Al-Mansour: It’s an exciting time in Saudi Arabia now



THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published — Wednesday 24 April 2013

Last update 24 April 2013 6:41 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

NEW YORK: Haifaa Al-Mansour had to go to great lengths to make the groundbreaking Saudi film “Wadjda” — and not only because it is the first feature made entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first directed by a Saudi woman.
Because of regulations about public mingling, she had to direct outdoor scenes via a walkie-talkie, watching on a monitor from a parked van.
“It made me work harder,” she said at a discussion following the film’s North American premiere Sunday evening at the Tribeca Film Festival, saying that she instead rehearsed longer with the actors.
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem and Women for Women International founder Zainab Salbi joined Al-Mansour, after the film for a discussion that spoke both to the global struggle of women’s rights, and the regional differences.
“I hope we’re beginning to realize just as we, as human beings, are linked not ranked, in a deep sense, revolutions are linked not ranked,” said Steinem.
“Wadjda,” which earlier premiered at the Venice Film Festival and will be released this fall by Sony Pictures Classics, is about an independent-minded 10-year-old girl (Waad Mohammed) and her mother (Reem Abdullah) struggle through. It’s a subtle, largely optimistic film in which the girl, Wadjda, strives to simply own a bicycle.
Al-Mansour, who made the movie with the permission of the Saudi government, also struck a positive tone Sunday.
“It’s an exciting time in the country now,” said Al-Mansour. “They’re empowering women and they are giving more chances. Girls can ride bicycles now.”
Earlier this month, women were allowed to ride bikes, although only in restricted recreational areas. In 2011, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah granted women the right to vote and run for office beginning in 2015.
“Wadjda” isn’t brazen, Salbi, an Iraqi humanitarian who’s working on a documentary about women and the Arab Spring said, but “is beautifully pushing the envelope.”
“Wadjda” is expected to air on Saudi television and be released on DVD. Al-Mansour summarized her film not in political terms, but instead called it a movie “about hope, embracing change and moving ahead.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The father of the suicide bomber who blew himself up in a mosque in Kuwait has blamed “evil” forces for his son’s behavior.Sounding confused and sad, Sulaiman Al-Gabbaa, the father of Fahad Al-Gabbaa, said: “An evil hand has sent my son to hi...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Traffic Department has denied that it is introducing new license plates for cars.It said hackers posted pictures of the supposedly new license plates on its Twitter account on Sunday. The department said the news, which went viral,...
JEDDAH: The Al-Haramain Train project is described as the largest public transportation project in the Middle East. This vital and strategic project is one of the implementation schemes of the mass expansion of the Saudi railway across the country.Th...
JEDDAH: The number of marriages between expatriates and Saudis has dropped 84 percent to 1,928 since the start of this Islamic year that began on Oct. 24, compared to the same period the previous year.The Ministry of Justice said that there were 12,0...
JEDDAH: The General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) launched the idea of a project called Watani to link all parts of the Kingdom by air by beefing up activities at important provincial airports.Capt. Abdul Hakim Badar, assistant vice president a...
JEDDAH: Unofficial marriage is a refuge for a divorced mother to lead a married life while keeping her children in her custody but without the knowledge of the former husband who could demand the custody of the children if he learned about the ex-wif...
JEDDAH: Makkah’s health department has set up a committee to verify the sick leave certificates of employees.The department stated it would apply government regulations on sick leave, which includes people providing the address of the facilities wher...
RIYADH: The directorate of roads and transport has registered 20 cases of violations worth SR24,500 in Al-Qassim, where the transport ministry continued its surveillance drive against the companies in the transport business.According to the directora...
RIYADH: The implementation of an integrated health plan to combat MERS has resulted in a sharp drop in cases, with only one out of 736 samples testing positive for the contagion in the Kingdom in the last six days. Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Khal...
RIYADH: Muslims must cut traditionally high electricity use during Ramadan in line with the principles of austerity and self-control they are supposed to adopt in this month, economists say.Economist Al-Sadeq Idris said energy use increases during Ra...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry will begin next Tuesday to check whether companies are complying with new laws requiring them to place proper price labels on all their products.It is mandatory for companies to stop using phrases such as...
RIYADH: Minister of Islamic Affairs Saleh Al-Asheikh chaired the first meeting with Yemeni scholars to exchange ideas on how to strengthen their role in restoring peace in their country.The first Saudi-Yemen scholars meeting, dubbed the “outreach sch...
RIYADH: To cope with the growing number of applicants (boys and girls) at technical colleges that reached 126,023 last year, a state-run organization launched an online unified portal to ease the enrolment procedures.According to the Technical and V...
RIYADH: A senior government official from Dhaka, who visited Riyadh last week, has sorted out technical issues to expedite issuing 1.5 million machine readable passports (MRP) to Bangladeshi expatriates in the Kingdom. Information and Communication T...
JEDDAH: Jeddah municipality is keen to provide health and food security to residents and visitors of the city, and they are continually conducting inspections of food stores, restaurants, markets and food storage facilities to avoid any violations by...

Stay Connected

Facebook