9 inmates arrested after riot at Makkah girls’ protection home

Updated 17 July 2017
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9 inmates arrested after riot at Makkah girls’ protection home

JEDDAH: Makkah police on Friday intervened to end an inmate riot that started as a protest against the management of a girls’ protection home in Makkah; nine girls were arrested, according to Arabic daily Okaz.
Under-aged girls being investigated for crimes, and females who are under 30 years of age and ordered to be imprisoned by a judge, are held at the facility.
The arrests were made after the doors and glass of the home’s management office were broken in protest at the alleged poor treatment the inmates receive from the facility’s staff.
The newspaper reported that inmates who were interrogated in the home demanded that the manager and some of her staff be removed because of their “bad treatment” of the residents.
The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) said the girls were subject to violations, as the NSHR had previously called for certain reforms at the facility but no improvements were seen.
“A team previously visited the home and filed recommendations and reports calling for reforming the home’s educational and administrational conditions to take into consideration the girls’ need for guidance and their psychological conditions at the same time; unfortunately, our reform recommendations were not implemented,” the chairman of the NSHR in Makkah, Sulaiman Al-Zaydi, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
“This shows the home’s (management) inability to comprehend the girls’ social conditions and circumstances that led them to the home (in the first place),” he added.
Spokesman for the Ministry of Labor and Social Development Khaled Aba Al-Khail said the inmates violated regulations and directives, and were dealt with according to the law.


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.”