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.


Saudi defense partnerships signed at Paris Air Show

Updated 20 June 2019
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Saudi defense partnerships signed at Paris Air Show

PARIS: Saudi defense chiefs signed a number of strategic partnerships with major global companies while taking part in the prestigious Paris Air Show.
The pavilion of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) company received a succession of key aerospace-industry figures during the Kingdom’s first exhibition appearance at the world’s largest aviation event.
High-profile visitors welcomed by SAMI chief executive offer, Andreas Schwer, included chairman of the SAMI board of directors, Ahmad Al-Khatib, deputy chairman of the SAMI board of directors and chairman of the board of directors of the Local Content and Government Procurement Commission, Dr. Ghassan Al-Shibl, and president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation, Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri.
The pavilion also received a senior delegation from the Saudi Presidency of State Security, along with the director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser.
During the second day of the air show, which runs until June 23 at Le Bourget airport in Paris, SAMI officials took part in meetings and signed strategic partnerships with global businesses involved in the four areas of the company’s work, namely air and ground systems, weapons, missiles and defense electronics.
At a signing ceremony in the SAMI pavilion, company chiefs also put pen to paper on a joint project agreement with US aerospace and defense company L3 Technologies for cooperation in the field of electro-optical and infra-red technology and special task systems inside Saudi Arabia. In February, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the joint project.