Mandatory alimony payments from ex-husbands eyed

Updated 10 February 2013
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Mandatory alimony payments from ex-husbands eyed

In response to large numbers of ex-husbands dragging their feet or worse when making alimony payments, the National Family Safety Program (NFSP) and Human Rights Organization as well as a number of Saudi legislators have called for such payments to be deducted directly from the salary of the ex-husband, a local newspaper reported.
Abdurrahman Al-Qurrash, a member of the program, demanded that the Ministry of the Interior order the Ministry of Justice to issue binding regulations regarding such deductions, and that the Ministry of Social Affairs assume the payments in the event that a father cannot or does not pay.
“Despite the suffering and bitterness that children of divorced couples experience, both their fathers and mothers seek revenge on one another by not paying their sons and daughters what is legally theirs,” said Al-Qurrash. He added that some fathers simply ignore the rights of their children, while the divorced woman intentionally disparages her ex-husband’s reputation in the presence of her children.
Norah Al-Ajlan, a member of the Human Rights Organization said that in the majority of cases she handles, the father refuses to pay the alimony. “There must exist a binding mechanism to force payment so as to mitigate the suffering of women and children,” she said. “I personally wonder why women should be forced to give up their legal rights in order to have custody of their children.”
She demanded that committees made up of social workers and women’s advocates be created so as to ensure the rights of all parties involved.
Mohammad Al-Najmi, member of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, confirmed that alimony is obligatory for fathers in all cases. “It is a lawful right of children and fathers should not ignore it or turn their backs,” he said, adding that the sum should be deducted directly from the father’s salary via banks or other official institutions. “The most severe penalties should be imposed on those stalling,” he said.
“’Upon the father is the mothers’ provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable’, says the Holy Qur’an,” said Naif Al-Omari, a legal counselor in Jeddah. “Otherwise, the matter should be in the hands of the court to decide.”


FaceOf: Mariam Al-Ghamdi, Saudi actress, radio host, director and writer

Updated 7 min 13 sec ago
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FaceOf: Mariam Al-Ghamdi, Saudi actress, radio host, director and writer

Mariam Al-Ghamdi is a Saudi actress, radio host, director and writer. She was one of the first women to feature on live radio in the Kingdom, reading the newscast in 1962.

She began scriptwriting for TV in 1984, which paved the way for a career as a producer from 1993. She subsequently forged a successful career as an actress, appearing in shows including “Selfie,” “Sayf Barid,” “Harat Al-Shaykh” and “Hawameer El-Sahraa, as well as in the movie “Wadjda.”

Al-Ghamdi earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah in 1989, and has written many story collections, such as “Ahobbak wa Lakin” and “Asmaa wa Nisaa.” 

Al-Ghamdi appeared on the red carpet at the fifth Saudi Film Festival at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran on Thursday.

She praised Ithra for organizing the festival and supporting young filmmakers in Saudi Arabia, saying: “In the past Saudi filmmakers were on their own, but thanks to Ithra, they now have the support they need.”

She was particularly excited at the progress of women in Saudi cinema: “I am truly proud of what they have achieved, and I hope to have played a part in bringing it about.”