Dhaka wants ban on iqama transfer lifted

Updated 05 May 2013
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Dhaka wants ban on iqama transfer lifted

Bangladesh has asked the Saudi government to allow its workers to transfer their sponsorship to other employers. There is currently a ban on Bangladeshi workers transferring their iqamas.
During a meeting with Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni handed a letter, from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, appealing to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to allow Bangladeshi workers to transfer their iqamas.
According to an official from the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh, the crown prince said the Kingdom would consider the request.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, chief of the Crown Prince's court, Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Abdullah Al-Busairi, Bangladesh Ambassador Mohammed Shahidul Islam and senior officials from both sides took part in the discussions.
During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations and discussed regional issues. Moni thanked the Saudi leadership for supporting Bangladesh in good and bad times.
Moni, who arrived in Jeddah early yesterday morning, also met her counterpart Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Labor Minister Adel Fakeih. She thanked the Saudi government for the three-month grace period that will allow workers to rectify their employment status in the Kingdom.
The minister hoped that the Saudi delegation that recently visited Dhaka to check its recruitment process, would submit a positive report to the Saudi government, resulting in the hiring of more Bangladeshi workers. She said Bangladesh has transparent recruitment policies and is determined to reduce migration costs.
Islam described the talks as fruitful. “This is an important visit to boost bilateral relations. I am happier still that the talks will ease labor issues that have affected the country for some time,” he added.


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.”