General Court in Riyadh retracts ban on unveiled women

File photo of Saudi women queue for a pop concert at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in the Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 28 December 2017
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General Court in Riyadh retracts ban on unveiled women

JEDDAH: The General Court in Riyadh amended the decision to limit the entry inside the court to veiled women. Women can now enter courts without the need to cover their faces, as long as they dress modestly and adhere to the court’s dress regulations.
The court replaced a circular issued last year by the court’s president in which he stressed that women would not be admitted to the court if they are not dressed appropriately in revealing garments or without the face being covered.
Shoura member and associate professor at King Saud University Dr. Eqbal Darandari told Arab News: “Any applicant frequenting a government department is expected to uphold and adhere by its dress code. Courts of law, specifically, are governed by religious sanctions, which calls for women to dress accordingly in modest attire.”
In response to the news she said: “That, however, does not mean that we restrict all women under a specific Islamic sect, as there have always been differing opinions and sects when it comes to hijab. I’m sure everyone is grateful and appreciative of such a decision, as it helps the court to provide women with all needed services.”
She also believes it will enable women to feel more comfortable in frequenting courthouses, for when they dress as they regularly do, they’ll feel welcome and at ease.
Hala Abdullah from Riyadh told Arab News: “I was ecstatic, of course. It’s not just a step in the right direction – it’s completely necessary and couldn’t have come sooner. Proper representation of women in the courts of law cannot take place if we’re literally and figuratively invisible. We need to be seen.”
@iPhonjy responded with a tweet saying: “Finally, true Islam is slowly but surely returning to Saudi Arabia.”


Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Jeddah on Tuesday. SPA
Updated 18 July 2018
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Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

  • The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers
  • China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has expressed his appreciation to scholars who took part in the International Ulema Conference on Peace and Security in Afghanistan in Makkah, saying the Kingdom was making efforts to “heal the divisions and differences among the Afghan people.”

Chairing the Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday, the king said Saudi Arabia was working toward “unifying the ranks and words of Muslims worldwide.”
He briefed the Cabinet on the results of his recent talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa, of South Africa, on future cooperation between the two countries.
The Cabinet welcomed the final statement by the Makkah conference calling on states, organizations and Islamic elites to play positive roles in achieving security and peace in Afghanistan.
The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers, extinguishing the fire of sedition.”
Muslims worldwide should continue their “firm stand in front of the advocates of violence and extremism in defense of their religion and maintaining the unity of the Islamic world,” it said.
The Cabinet also reviewed a ministerial meeting of the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum in Beijing and welcomed a decision by Chinese leader President Xi Jinping to establish an Arab-Chinese strategic partnership.
China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries and “add to the prosperity and economic advancement of all,” it said.
The Cabinet denounced recent suicide attacks on two election gatherings in Pakistan and the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and offered condolences to families of the victims.
In the local arena, the Cabinet extended its appreciation to the king, based on a report by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for pardoning all troops who have taken part in the Saudi Renewal of Hope operation in Yemen of their military and disciplinary penalties for their heroism and sacrifices.
The Cabinet approved a license for the Iraqi Commercial Bank to open a branch in Saudi Arabia and authorized the Minister of Finance to decide on any subsequent requests to open other branches.