Saudi Cabinet approves measure criminalizing sexual harassment

King Salman chaired the Cabinet session in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 31 May 2018
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Saudi Cabinet approves measure criminalizing sexual harassment

  • The government back the measure which will introduce a jail sentence of up to five years for sexual harassment

JEDDAH: The Saudi government approved a measure on Tuesday evening criminalizing sexual harassment in the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Cabinet, chaired by King Salman in Jeddah, backed the legislation, which requires a royal decree to become law. 

The measure, which was approved on Monday by the Saudi Shoura Council, introduces a jail sentence of up to five years and a SR300,000 ($80,000) fine.

“(The legislation) aims at combating the crime of harassment, preventing it, applying punishment against perpetrators and protecting the victims in order to safeguard the individual’s privacy, dignity and personal freedom which are guaranteed by Islamic law and regulations,” a statement from the Shoura Council said.

The Cabinet also lauded the efforts of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) during the holy month, offering Ramadan foodstuffs in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Sudan, Somalia and Myanmar, for the Mekunu-cyclone-stricken people and the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, totaling tens of thousands of food baskets.

The Cabinet said that the assistance provided by the Kingdom comes from its feeling of standing by those in humanitarian crisis and extending support to needy communities and countries.

“The humanitarian, developmental and social assistance the Kingdom has extended to the Palestinian brotherly people from 2000 to 2018, worth more than $6 billion, embodies the keenness of the Kingdom to provide all forms of assistance and support for the Palestinian people as confirmation of the deep-rooted ties binding the two peoples of the Kingdom and Palestine,” the Cabinet said.

The Cabinet also expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the suicide bombing in the Shula area west of Baghdad, reiterating the Kingdom’s solidarity with Iraq against terrorism and extremism, and expressed condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Iraq, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

The Cabinet welcomed the statement issued by the mission of experts of the International Monetary Fund who visited the Kingdom for the Article IV consultations, and which predicted an improvement in growth for the current and medium term and progress in the implementation of ambitious reforms within Vision 2030.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.