Saudi narrates her 21-year ordeal in Pakistan

Updated 18 September 2013
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Saudi narrates her 21-year ordeal in Pakistan

Popular Saudi TV show “Eight O’clock,” presented by Dawood Al-Shiryan, aired a video report Sunday about Umm Amal, a Saudi woman who was forced to work as a housemaid in Pakistan for 21 years after being raped by a man almost 30 years her senior in the Kingdom.
Umm Amal was just 14 when she was raped after being asked by her stepmother to seek a loan from a Pakistani neighbor.
Her stepmother persuaded her biological mother to leave the country under the pretext that her father would kill her if he learned of the incident.
Her rapist arranged for her to travel to Pakistan.
Her rapist married her legally upon arrival in Pakistan.
She lived in Pakistan for 21 years, earning her living by working as a housemaid. She gave birth to three children during that time.
“I was kidnapped by a Pakistani man and lived in Pakistan this entire time. I re-established communication with my family by chance when I bumped into a group of young Saudis in Karachi and gave them the name of my father. I told them that I wanted to go back to Saudi Arabia because I was afraid that my daughters might meet the same fate. I did not want them to work as housemaids in Pakistan,” she said.
“A week later, I called my father but he refused to speak to me.”
“I called but he hung up again. A Saudi young man advised me to go to the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad, who referred my case to the consulate in Karachi. I followed up on my case with Ubaid Allah Al-Harbi, the vice consul, who said he would send a car to take me to the consulate, but he then found out that I live in a neighborhood known for its high crime rates and didn’t send the car,” she said.
“I took a taxi to follow up on my case, but I was unsuccessful. For two years, I got nothing from the consulate in Karachi. Okaz newspaper raised my case. My father then came to see me in Pakistan. He told me that I have no honor and that I am a terrorist belonging to Al-Qaeda,” she added.
“My father was very cold with me even though I haven’t seen him for 20 years. He did not hug me. He ridiculed my children, saying they look like housemaids. He left a photocopy of my passport with the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad,” she said.
“I am not going back to Pakistan. Now that my father has disowned me, I only have my country left,” Umm Amal added.


Riyadh governor launches SR3 billion educational projects in Saudi capital

Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar inaugurates SR3 billion worth of educational projects on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 5 min 28 sec ago
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Riyadh governor launches SR3 billion educational projects in Saudi capital

  • 253 schools will open their doors to students: governor
  • The school buildings would serve 206,465 male and female students at all stages of schooling with 5,899 classrooms

RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar launched SR3 billion ($800 million) worth of educational projects on Wednesday at the Riyadh General Administration of Education. 

The launch was in the presence of Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa and a number of educational and pedagogical leaders as well as governmental bodies.

Prince Faisal said: “Today, we are seeing the cancelation of many old schools and the enhancement of many new ones; 253 schools will open their doors to students, a very high number that is not very common in many other states.”

The director general of education in Riyadh, Hamad bin Nasser Al-Wahaibi, said the educational projects aimed to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which includes providing an adequate educational environment for students and teachers.

He said that the number of educational projects launched on Wednesday by Prince Faisal totaled 253 educational buildings, including 132 for boys and 121 for girls, along with 122 modern gyms, 44 playing fields, and 28 kindergartens and educational offices. He said that the school buildings would serve 206,465 male and female students at all stages of schooling with 5,899 classrooms. 

The total worth of these projects was SR3 billion ($800 million) and the current school year had seen the operation of 48 educational projects worth more than SR572 million.

These projects included four kindergartens, 12 primary schools, 11 educational projects for middle school, five for high school and 13 educational complexes and gyms. 

This year, seven kindergarten buildings, 22 primary schools, 15 middle schools, nine high school buildings and 20 gyms were operated, along with 31 buildings for boys (including 757 classrooms for 22,000 students) and 33 buildings for girls (including 404 classrooms for 12,000 female students), he said.

He said that the Riyadh administration supervised 119 educational projects worth more than SR1.2 billion.