayers, had entered the Kingdom on an Umrah visa, and then violated the permitted duration of their visas, in order to perform Haj. Now that they have performed Haj, these men and women, are requesting the help of their consulate, to return back to their country without facing any penalties.
Most of the overstayers hail from rural areas in Egypt, and have previously violated their short-term visas, to stay in the Kingdom till Haj season.
Due to strict measures taken by the Egyptian authorities, this phenomenon has drastically been reduced, in comparison to previous years. However, unfortunately, there are still some Egyptians nationals that opt for this fraudulent practice, and find themselves in a difficult situation.
The overstayers have taken over yards of land, opposite the consulate, making it increasingly difficult for residents who live close by, to move and park their cars freely.
An additional security personnel has been deployed at the Egyptian Consulate as a precautionary measure.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”