Foreign mothers of Saudis hail permanent residency decision

Updated 11 September 2013
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Foreign mothers of Saudis hail permanent residency decision

Foreign mothers of Saudi children have welcomed the decision of the Council of Ministers to grant them permanent residency status without having to find sponsors.
The decision, announced Monday, allows foreign wives, divorcees and widows access to health and education services available to Saudis. They will be able to work in the private sector as part of the Saudization program and the government will pay their residency fees.
Sahar Abd Al-Latif, an Egyptian, was happy when she heard the news. This 32-year-old mother has two Saudi daughters from a Saudi father. She now no longer has to give up her nationality to be with her family.
Sulafah Al-Sinari, a 40-year-old Lebanese mother, who has four Saudi children, was jubilant when she heard the news. She was forced to leave Saudi Arabia and her children when her Saudi husband divorced her.
“I’ve had to live away from my kids for about 10 years. I only saw them when they came to Lebanon. This decision is like a lifeline to me. Now, I can be with my children all the time,” she said.
Ibrahim Al-Abadi, an attorney and legal advisor, said the legal community has long awaited such a decision.
“They support the Saudi family and they relieve ladies, especially widows and divorcees, from having to find sponsors. Many families were needlessly separated. I sincerely hope the Council of Ministers issues similar decisions that unite the families that have non-Saudis as members,” he said.
Hussain Al-Sharif, head of the National Society for Human Rights in Makkah, said the decision “is a right step toward enhancing the rights of women who are married to Saudi husbands and who have Saudi children from them.
“We are still waiting for the procedural and implementation laws, since there are still many questions about non-Saudi wives whose marriage contracts are not in compliance with regulatory rules since they failed to obtain marriage permits,” he said.
 


British Middle East minister meets Saudi FM, visits KSRelief offices

Updated 34 min 19 sec ago
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British Middle East minister meets Saudi FM, visits KSRelief offices

JEDDAH: Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir received at his office on Sunday the British Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs Alistair Burt.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, regional and international developments and issues of mutual interest.
Earlier, Burt visited the offices of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief). The British minister was accompanied by the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Simon Collis, and other officials.
Burt met Ahmed bin Ali Al-Bayez, assistant general supervisor of operations and programs at KSRelief. Al-Bayez briefed the British minister on the activities and achievements of the center and the various humanitarian projects initiated around the world. Since its inception three years ago, the center has started 439 projects in 41 countries around the world.
The center allocated 269 projects to Yemen, covering several humanitarian areas, including food security, health, environmental sanitation, and other projects for women and children. It also initiated a rehabilitation program for child soldiers in Yemen.
The British delegation and the KSRelief officials discussed ways to boost cooperation to expand relief and humanitarian operations across the world.