Arab Women Forum to be held in KSA in partnership with Arab News

Updated 08 March 2018
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Arab Women Forum to be held in KSA in partnership with Arab News

LONDON: Top female executives and business leaders are set to discuss the changing role of Arab women in the Middle East at a new event being launched in Saudi Arabia next month.
The Arab Women Forum is to take place on April 10 and will form part of the annual “Top CEO” awards event organized by the Dubai-based publisher Mediaquest.
Arab News is partnering with the inaugural women-focused forum, which is held at a time of significant social change in the Kingdom, including the move to allow women to drive.
“Given the raft of reforms underway in Saudi Arabia, there could not be a more appropriate and meaningful time to host such an event,” said Faisal J. Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News.
“Arab News has been taking a leading role in both reporting on the changes underway in the Kingdom and pointing out the clear need for women to play key roles in Saudi society, and the many challenges ahead.
“This conference aims to take this conversation forward — for the benefit of both Saudi Arabia’s female workforce and the wider society as a whole.”
Julien Hawari, co-CEO of Mediaquest, welcomed the partnership with Arab News in hosting the inaugural Arab Women Forum.
“At a crossroad, the GCC and Saudi Arabia are going through a paradigm shift. The consequences of this fundamental transformation are many and are accelerating, resulting in profound economic change and the empowerment of women,” he said.
“This is transforming businesses and society. It was a natural fit for Mediaquest to host the women empowerment conference in Saudi Arabia, as such a topic will impact the entire Gulf.
“Arab News stands at the forefront of dynamic change in Saudi Arabia, so we are, naturally, very pleased to have Arab News as a partner in the Arab Women Forum.”
The launch of the event reflects the reforms seen in Saudi Arabia over the last year that have granted greater freedoms to Saudi women. Last September, women were given the right to drive, with the decree coming into force this June.
In January, women were allowed for the first time to attend football matches in Saudi Arabia.
The changes form part of a wider reform program spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify the economy and drive growth in the country.
Topics set to be discussed at the event include how to empower women entrepreneurs, such as improving access to credit needed to start businesses. The representation of Arab women in regional politics and in corporate boardrooms will also be debated.
Some of the confirmed speakers so far include Ambareen Musa, CEO and founder of the UAE-based price comparison website, Souqalmal; Dr. Maliha Hashmi, executive director of the Red Sea Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the development of the Red Sea as a driver of economic growth, and Dr. Lama Al-Sulaiman, vice chair and board member of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki speaks during a press conference in Riyadh. (AN photo by Bashir Saleh)
Updated 19 min 46 sec ago
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Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

  • The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.
  • Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels.

JEDDAH: Saudi-led coalition officials on Tuesday displayed weapons and explosives supplied by Iran to Houthi militias in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. 

The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels. The weapons were captured on the battlefield in Hodeidah and displayed at a military base in the UAE. 

“Unsurprisingly, there are advanced military components in the Houthi militias’ hands,” said Talal Al-Teneiji, an official at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

“We took time to inspect and disassemble these to figure out the source ... and we can say that these elements are military-grade materials imported from Iran to the Houthi militias.”

As the week-long offensive in Hodeidah intensified on Tuesday, coalition forces consolidated their grip on the city’s airport and there was new fighting on the main coast road leading to the city center, with Apache helicopters providing air support to the coalition. 

“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” one civilian on the coastal strip said. 

“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes.”

At the airport, which the coalition has controlled since Saturday, their forces stormed the main compound and took full command.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “We are waiting for the Houthis to realize the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them time to decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out.”

Oubai Shahbandar, a strategic communications adviser, told Arab News that “without the sea and airport of Hodeidah, the Houthi militia has effectively lost the war.”

They should agree to UN-hosted peace talks and not prolong the fighting. “The tide in this conflict has clearly turned in favor of the Arab coalition and the welfare of the Yemeni people ought to be paramount,” he said.