First female law firm opened in Jeddah

Updated 05 February 2014
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First female law firm opened in Jeddah

In what is being seen as a major boost for Saudi women seeking legal advice and help, Bayan Mahmoud Al-Zahran, the first Saudi woman lawyer who was issued license to practice law in the Kingdom, launched the first female law firm for the benefit of Saudi women on Wednesday.
Bayan Al-Zahran became the first Saudi woman lawyer when she appeared at the General Court in Jeddah for the first time in November last year to defend a client. She had been working for years as a legal consultant and had represented dozens of people in criminal and civil cases besides family disputes.
Al-Zahran told Arab News that the objective of her law firm is to fight for the rights of Saudi women and bring their problems before the court, since male lawyers in many cases couldn’t understand the problems and situations of a female plaintiff.
She said that she was planning to take up labor cases and business disputes but would also dedicate her time to women’s cases.
“I believe women lawyers can contribute a lot to the legal system. This law firm will make a difference in the history of court cases and female disputes in the Kingdom. I am very hopeful and thank everyone who supported me in taking this historical step,” she said.
Al-Zahran said in the past, Saudi women faced problems finding a female lawyer who could represent them in the court. However, with the establishment of her law firm, this problem will be solved, she said, adding that she was ready to take up cases of both genders.
She said she was looking forward to progress of women lawyers in Saudi Arabia in protecting the rights of women. “This is a very positive step toward the Saudi court and justices as right now, we are four female lawyers who got the license, but I am hopeful that in future, the number will increase,” she added.
Al-Zahran’s father Sheikh Mahmoud Al-Zahran said this is the first step toward the protection of the women’s rights in the Kingdom. “We are very proud of our daughter who stands firm for protection of women’s rights. This will help all women who couldn’t go and speak to male lawyers about their problems,” he said.
The launch was attended by Mazen Batterjee, vice president of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, Zuhair Nawab, president of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), Dr. Hussain Al Shareef , supervisor general of National Human Rights Organization, Makkah, Dr. Suhail Sawan, executive director of national committee for prisoners, Dr. Inam Ribwai, director of children surgery at King Fahad hospital and former director of family protection organization, and a number of businessmen and society ladies, doctors, lawyers, academics and jurists.
Mazen Batterjee, while congratulating Bayan ad all the female lawyers, however, emphasised on Shariah law in every aspect of life and in law practice in Saudi courts.
He said female lawyers should follow the restrictions of the court for hijab since Islam while giving rights to women, also had ethics in place for women while presenting themselves before a judge.
He hoped this first step toward a women’s law firm will be successful and follow all the rules and regulations of court and religion.
Dr. Suhail Sawan said that Al-Zahran was working for years as legal consultant and studying cases of prisons which gave her excellent exposure. This law firm is a milestone in that there are situations which can only be understood and represented by a female lawyer, he said.


Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

Updated 17 min 25 sec ago
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Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

  • The project will see 7.5m trees planted and the creation of the world's biggest park
  • There will be 70,000 jobs created across the four major projects

RIYADH: The world’s biggest park will be created in Saudi Arabia as part of a $22.9bn project that promises to create vast open green areas in Riyadh, creating thousands of new jobs, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday

The aim of the project is to “significantly improve the lives of its citizens, transform the city into an attractive destination and make it one of the world’s most livable cities,” the report added.

The four projects - King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art – will complement the Saudi Vision 2030’s “Quality of Life” Program and are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to create sustainable cities and communities, while driving urgent action against climate change.

Developed with a government investment of $23 bn, the four projects will offer opportunities worth $15bn for the private sector to invest in residential, commercial, recreational and wellness projects.

As well as creating tens of thousands of new jobs, the project will also help boost efforts to improve the city’s health and wellbeing with a commitment to wellness, health, sports, culture and the arts, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Measuring 13.4 square kilometers, King Salman Park will be the world’s biggest park, with residential areas, hotels, and will also feature a Royal Arts Complex, theaters, museums, cinemas, sports venues, water features, restaurants and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course.

The park will also boast several landmark assets, including the Riyadh Fountains and a Vertical Garden. As an environmentally sustainable urban development, it will offer opportunities for the international community in arts, entertainment and culture.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

One of the world’s largest urban greening projects, Green Riyadh will increase Riyadh’s green cover with 7.5 million trees.

The massive planting project will help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 percent of Riyadh’s total area to 9.1 percent – that’s approximately 541 square kilometers, by 2030.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

Green space availability will increase to 28 square meters per capita from the current 1.7 square meters per capita, compared to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 9 square meters per capita.

Green Riyadh will help reduce average ambient temperature by 2C, and will use more than 1 million cubic meters of treated sewage effluent daily for irrigation, for the sustainability of water resources in the city.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

Sports Boulevard  - a health and wellness destination in the heart of the city- will feature a 135 kilometer-long professional cycling track covering the city and the surrounding valleys, the first of its kind in the region.

Adding 3.5 million square meters of new open space across the city, this grand project will also feature a sports pavilion, riding stables and athletics tracks.

Riyadh Art will be the world’s largest government investment in public art and will establish the city as “a gallery without walls” through a world-class interactive public arts program.

With 1,000 artworks curated through 10 separate programs and an annual arts festival, this project will feature large-scale art works with the aim of drawing art lovers and creators from around the world.

The projects are part of Saudi Arbia’s strategy to meet their Vision 2030 goals, they are expected to provide 70,000 new job opportunities.

Construction work is due to start in the second half of 2019.