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.”


Sharqiah Season: What to expect this weekend?

Updated 21 March 2019
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Sharqiah Season: What to expect this weekend?

RIYADH: A bumper program of entertainment is being lined up in the Eastern Province for the biggest weekend yet of Sharqiah Season.

Concerts, a film festival, and a spectacular air race are just some of the events due to take place in the region as part of attractions for both Saudis and visitors to the Kingdom.

The action gets underway with the fifth annual Saudi Film Festival taking place from March 21 to 26 at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.

Organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in Dammam, in partnership with Ithra, the movie fest will honor Saudi and Gulf cinema figures and include 10 training workshops and 10 seminars.

The festival aims to promote opportunities for Saudi talent in the film industry and flicks from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman will be included among screenings.

All participating films will be shown during the event, and there will be a Golden Palm award for best documentary about a Saudi city and best poster (based on audience voting). A winners’ presentation will take place at the closing ceremony, after which the films will be screened at the Ithra center.

Tickets can be purchased via Ithra’s website, with options for single-day, four-day, and VIP passes.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited Red Bull Air Race demo comes to Dammam from March 21 to 23. The event, organized along with the General Sports Authority, will provide spectators with a warm-up taster for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2019 season finale, to be held in Saudi Arabia in November.

The air-racing competition, developed in 2003 and accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), is billed as “the most advanced aerial challenge in existence.”

Using the fastest, most agile, high-performance race planes, pilots fly just meters from the ground and against the clock to complete an obstacle course full of twists and turns. The air spectacular takes off at Dammam Corniche between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Saturday will also see the highly anticipated Color Run come to the South Alkhobar Corniche. The 5-km dash involves participants being doused with colored powder at the end of every kilometer. Runners start dressed all in white and emerge at the end of the run covered in the colors of the General Entertainment Authority’s logo.

The untimed run takes place between 5 a.m. and noon and rest areas offering refreshments and entertainment will be available between stops.

For concert fans the Asharqiah Music Festival will feature performances by major names at Dammam’s Life Park. US rapper Pitbull and Canadian DJ Deadmau5 will take to the stage on March 21, and March 22 will witness performances by Egyptian vocalist Amr Diab, US-Moroccan rapper French Montana, and American singer Akon.

Lovers of regional music are not left out, with appearances by Assala Nasri and Mutrif Al-Mutrif on March 22, and Nabil Shuail and Hatem Al-Iraqi on March 23, all at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Center in Al-Qatif.

Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment planned for 2019, will run until the end of the month with more than 83 different events scheduled across nine cities in the region.