Alwaleed’s tweet revives debate on Saudi women driving

Updated 01 December 2016
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Alwaleed’s tweet revives debate on Saudi women driving

JEDDAH: Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal created global headlines on Wednesday after he tweeted saying: “Stop the debate. Time for women to drive.”
The Twitter post, which was linked to a lengthier statement outlining arguments for Saudi women getting behind the wheel, comes a few months after the Kingdom’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also publicly endorsed women’s right to drive.
Bin Salman is leading ambitious and all-encompassing reform efforts for Saudi Arabia, which are embodied in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan (NTP).
The ban is considered a social issue in the Kingdom, as there is no actual law or religious edict that prohibits it. For years, the topic has been the center of extensive debate in government, media and social circles.
For its part, BBC News website ran a story entitled “Prince Alwaleed says women driving ban hurts Saudi economy.” In it, Prince Alwaleed was quoted as saying that “it is high time that Saudi women started driving their cars.”
The Guardian, based in London, and the New York Times also carried news of the prince’s tweet.
Prince Alwaleed’s open letter, in English and Arabic, included an elaborate and well-researched argument for Saudi women to start driving.
He emphasized that the issue has become even more pressing in the current economic circumstances.
“Would it not be better from the standpoint of safety, security, not to mention religious morality, to allow women to drive their own cars than to expose them to the dangers inherent in having them driven alone by foreign males?” the Saudi prince asked in his four-page letter.


FaceOf: Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Assimi, Saudi deputy minister of education

Dr. Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Assimi
Updated 4 min 14 sec ago
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FaceOf: Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Assimi, Saudi deputy minister of education

  • Al-Assimi obtained a Ph.D. in curriculum and teaching methods from the University of West Virginia, US, in 2001
  • Al-Assimi has also served the Shoura Council for two consecutive terms from 2005 to 2008

Dr. Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Assimi has been the deputy minister of education since April 2017.

On Monday, Al-Assimi received the general supervisor of the Saudi Digital Library, Dr. Saud bin Musa Al-Salahi, and other members of the library staff at his office. The library recently received the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Knowledge Award 2018.

The deputy minister congratulated Education Minister Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa on this achievement and praised the library’s role in provided world-class services to its users.

Al-Assimi obtained a Ph.D. in curriculum and teaching methods from the University of West Virginia, US, in 2001.

He began his career as a teacher. Later, he switched to administrative roles in the education department and served as a supervisor, director of education, a Shoura Council member and director of Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz University. 

From 2001 to 2003, he served as the director of practical program management at the Ministry of Education. Prior to that, he was curricula supervisor of national education at the ministry.

Al-Assimi also served as the assistant director general of educational research at the Ministry of Education from 2003 to 2004. Subsequently, he was appointed the director of education in Al-Kharj region and worked in that position from 2004 to 2005. 

He has also served the Shoura Council for two consecutive terms from 2005 to 2008.

Al-Assimi has also co-authored books for high school students. He presented a study on vocational training for teachers in the Gulf countries, and another study on the evaluation of training courses for the employees of the educational sector.