WATCH: Viral video of historic moment first female driving license is issued in Saudi Arabia

1 / 4
The video shows the woman, who already has an international driving license, being given her Saudi license by officials, as per regulations allowing her to drive in the Kingdom. (Screenshot - Twitter: @saudalzmanan)
2 / 4
A Saudi Arabian woman shows her new driver license issued on Monday June 4. (Twitter: @Ahlamalthunayan)
3 / 4
Photo released by the Saudi Information Ministry, shows Esraa Albuti, as she displays her brand new driving license, at the General Department of Traffic in the capital, Riyadh, Monday, June 4, 2018. (AP)
4 / 4
Photo released by the Saudi Information Ministry, shows a Saudi Arabian woman buckling her seat belt before doing a driving test, Riyadh, June 4, 2018. (AP)
Updated 20 June 2018
0

WATCH: Viral video of historic moment first female driving license is issued in Saudi Arabia

  • A video capturing the first time a driving license has been issued to a female in the Kingdom has gone viral
  • On May 8 it was announced by General Department of Traffic Director-General Mohammed Al-Bassami that Saudi women would be allowed to start driving in the kingdom from June 24

RIYADH: It is a monumental moment in the history of Saudi Arabia, and a video capturing the first time a driving license has been issued to a female in the Kingdom has gone viral.
The video shows the woman, who already has an international driving license, being given her Saudi license by General Directorate of Traffic (GDT) officials, as per regulations allowing her to drive in the Kingdom.
“Thousands of congratulations to the daughters of the homeland, being issued the first license in Saudi Arabia,” the tweet containing the video by @saudalzmanan read.

The GDT has now started replacing women’s Kingdom-approved foreign driving licenses with Saudi ones.

After confirming the validity of foreign licenses submitted via an online portal, and assessing applicants’ ability to drive by conducting a practical test, the first group of women received their Saudi licenses on Monday.
On May 8 it was announced by the General Department of Traffic Director General Mohammed Al-Bassami that Saudi women would be allowed to start driving in the kingdom from June 24.

“All the requirements for women in the kingdom to start driving have been established,” Al-Bassami said in a statement.

Procedures to replace and obtain licenses for everyone are expected to be announced soon.

A Saudi Arabian woman shows her new driver license issued on Monday June 4. (Twitter: @Ahlamalthunayan)

In September 2017, a royal decree announced the end of a decades-long ban on women driving — the only one of its kind in the world.
Five Saudi universities have launched driving schools for women: Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Tabuk University, Taif University and Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University.
The Saudi Driving School, at Princess Nourah University, the first for women in the capital, was launched in partnership with the Emirates Driving Institute in Dubai, an established driving school in the region.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, is seen as the force behind the lifting of the ban, part of a series of reforms being pushed by the Crown Prince.
His Vision 2030 reform plan for a post-oil era seeks to elevate women to nearly one-third of the workforce, up from about 22 percent now.


Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 March 2019
0

Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.