Public transport in Jeddah

Updated 10 February 2017
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Public transport in Jeddah

Jeddah badly needs a public transport system that can ferry people to distant places in the city. After all, Saudi Vision 2030 seeks self-reliance and better use of resources. Prices of goods and services are rising, and more people are self-managing their businesses due to large-scale deportations of expatriates who provided cheap labor.
It is getting more expensive to travel by limousine; a one-way journey used to cost up to SR15 ($4), but now customers can expect to pay SR20-25. Teachers and students are the worst affected.
Hiring a taxi or small van can incur monthly costs of up to SR600 per person, which is atrocious. Most drivers demand to be paid at the start of the month, with weekends off. So if there are proctoring duties at the weekend, one needs to hire a regular taxi, which adds to the cost.
Jeddah is very popular among Saudis and expatriates. It has a constant flux of religious tourists, guest workers and Saudi citizens who come here to work. Compared to other cities in the Kingdom, Jeddah is cheaper in terms of housing and consumer items. Considering the large number of people on the go, it is very strange that the authorities have not looked into this most important of issues.
There should be public transport in the city, such as buses and small vans that can carry a number of people at one time on fixed routes, just like elsewhere all over the world. Such transport is cheaper and more convenient, especially for those who need to commute every day. In terms of cultural considerations, there can be an opaque partition separating men from women and children.
With burgeoning costs of living, taxes on remittances and rising residency fees, a smooth public transport system is needed, and should be among the government’s top priorities in future city planning.


Syrian civil war

Updated 18 April 2017
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Syrian civil war

Since it broke out six years ago, the disastrous war in Syria has claimed about 400,000 lives, with the victims being more civilians than fighters. Of the civilians, the most affected are women and children. Peace is shattered in and around Syria only to safeguard the most selfish monster in the world: Bashar Assad.
According to a UNICEF report, grave violations against Syrian children during the war have been recorded. The children in Syria are not only maimed and killed as a result of bombings but also forcefully recruited to be part of the conflict. Children as young as 7 years old are pushed into the front line as fighters, suicide bombers and executioners! The actual figures of those injured, dead and forcefully-recruited children are far higher than in the UNICEF report.
The innocent children “used” in the conflict have had the right to blossom, the right to enjoy life and the right to be on a play-ground torn from them. They have been deprived of the right to education and, according to UNICEF, nearly two million children have been forced to stop their education with one-third of school buildings rendered inoperative due to destruction.
With their often physically crippled parents, the children have to be the sole bread-winners in nearly 75 percent of Syrian households. Unwillingly, the children are forced to serve as garbage collectors, hairdressers and cleaners. Keeping aside what Assad gets out of this war, the beneficiaries of the war are weapon manufacturers who may well be dubbed parasites living on the blood of innocents.
Assad, the inhuman butcher of humanity, does not care what the world says, opines, suggests and warns about the catastrophic war in Syria. More than the ruinous acts of Assad, Russia and Iran, it shocks, grieves and pains to see that the world and the Muslim world has done nothing to stop the butcher of this century from his brutal and barbaric destruction of his own nation and his own people.