Saudi Arabian women compete behind the wheel for the first time

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Amjad Al-Amari made history on Friday in Jeddah when she won the first karting championship for women at the IN10SO Center in Serafi Mall. (Supplied)
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Amjad Al-Amari made history on Friday in Jeddah when she won the first karting championship for women at the IN10SO Center in Serafi Mall. (Supplied)
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Amjad Al-Amari made history on Friday in Jeddah when she won the first karting championship for women at the IN10SO Center in Serafi Mall. (Supplied)
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Amjad Al-Amari made history on Friday in Jeddah when she won the first karting championship for women at the IN10SO Center in Serafi Mall. (Supplied)
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Amjad Al-Amari made history on Friday in Jeddah when she won the first karting championship for women at the IN10SO Center in Serafi Mall. (Supplied)
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Amjad Al-Amari made history on Friday in Jeddah when she won the first karting championship for women at the IN10SO Center in Serafi Mall. (Supplied)
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Amjad Al-Amari made history on Friday in Jeddah when she won the first karting championship for women at the IN10SO Center in Serafi Mall. (Supplied)
Updated 01 September 2018
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Saudi Arabian women compete behind the wheel for the first time

JEDDAH: Amjad Al-Amari made history on Friday in Jeddah when she won the first karting championship for women at the IN10SO Center in Serafi Mall.
The Petromin sponsored championship began in August to encourage women’s participation in motorsports by giving them an outlet to new experiences in the Kingdom.
The 22-year-old won the race after overtaking her closest rival in the fifth lap.
As Al-Amari received her Petromin trophy and a cash prize of SR5,000 ($1,350), her competitors cheered for her — the championship marks a victory for all women in the Kingdom.
“What I took from this championship is that nothing is impossible,” Al-Amari told Arab News.
“The other racers are on an extremely advanced level, and the competition was high and intense; it really was not an easy win.”
When she is not racing, Al-Amari studies mechanical engineering in Alfaisal University in Riyadh. Due to her major, she is often working on projects to develop and build racing cars and solar vehicles.
Al-Amari hopes to see Saudi women competing not only in karting but Formula One championships.
The Petromin Female Karting Championship was also supported by the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF). Vice-chairman Abdullah Khashab and the first female board member, Aseel Al-Hamad, watched the championships.
“I’m so happy and proud to see a new generation of women in motorsports; these young women are shaping the future,” Al-Hamad said.
“To me, they’re all champions, and without them, we wouldn’t be having the first women championship.”
As the face of female motorsports in Saudi Arabia, Al-Hamad was entrusted to present one of the awards.
“I’m excited to just watch them racing; that in and of itself is a great achievement. This can only be the beginning of a bright future for women in motorsports,” she said.
Enas Hamza and Lamia Al-Hussail placed second and third, respectively.


First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019
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First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.