Saudi women celebrate Women’s Day with a jog in Jeddah

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Women run during an event marking International Women's Day in Old Jeddah on March 8, 2018. (REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser)
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Saudi women take part in a "green walk" calling for environment conservation, on March 8, 2018 in Jeddah. ( AFP / Amer Hilabi)
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Women exercise during a running event marking International Women's Day in Old Jeddah on March 8, 2018. (REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser)
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Saudi women take part in a "green walk" calling for environment conservation, on March 8, 2018 in Jeddah. (AFP / Amer Hilabi)
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Saudi women jog in the streets of Jeddah's historic al-Balad district on March 8, 2018. (AFP / Amer Hilabi)
Updated 09 March 2018
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Saudi women celebrate Women’s Day with a jog in Jeddah

JEDDAH: A group of women in Jeddah marked International Women’s Day yesterday by exercising one of their newly acquired freedoms: the right to go for a jog.
Saudi women have had a momentous year as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman lifted a number of key restrictions on their rights. Women can now attend football matches, partake in sports themselves and by the summer will be allowed to drive cars.
In Jeddah’s historic district, smiling women wearing traditional full-length robes adapted for sports cheered and one even skipped with joy as they pounded through the sleepy alleys past puzzled shopowners.
The government introduced physical education for girls last year and began licensing women’s sports clubs, but Saudis are still coming around to women running in public.
“This is just the beginning of a revolution for women in Saudi Arabia. In jobs, in our lives, in society, everything is going to change for Saudi women,” said one of the joggers, university student Sama Kinsara.
Kinsara is studying film, a major she will be able to use at home this year as Saudi Arabia lifts a 35-year-old ban on cinemas.
Yasmine Hassan, a member of the Bliss Runners group organizing the event, said it was aimed at empowering women.
“This is a message that we would like to send them and say, ‘Come, you’re not alone, we will do this together and the time is now.’”
“Hopefully by next year there are going to be way more rights given to Saudi women, the ones that we deserve,” she said.


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

Updated 20 June 2018
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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.