Indian expats aid poor back home

Updated 30 March 2013
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Indian expats aid poor back home

Eastern Province expatriates from India’s eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand hosted a benefit dinner at Dunes International School campus in Alkhobar on March 21.
More than 700 guests participated in the program dubbed Ambition 2020 – Adopt to Educate Poor and Needy Children in India. This Dine-to-Educate initiative was organized by the Bihar Anjuman, Dammam-Alkhobar Chapter.
The group aims to empower through education, particularly for poor and low-income families in India irrespective of caste, creed and religion. The plan is to have one education center in each state of India.
The evening was anchored by Dr. Anwer Ahsan of Patna, a senior pediatric surgeon in the Ministry of Health, Dammam. Convener Syed Rashique Ahmad gave the welcome address. Dr. Laique Ahmad, eye specialist-Patna/Jeddah, and patron of Bihar Anjuman Jeddah Chapter, felicitated the sponsors by presenting a bouquet and memento.
Speakers Firoz Ahmad from Patna and Mirza Zaheer Baig from Hyderabad, both of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Kamal Ahmad, manager of New Delhi-based Radiance Viewsweekly, spoke about the importance of education, especially for those in the lower strata of society.
There was a brief presentation about SEWA, another project of the chapter, made by Arshadul Haque, project manager of SEWA. Abdul Razak Ali Al-Turki was the chief guest, and Ammar Bu Khamseen, owner MJB Electronics, and Ahmad Pullikal, owner of Badr Al-Rabie Medical Group, were the guests of honor.
The hospitality teams of the event included project manager Javed Khan, the chapter’s General Secretary Salahuddin Khan and Finance Secretary Jawed Ahmad. The advisory committee members included Younus Imam Khan, Syed Khalid Naseeruddin, Sayed Suleman Azhar, Shakil Hashmi, Zeya Khan, Syed Faiyaz Mohsin, Firozuddin Mohammad, Haseen Raza Khan, Humayun Rasheed, Ahmad Kamal Faizi, Kalim Akhtar, Naushad Siddiqui, Syed Gulrez Alam, Wasique Hashmi and Serajuddin Khan.


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.”