Obama honors Maha Al-Muneef

Updated 31 March 2014

Obama honors Maha Al-Muneef

US President Barack Obama honored Saudi woman activist Maha Al-Muneef in Riyadh Saturday for playing an important role in drafting and advising on a law which protects women in the Kingdom from abuse and domestic violence. It is the first time for such a law to be established in Saudi Arabia which defines and criminalizes domestic violence.
Al-Muneef was honored with the US Secretary of State’s International Woman of Courage Award. As she was unable to attend the award ceremony in the US recently, she was presented the award during Obama’s visit to the Kingdom.
Al-Muneef, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases, stands among 10 women honored for bravery by the US State Department. She was the only Arab woman among the group to have received the International Women of Courage Award.
Al-Muneef is the Executive Director of Saudi Arabia’s National Family Safety Program (NFSP), the first organization in the Kingdom founded in 2005 to campaign against domestic violence in the Kingdom.
NFSP has developed advocacy programs, reported on domestic violence and child abuse statistics in Saudi Arabia, and provided services for victims of abuse.
Recently, Al-Muneef said that domestic violence is a national security issue. She said that the security program against domestic violence is a true milestone in helping reduce the rate of abuse of Saudi women.
She also callws for educating children on ways to protect themselves against sexual predators and ensuring that parents are aware of the danger signs and their children's whereabouts at all times.
According to the recent statistics, a staggering 60 percent of women visit hospitals after suffering domestic violence and the number of cases being reported are on the increase.

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.