Holy month shopping: Incense a must

Updated 26 July 2013
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Holy month shopping: Incense a must

A staggering SR1 billion of incense sticks is sold during Ramadan in the Kingdom, according to a local trader.
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest importers of incense and oud. Incense is imported in large quantities from Southeast Asia, particularly India and Cambodia. Trading in incense in the Kingdom is generally active all year round, but for Ramadan and the two Eids, there is a massive increase. Besides Ramadan, incense is used extensively during family events such as weddings.
Ibrahim Al-Qurashi, one of the largest and well-known importers of incense in Saudi Arabia, said that oud and incense represents a sense of history and tradition for Saudis. “During Ramadan alone, sales of incense can go as high as SR1 billion. For many Saudis and Gulf citizens, and to a lesser degree other Arab communities who have been living long in the Kingdom, they are a must on their shopping lists for Ramadan and the Eids,” he said.
Asked about the high prices of incense, he said: “Incense comes from tall trees with thick foliage. They are hundreds of years old, and are found mostly in large forests in India and Cambodia, including Indonesia and Malaysia. These forests are home to poisonous snakes such as the cobra. You can’t really distinguish these snakes from the surrounding trees because they camouflage themselves with the colors around them. This makes it very dangerous for people to fell trees, which are later chopped into small pieces. And since these trees are very old and very tall, it makes it extremely difficult to chop down.”
“Another, no less important reason for the extraordinary high prices is that the government of India strictly prohibits cutting down trees and exporting wood overseas. But we are given special reservations within these forests, which we are licensed to cultivate by the Indian government,” he said, adding that this was the reason why Indian incense was the most expensive.
Salih Kassar, a seller of incense in Jeddah, says that in addition to oriental perfumes, Indian incense is the most popular in Ramadan. “Our sales in this holy month go up 100 percent. The best grades of Indian incense fetch very high prices, sometimes as high as SR150,000 a kilogram. The Cambodian variety is sold for SR60,000 a kilogram,” he added.


The rights Saudi women did not know of

Updated 25 April 2018
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The rights Saudi women did not know of

  • Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the Saudi Justice ministry has addressed all flaws in the system that prevented women from living their lives securely and free from unnecessary hassles
  • No marriage agreement is accepted unless a woman provides a written approval, even if her guardian is her father

JEDDAH: Despite the great steps taken by the Saudi Ministry of Justice to give women a freer and more secure life, many Saudi women still do not have enough knowledge of their rights. 

Therefore, the ministry has started a campaign in cities all over the Kingdom to spread awareness among women of their legal rights. A female-only staff runs public exhibitions to enlighten them about how they are protected in different areas so they can lead their lives in a better way.

“We are using every possible channel to communicate with women to enlighten them about their rights, support them in all aspects to assure their ability to enjoy a secure rightful life,” said Majed Alkhamis, head of media and communication at the Ministry of Justice.

Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the ministry has addressed all flaws in the system that prevented women from living their lives securely and free from unnecessary hassles. Despite all the obstacles, the ministry has succeeded in several areas.

A wife’s rights

The system not only grants the woman the right to sue her husband or ex-husband for alimony or acknowledgment of paternity, but it also allows any women legally living on Saudi soil, regardless of her citizenship or religion, to prosecute her current or former husband even if he is outside Saudi Arabia at the time of the lawsuit. Moreover, the new systems now support divorced women to a whole new level. For example, the system gives priority to a woman’s alimony over her husband’s personal debts.

Marriage agreements

No marriage agreement is accepted unless a woman provides a written approval, even if her guardian is her father. This arrangement grants a woman the freedom to accept a marriage proposal without any influence or coercion. In addition, if a woman is not happy with her marriage, she is free to leave the house of marriage and walk out of the agreement with no law to force her to come back. If she chooses to abandon the marriage her right to alimony will be dropped, but she is still entitled to custody of the children.

No delays

The Ministry of Justice has designed a full female service within its courthouses. 

These services include advisory people who provide free consultations on everything. In addition, these departments support women at all stages up until the execution of any court order to avoid delays and procrastination.

Speedy justice

The law emphasizes the speedy execution of justice in women-related cases.