We look forward to bringing change and serving the public, say Saudi female passport staff

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Saudi women are eager to work in the country’s passport offices. (SPA)
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Saudi women are eager to work in the country’s passport offices. (SPA)
Updated 20 September 2018
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We look forward to bringing change and serving the public, say Saudi female passport staff

  • Female staff undergo theoretical training in military and security culture, as well as passports procedures

RIYADH: Women who have begun the training program for security personnel dealing with passports have said their recruitment will empower women and expand their participation in serving Saudi society.
The two-week training program, which was launched a week ago, is being implemented in nine Saudi provinces under the supervision of the Passports Department training center. It aims to introduce 290 women trainees to the sector’s work and procedures, methods of examining documents, and the culture of military and security, in addition to improving their interpersonal and professional skills.
In an interview with Arab News, trainees said they were ready to provide and improve services in all departments and disciplines.
Trainee Norah Hassan Al-Shehri said: “The most important thing I have learned is to listen and do as my management says while complying with the laws and regulations.
“As a passports employee, I receive passengers, whether citizens, expatriates, pilgrims, or diplomats, take their passports and visas, make sure they are effective and match the individual’s real data and image, I take their biometric features (fingerprints) and ensure their validity.”
Al-Shehri added: “We undergo theoretical training in military and security culture, as well as passports procedures and laws to implement them once we start working.”
She stressed the importance of preserving the image of Saudi Muslim women, who are loyal to their country, religion, and leadership, in addition to respecting their management and colleagues and performing their duties professionally.
“My new job means a lot to me as I contribute to the great honor of serving my country,” she said. “I aim to reach the highest rank and prove that women are capable of bearing the workload.”
She concluded that it is a great honor for her to serve her country and leadership, highlighting that the passports sector is a vital one for all segments of society.
“We aim to ensure the security of this country through our work with the Directorate General of Passports,” she said.
Trainee Sumaya Mohammed Al-Harthi said she has learned about a group of general services, including serving citizens and residents to ensure the security and safety of this country in the first place, in addition to facilitating their procedures.
“We have also received comprehensive training in security and military culture to enhance the women staff’s security sense,” she added.
Al-Harthi emphasized that it is important to equip women with a good understanding of the passport laws and duties as well as their rights and responsibilities.
She said: “Getting a job in a sensitive department that requires sufficient discipline and a strong sense of responsibility means a lot to me, and I seek to achieve many goals through my role.”
Al-Harthi added that she was delighted to see women in such roles and with society’s blessings, hoping to achieve more faith in women’s abilities to hold higher positions and have more authority.
She stressed the importance of having women take jobs that allow them to improve their skills, in addition to giving them the authority to make decisions and seize opportunities.
Trainee Amsha Al-Sahli said passports employees should give a good first impression of Saudi Arabia as their work includes serving the departures and arrivals, ensuring the validity of their official documents, verifying their travel status, taking necessary measures, verifying travel permits, and ensuring that biometric features (fingerprints) are identical.
Al-Sahli explained that she received theoretical training that introduced her to the sector’s work and procedures, taught her how to examine documents, educated her on military and security culture, and improved her professional and interpersonal skills.
She stressed that the department’s female staff seek to prove that women are capable of handling and quickly completing tasks, and are keen to improve their skills in the field.
Al-Sahli said: “I am honored to be part of this sector and thankful for the opportunity to serve my country through my job with the Directorate General of Passports. I ask Allah to help me, and I hope women’s knowledge and skills contribute to Saudi Arabia’s development and prosperity.”
She pointed out that women are an important part of society and that the time for their integration in the job market has come, especially in the military sector.
“We strive to fulfill our duties and be able to bring about positive change to reflect the honorable image of Saudi women,” she continued.
“I am very optimistic and will do my best as I support empowering women for my faith in their ability to professionally contribute to serving Saudi Arabia. This has been recognized by our wise leadership, who made new decisions to empower women.
“My message to those who wish to join us is to have complete confidence in our leadership and to do their best to serve Saudi Arabia.”


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.