Saudi-American volunteering committee presents project for the homeless in Boston

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The Saudi American Public Relation Affaires Committee (SAPRAC) coordinated and presented a volunteering project in Boston, MA. (AN Photo)
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The Saudi American Public Relation Affaires Committee (SAPRAC) coordinated and presented a volunteering project in Boston, MA. (AN Photo)
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The Saudi American Public Relation Affaires Committee (SAPRAC) coordinated and presented a volunteering project in Boston, MA. (AN Photo)
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The Saudi American Public Relation Affaires Committee (SAPRAC) coordinated and presented a volunteering project in Boston, MA. (AN Photo)
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The Saudi American Public Relation Affaires Committee (SAPRAC) coordinated and presented a volunteering project in Boston, MA. (AN Photo)
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The Saudi American Public Relation Affaires Committee (SAPRAC) coordinated and presented a volunteering project in Boston, MA. (AN Photo)
Updated 23 February 2018
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Saudi-American volunteering committee presents project for the homeless in Boston

LONDON: The Saudi American Public Relation Affaires Committee (SAPRAC) coordinated and presented on Wednesday a volunteering project in Boston, MA.
In cooperation with Boston Rescue Mission, the project catered to the needs of the homeless during the cold weather. More than 350 gifts were presented to the more than 170 guests and residents at the shelter.
During the visit, the SAPRAC team toured the organization, met with all present residents and distributed gifts. It was a positive and engaging project with the participation of more than 8 male and female Saudi volunteers from SAPRAC’s volunteering team in Boston.
Upon completion of the SAPRAC’s volunteering project, a meeting was held between the Vice President and Executive Director of SAPRAC, Dr. Reem Daffa and the President and CEO of Boston Rescue Mission, Rev. John Samaan, where a mutual agreement took place to collaborate on further and more voluntary work with SAPRAC in the future.
President and CEO of Boston Rescue Mission, Rev. John Samaan, lauded SAPRAC’s initiative and stated that volunteering activities like this have such a positive impact on those in need, and is considered wonderful and distinguished work by the people of Saudi Arabia.
Vice President and Executive Director of SAPRAC, Dr. Reem Daffa said: “These efforts reflect the philanthropic spirit of the Saudi youth and society, while breaking stereotype perceptions among Americans. Saudi youth consider voluntary efforts to be a religious and national message that is indivisible from their scholarly mission, wherever they are in the world.
The director of the FLS International Institute, Michael LaRiccia, hosted the SAPRAC volunteering team at their headquarters in Boston and said: “SAPRAC has made great efforts throughout to demonstrate humanitarian work toward members of the American community, who are in need. He also stated that SAPRAC is always welcome at any branch of the Institute throughout the states.
SAPRAC’s Event Officer, Mohammed Al Hamed added: “These voluntary efforts are in the interest of building multinational communities and result in a positive impact on societies. Such efforts give hope and joy to those in need, and voluntary efforts between American and Saudi communities contribute to strengthening relations between the people of both nations.


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.