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.”


Joint Incidents Assessment Team 'abides by transparency' in Yemen

Updated 15 min 27 sec ago
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Joint Incidents Assessment Team 'abides by transparency' in Yemen

  • JIAT spokesman said the team is transparent in the way it announces its results for incidents in Yemen

RIYADH: The spokesman of the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) in Yemen, legal consultant Mansour Bin Ahmed Al-Mansour, has stressed that the team abides by transparency in announcing the results of engagement in Yemen.

Al-Mansour was speaking on Tuesday at a press conference at King Salman Air Base in Riyadh assessing  incidents. 

The cases included an incident in Malh Town where Human Rights on Yemen stated that on Feb. 18, 2016, during the intensity of combat, a family tried to leave and Coalition Forces targeted the vehicle, causing the death of nine family members and their relatives, injuring three.

JIAT investigations revealed that the target was located 1,600 meters from the coordinate given by the National Commission, and after reviewing the daily mission schedule, JIAT found that there was no air mission on the village of Malh. 

It was also claimed that the Coalition Air Forces on Nov. 10, 2017 targeted the ministry of defense and the fall of a missile on Alsa’adi neighborhood next to the ministry injured 23 civilians. JIAT found that there was a gathering of high-level Houthi leaders inside the building so considered it a legitimate military target. 

On Feb 2, 2018 an airstrike on a target 500 meters away from the warehouse of the UNHCR in Sa’dah city caused damage to the warehouse and injured the guard. JIAT found that the Coalition Air Forces targeted a legitimate military target (a leader from the Houthi armed militia). 

Coalition Forces on March 31, 2015 targeted the national cement factory in Lahj, causing the death of at least 10 people and injuring at least 13 others. JIAT found that the target was 360 meters away from generators and the production line, and was not aimed at the operational infrastructure. JIAT found that the procedures of the coalition in targeting the weapons, ammunition warehouse and AAA inside the factory were in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Al-Mansour announced the findings of investigations into the Radfan water factory north of Lahj governorate. JIAT found that intelligence stated that it was used for weapons storage and as a meeting place for hostile elements and was considered a legitimate military target.

JIAT looked at a High Commissioner for Human Rights report that stated that on Aug. 7, 2016, Coalition Forces carried out two airstrikes on a residential and commercial building in Sana’a, causing the death of 16 civilians including seven children and a woman, and injuring 24 others. JIAT found that Coalition Forces did not target the buildings and confirmed that the procedures of the coalition in targeting the truck were in accordance with international humanitarian law. 

Human Rights Watch stated that on Feb. 14, 2016, Coalition Air Forces targeted the Middle East Tailoring and Embroidery Factory in Sana’a city, causing the death of one laborer and injuring three others. 

JIAT found that on Feb. 13, 2016, intelligence received by the Coalition Forces indicated there were meetings of Houthi armed leaders in a hanger in Sana’a that had been used as an embroidery factory before being controlled by the militia.

Regarding reports by international organizations about a civilian boat being attacked by a military ship on March 16, 2017, the boat arrived about 30 nautical miles from Alhudaydah port and was intercepted by a military ship that claimed to belong to the Coalition Forces and opened fire. Passengers signaled that they were civilians but the ship opened fire with a submachine gun, and a helicopter took off from the attacking ship and opened fire, causing the death of 33 people, injuring 29. 

JIAT found Coalition Forces did not target the refugee boat for several reasons, including that the shooting on the boat was horizontal, making it impossible for it to come from a helicopter, and the size of the weapon used showed the marks of small-caliber fire, not medium or large caliber.