FaceOf: Dalma Rushdi Malhas, Saudi equestrian

Updated 19 September 2018

FaceOf: Dalma Rushdi Malhas, Saudi equestrian

  • Malhas is the first female athlete from Saudi Arabia to compete at an Olympic-level event
  • Malhas has been riding since she was four

Equestrian Dalma Rushdi Malhas is the first female athlete from Saudi Arabia to compete at an Olympic-level event. She rode at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singapore, winning a bronze medal.

She was born in 1992 in Ohio, US. Her mother, Arwa Mutabagani, is also a prominent equestrian. Mutabagani has been a board member at the Saudi Equestrian Federation since 2008, and was the first female appointed to the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee in 2008.

Malhas has been riding since she was four. At 12 she moved with her mother from Saudi Arabia to Rome to train with her under Italy’s former showjumping national coach, Duccio Bartalucci.

After spending a few years in Rome and obtaining her International Baccalaureate, she moved to join a two-year professional training program at the Forsan Equestrian Center in Chantilly, France.

She participated in Singapore in the 14-18 age group, becoming only the third Saudi Arabian athlete to land an Olympic medal, winning bronze.

After she participated in several competitions abroad, the International Olympic Committee invited her to represent Saudi Arabia.

However, she was disqualified from the Games for failing to meet the minimum eligibility standards, according to the International Equestrian Federation. Also, Caramell KS, Malhas’ horse, suffered an injury in May 2012 and was not expected to recover for the Games in London. 

Malhas participated in the Horse Hurdles Individuals category at the World Equestrian Championships in the US city of Tryon, North Carolina, on Wednesday, alongside more than 60 female equestrians from all over the world.

Prince Turki: Purveyors of terror not from one religion

Updated 31 min 11 sec ago

Prince Turki: Purveyors of terror not from one religion

  • Saudi Arabia’s former diplomat commends Arab News for ‘Preachers of Hate’ project
  • The campaign, in print and online, analyzes the words and deeds of extremist preachers and clerics from all religions and nationalities, places them in context, and explains how they fuel terrorism

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to the US and UK, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, has praised the weekly “Preachers of Hate” project that Arab News launched online and in print on Sunday.

“I think this is something that Arab News has stood for since its establishment more than 40 years ago,” he told the newspaper with regard to the project, which highlights extremists from various religions who incite hatred and spread terror worldwide.

“So I congratulate us, as readers of this service that Arab News is providing us. 

“Exposing the purveyors of hate, whoever they may be, is an essential part of combatting terrorism and hate speech. So good luck.”

Prince Turki said the recent terrorist attacks against peaceful worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, were a “horrific crime” perpetrated by a hateful purveyor of bias and prejudice.

He added that the murderer is a “perfect example of what we’re combatting in the Kingdom. 

“The efforts of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, and his Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, emphasize the need to stand up to these hateful criminals who distort the teachings of religion. 

“Unfortunately, these purveyors of mayhem, destruction and terrorism come from all religious and philosophical backgrounds.”

When asked by Arab News whether Daesh was truly defeated, Prince Turki said: “I don’t know.” 

He added that Saudi Arabia succeeded in combatting Al-Qaeda, yet from that group came Daesh, which he referred to as “fahish,” which means obscene in Arabic.

“Now we see claims of the eradication of fahish. What will follow we will have to wait and see,” he said.

“But if you look at some geographical areas — from the Philippines through to Afghanistan, Indonesia, all the way to North Africa and some of the Sahel countries in Africa — there are still those who are carrying the flag of fahish. 

“So maybe in Syria and Iraq there has been success in removing fahish from the scene, but it exists in other places.”