IIROSA, OCHA, UNHCR discuss aid for Syrians

Updated 24 October 2012
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IIROSA, OCHA, UNHCR discuss aid for Syrians

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled their war-ravaged country to take refuge in neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.
Members of the International Islamic Relief Organization, Saudi Arabia (IIROSA), Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR met at the Secretariat General of IIROSA in Jeddah to discuss the situation in Syria and provide relief assistance to the refugees
Radhouane Nouicer, United Nations officer for OCHA, briefed the meeting on the deteriorating humanitarian condition in Syria. “With winter approaching, the internally displaced people hosted in schools and public buildings require mattresses, blankets, furniture and winter clothes.”
Nouicer said humanitarian needs continued to escalate as the violence spread and deepened day by day. United efforts from international charity institutions are required to help the displaced people, he said. So far only 30 percent of the requirements needed for the humanitarian response plan were met with.
Adnan Khalil Basha, secretary-general of IIROSA, looked forward for a stronger coordination with OCHA and UNHCR to streamline relief efforts to Syrian refugees.
“IIROSA is aware of the worsening crisis in Syria and is steadily increasing its support to the refugees. We are honored to collaborate with both organizations in providing assistance to the increasing number of Syrian refugees,” he said.
“I have urged the directors of our offices in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to coordinate with UNHCR and other organizations to provide assistance to a maximum number of refugees in need,” he added.
The organization has already asked its representative offices to give priority to the refugees registered in the UN records.
IIROSA gives three types of support to the refugees. They supply foodstuffs, prepare housing units and sponsor 2,000 students in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. IIROSA also assists vulnerable refugees with psychological rehabilitation. The organization has started to coordinate with UNHCR a year ago, in operating and running the Rafia'a camp for Iraqi refugees.


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, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-ti
  • 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.”