Saudi cabinet voices support for Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition efforts to wipe out terrorism

King Salman chairs the Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 29 November 2017
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Saudi cabinet voices support for Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition efforts to wipe out terrorism

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet has expressed support for an address by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the first meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) and the need for strong coordination between Islamic countries in fighting terrorism.
The Cabinet, chaired by King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday, also supported the crown prince’s statement about terrorism distorting the image of Islam, killing and terrorizing innocent people in Muslim countries, the need not to track down and eradicate it in all its forms and manifestations.
The final declaration of the IMCTC meeting was also praised. It stressed that terrorism represents a continued and growing threat to local and global peace and stability. It also voiced support for the determination of the IMCTC member countries to coordinate efforts to wipe out terrorism in all areas, ideologically and militarily, and dry up its funding resources.
At the regional level, the Cabinet welcomed the outcome of the expanded meeting of the Syrian opposition forces held in Riyadh, which unified their ranks and the creation of a negotiating team representing all the opposition parties that will enhance their position in the Syrian peace talks.
The Cabinet was also briefed on the outcome of the meetings of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC), held in Istanbul, Turkey, and their stressing the need to address economic challenges facing the Islamic countries.
The success of the first meeting of the Muslims of the ASEAN countries which was organized by the Kingdom in Kuala Lumpur was mentioned, and the Kingdom’s role in serving Islam and Muslims, spreading moderation and tolerance of Islam, and renunciation of terrorism and extremism.
Efforts exerted by all concerned bodies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain on fighting terrorism were commended, and their work with partners in all parts of the world to curb the activities of terror and extremist groups.
The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of terror acts in Egypt, Iraq, and Nigeria and its support of these countries against terrorism and extremism.


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.”