King Salman sends invites to top leaders for Arab, Islamic and US summit

King Salman receives princes, scholars and citizens at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 10 May 2017
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King Salman sends invites to top leaders for Arab, Islamic and US summit

JEDDAH: King Salman has sent invitations to several Arab and Islamic leaders, inviting them to attend the Arab, Islamic and US summit to be hosted by Saudi Arabia later this month.
The invitations were sent to King Abdallah of Jordan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan, Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.
The Muslim and Arab leaders expressed thanks to and appreciation of King Salman for the kind invitation, lauding the solid relations between their countries, and the ever-progressing cooperation and coordination between them in various fields.
They highly valued and voiced pride in the tremendous efforts exerted by King Salman to enhance joint GCC action, and the Arab and Islamic issues.
They stressed that Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Salman, represents the main pillar of security and stability in the region. They hailed Saudi Arabia’s protective shield thanks to the strenuous efforts it has exerted for the sake of defending Arab and Muslim interests, and preserving Arab countries’ cohesion and unified stances.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”