Not inconceivable anymore ... Saudi women hiring surrogates abroad

Updated 07 December 2013
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Not inconceivable anymore ... Saudi women hiring surrogates abroad

Saudi women who are unable to conceive are traveling abroad to enter into financial agreements with surrogate mothers to carry their child — a practice not permitted by the Islamic Jurisprudence Council.
The Saudi Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics said these surrogates, also known as “uterus zir,” rent their wombs to carry the fetus of childless couples.
Dr. Samir Abbas, a member of the society and an expert in gynecology, surgery and infertility, said a large number of Saudi families look to European and Asian countries for surrogate mothers if a woman in the family is unable to carry a child for health reasons.
He called on the Islamic Jurisprudence Council to review the decision it has taken on the issue. “Such a phenomenon should not be treated as taboo, since the mechanism of food being fed to the fetus through the umbilical cord is akin to the act of a woman breastfeeding another person’s child, which is permissible in Islam,” said Abbas.
Some families return disappointed since some surrogate mothers opt to keep the babies after birth, which is permissible in US law.
This has prompted many families to search for women with several children since they are more likely to honor the agreement.
Amira Kashgari, a columnist at Al-Watan newspaper and professor of linguistics at King Abdulaziz University, said such an issue has two sides.
“The positive side is that scientists have made alternatives possible,” she said. “The negative side is the potential psychological impact such a procedure can have. People looking to embark on this form of child-bearing should read up on other peoples’ experiences.”
Renowned Islamic scholar and economist Omar Abdullah Kamel said: “Renting” a womb involves many issues. “Adoption can also satisfy maternal feelings,” he said.
Dr. Azzam Abdulmajeed, a gynecologist, said: “The success rates of the process is very slim because the mother’s womb is genetically linked to the fetus. We need to conduct more studies on this issue since it is new and reading about it is not enough,” he said.
“Essentially, the fetus would be feeding from the surrogate mother, which means she should be tested. Knowing a surrogate’s medical history is essential before the procedure is conducted,” he said.
“This procedure is unavailable in the Kingdom and this might be the reason why these women go searching for other hospitals and medical institutes outside Saudi Arabia.”


Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons but defeat ends World Cup dream

Updated 21 June 2018
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Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons but defeat ends World Cup dream

  • A fan named Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time.
  • Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s World Cup dreams were shattered after Uruguay beat the Green Falcons 1-0 in the second of the three group-stage matches. Most Saudi fans in Jeddah were much happier with the team’s performance in game two, following the resounding 5-0 defeat by host nation Russia in the opening match on June 14, but still bitterly disappointed by the loss, which means they cannot qualify for the knockout stages.

Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time. “Although we lost, the performance was much better than the first game with Russia. I hope we win our next match,” he said.

Nasrah, who watched the game with her two sons, said: “I was really disappointed because we played good today and nothing less than a win should have been acceptable. I am also disappointed to see the looks on my boys faces when the game ended as they were hoping for a win.”

Khalid Al-Raghbi said at least it had been a good match to watch. “We played a bit better today,” he added. “I wish we would have won but at least we performed better than our last match against Russia.”

Before the game, Ibrahim Al-Turki had been optimistic about Saudi Arabia’s chances. “We didn’t expect today’s result. I was thinking that Saudi would win by two goals, and Uruguay would score one,” he said.

The result was especially disappointing given the close result and the number of chances the Saudis had to score, said Badr, who added: “I don’t know what to tell you because we are deeply disappointed. At least if we lost with a big defeat I would say we deserved it. We had the potential but we could not score.”

Shadi Al-Ghamdi said he wished the national team’s much improved performance in their second game had been more evident in their first. “I am very proud of the players, I thought they played very well. I just wish they had played like this against Russia," he said.

Safah was less complimentary and said that the Saudi players had let their fans down, adding: “They seemed scared whenever they attempted to score any goals.”

Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25. It will be the final game in the competition for both sides, with only pride to play for, as they battle it out to see who will finish third in the group and who will be left in bottom spot.