Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs thankful for strength of the faith in Africa

Sheikh Saleh bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh
Updated 27 May 2018
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Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs thankful for strength of the faith in Africa

  • Saudi Arabia is firmly grounded on the principles of its foundation

JEDDAH: The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Saleh bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh praised the care and attention King Salman and his crown prince are providing to the Islamic Da’wah.
He pointed out that the Ministry, based on the directives of King Salman and his Crown Prince, is paying great attention to the Islamic Da’wah in Africa. It has become one of the main parties concerned with the people of knowledge and advocacy in Africa.
Al-Sheikh’s words came as he welcomed Prince Dr. Bandar bin Salman bin Mohammed, Chairman of the Da’wah Committee in Africa, along with the members of the committee currently visiting the Kingdom.
“Saudi Arabia is firmly grounded on the principles of its foundation. It was founded on the piety of God, the word of Tawheed, the support of the Da’wah and the unification of the word of Muslims and keeping evil far away from them,” he added.
Al-Sheikh then congratulated the committee’s chairman, members and guests from the Union of African Muslim Scholars on the occasion of Ramadan.
He said: “It pleases us to see that the union is afoot and strong and that the words of scholars in Africa and elsewhere always meet in the teaching of Islam. This helps the uphold of Islam and the support of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the spreading of Islam.”
Al-Sheikh also stressed the importance of education, pointing out that the committee and the union have major responsibilities. He also urged them to take care of African scholars.
At the end of the meeting, Dr. Bandar honored Al-Sheikh with the committee’s shield.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”