Fake engineers being deported

Updated 09 May 2013
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Fake engineers being deported

The presence of bogus engineers in the Kingdom goes against ethics and a spirit of professionalism, said Abdullah Shahri, director for the Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) in Makkah Province.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, he lashed out at unprofessional individuals who claimed they were engineers. The SCE was working to protect genuine and professional engineers in the Kingdom and was determined to weed out holders of fake degrees. He said engineers played a vital role in the country and professionalism must be maintained.
He said the SCE was evaluating the academic qualifications and practical experiences of those who worked in the engineering profession.
He said the SCE was creating professional records for each engineer, containing documents on his qualifying grades and his professional experiences and progress.
Shahri said that every engineer working in the Kingdom must be registered with the SCE. Without this membership an expatriate engineer can’t renew his residency permit (iqama).
The SCE system allows for four professional grades: engineer, associate engineer, professional engineer and consultant engineer. For architects there are four similar categories.
He explained that an engineer must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a four-year course. He should submit a yearly mark sheet for four years along with a copy of his passport and iqama, and a letter from his sponsor.
“Attaining qualifying points for the renewal of a membership in three years is important. An engineer has to obtain 80 points, associate and professional engineers need 60 points and consultant engineers 50 points,” said Shahri.
He said points are calculated according to the scientific and professional acquisitions of the engineer. It includes the qualifying points for all activities and tasks practiced by engineers such as academic qualification, professional grades, courses and training, employment ranks, membership in organizations and associations, scientific participation, conferences and seminars, engineering arbitration, engineering leadership, and other works.
The registration fee varies from one profession to another in the engineering field, starting from SR 1,250 to SR 2,800. Membership is valid for three years. After the first renewal the registration fee is less.
So far, the SCE has found 1,050 fake degrees among engineers in Saudi Arabia.
Engineers whose degrees were found forged came from the Philippines (317), India (178), Pakistan (92), Egypt (89), Syria (53), Jordan (44), Lebanon (44), Sudan (40), Palestine (35), Bangladesh (16), China (12), Yemen (12), France (10), South Korea (7), The UK (7), Sri Lanka (5), Turkey (4), the US (4) and Cyprus (3). There were also 29 Saudis holding a fake engineering degree.


Saudi women at the wheel: the first 24 hours

Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena getting ready to driver her car as Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on women driving iib Saturday midnight. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 47 min 50 sec ago
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Saudi women at the wheel: the first 24 hours

  • The General Security has already reported that it will be providing the required provisions for female drivers in Saudi Arabia.
  • Private insurance company Najm, in partnership with the General Department of Traffic, has hired 40 women and trained them to respond to road accidents involving female drivers.

JEDDAH:  Women around the Kingdom have turned the ignition in their cars for the first time on their home soil and hit the roads throughout the country. They have gone on social media to express their joy at this monumental occasion which has officially changed the course of their lives. 

Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena was among the very first women to drive in the Kingdom as soon as the clock struck midnight. 

Women in their cars enthusiastically and wholeheartedly cheered on their fellow female drivers on this memorable night. 

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated, said Almaeena.

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 urges 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.”

Almaeena highlighted the significance of being a defensive driver. “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.”

On how society is adapting to this major change, Almaeena said: “Tomorrow is the first day, mentally and psychologically it already had that shift. As I mentioned, it’s a paradigm shift. In perception and how they view women, their capabilities — as equal partners. 

“Mentally it’s already there, and physically we will see — as we start — more and more encouragement for both men and women. Even some of the women who weren’t feeling comfortable about driving, it’s going to be encouraging for them, in a live demonstration and evidence that women can do it.” 

As roads around Saudi Arabia have been inhabited by a new breed of drivers, how has this affected the traffic flow in Saudi Arabia?

 “As of 12 a.m., the implementation of the Supreme Court order to enable women to drive and the implementation of traffic regulations to both men and women is officially in effect," said Col. Sami Al-Shwairkh, the official spokesman for General Security in the Kingdom. "The security and traffic status on all roads and areas around the Kingdom have been reported as normal. There have not been any records from our monitoring of any unusual occurrences on the road throughout the Kingdom.” 

To commemorate this occasion, as seen in the pictures circulating on social media, traffic policemen were handing roses to female drivers early on Sunday.

The General Security has already reported that it will be providing the required provisions for female drivers in Saudi Arabia.

Private insurance company Najm, in partnership with the General Department of Traffic, has hired 40 women and trained them to respond to road accidents involving female drivers.

The General Directorate of Traffic has completed all preparations to employ women on the country’s traffic police force.