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.


King Salman’s support vital to national heritage achievements

The program aims to protect, promote and develop cultural heritage and make it part of the life and memory of citizens. (Supplied)
Updated 29 min 8 sec ago
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King Salman’s support vital to national heritage achievements

  • The Saudi leadership made key decisions to protect antiquities and historical sites
  • Saudi Arabia aims to conduct awareness campaigns, establish museums and develop them in a modern way to attract citizens and visitors

JEDDAH: The achievements made in Saudi Arabia’s national heritage sector, and the prizes and awards that have been won as result, are thanks to the support and efforts of King Salman, said Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
His comments came as the king received the Sharjah International Award for Cultural Heritage, which was awarded in recognition of the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques cultural heritage program.
King Salman oversaw the creation of the antiquities and heritage sector 50 years ago and stood firmly against the elimination or extinction of archaeological and heritage sites, Prince Sultan said, and has made historical and important decisions to protect antiquities since the era of the late King Saud.
This support culminated in the adoption of the innovative Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques for the Care of Cultural Heritage program, implemented by the commission to bring about a qualitative shift in projects and programs devoted to national cultural heritage.
Prince Sultan said: “The award is a result of King Salman’s follow-up and support to the program, which the SCTH and our team have translated into projects and initiatives carried out in cooperation with highly professional partners, in order to preserve, restore and develop the national heritage and make it a reality that connects citizens to their country’s history and heritage.”
He said the SCTH has built upon the great efforts of the institutions that preceded it in taking care of the nation’s antiquities, as well as individual efforts to preserve national heritage.
“Today, we reap the fruits of these efforts: The culture we have learnt from King Salman and previous leaders, which has taught us to complete the work and loyalty of all those who built and achieved before us,” he said.
Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, a member of the Federal Supreme Council and ruler of Sharjah, announced that the Sharjah International Award for Cultural Heritage had been awarded to the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Program for the Care of Cultural Heritage during a ceremony on April 22, 2018.
The program aims to protect, promote and develop cultural heritage and make it part of the life and memory of citizens. It also conducts awareness campaigns, establishes museums and develops them in a modern way to attract citizens and visitors, prepares Islamic historical sites to welcome visitors, and preserves culturally important buildings and towns to showcase the role of the Kingdom as a crossroads for civilizations through the ages and achieve a qualitative shift in the field, contributing to economic growth.