Licenses to be issued for those who wish to open cinema houses in Saudi Arabia

the content of all shows would be subject to their close control to make sure that the presented materials do not contradict with the media policy of Saudi Arabia. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 11 December 2017
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Licenses to be issued for those who wish to open cinema houses in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad on Monday presided over a meeting of the board of directors of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) at the commission’s headquarters in Riyadh, in a meeting which approved the issuance of licenses to those wishing to open cinema houses in the Kingdom.
In a media statement received by Arab News, the supervisor of the cinema sector, Fahd Al-Muammar, said that GCAM, as the sector regulator, would begin preparing the necessary practical steps and procedures for running cinema houses in the Kingdom.
He added that the content of all shows would be subject to their close control to make sure that the presented materials do not contradict with the media policy of Saudi Arabia.
He stressed that all cinematic shows must be consistent with the deeply rooted social values in order to ensure presenting purposeful and attractive entertaining activities, that do not violate the ethical principles in the Kingdom.
“The Ministry of Culture and Information has gone a long way in studying the cinema sector in the Kingdom in order to prepare the necessary executive framework that could lead to creating an integrated cinematic experience, and provide a cultural and recreational experience for the entire family,” Al-Muammar said. He added that further details of regulations would later be announced.
Abdullah Al-Shamlani, spokesman for GCAM told Arab news that the commission would, after three months, issue all the official regulations for running cinema houses in the Kingdom.
“Licensing is due to begin after readying the show regulations and rules in public places within a period not exceeding 90 days,” Al-Shamlani said. He added that their role, as a watchdog, is to monitor and supervise the local cinematic scene after regulations are established.


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.”