Passport Department’s SMS notifications on traveling dependents criticized

Updated 01 December 2012
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Passport Department’s SMS notifications on traveling dependents criticized

Many people have expressed reservations on Twitter about the Passports Department sending a text message to the male guardian of a woman when she leaves the country. Several fathers and husbands were surprised, especially as many of them were traveling with their wives and daughters, to receive this notification.
Passports Department spokesman Col. Badr Al-Malik said receiving these messages is optional. When citizens update their information in the department’s Absher electronic system, they can choose if they want a notification. It is not aimed at linking the women’s movements to their male guardians. “It is rather a service to the community and one of Absher System’s electronic services.
Absher services include notifying a citizen about all department procedures related to his Civil Registry, like passport expiry, workers’ visas and others,” said Al-Malik.
Abdullah Al-Muwallad, Civil Status Department official, said the department is applying the Electronic Government System. This entails notifying citizens through a text message about certain procedures.
These include the issuance of a national ID and the departure (leaving the country) of any of the family members registered in the citizen’s Civil Registry.
Samia Al-Amoudi, a professor at Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz University, who commented on the issue on Twitter, said she objects to the procedure because such messages are insulting. “A woman is not a minor,” she said.
Luai, founder of Lumar company, said he received a message that his wife Muna had departed from King Abdulaziz International Airport as soon as the passport department’s official stamped his and his wife’s passports.
He thought the procedure limits the freedom of women. Dalal Samir, a housewife, said her daughter traveled with her husband. The father (Dalal’s husband) received a notification. “We became worried and could not rest until they arrived at their destination and called us.”


Al-Jubeir: Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, said Saudi Arabia's foreign minister. (AFP)
Updated 16 November 2018
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Al-Jubeir: Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

  • Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, says Saudi FM
  • Al-Jubeir: Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict

RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition is working with UN envoy Martin Griffith to reach a political solution to the conflict in Yemen based on UN Security Council resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative and the outcomes of Yemeni national dialogue, the Saudi foreign minister said on Thursday. 

“Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, and the solution should lead to the restoration of legitimacy in Yemen,” said Adel Al-Jubeir.

“We support a peaceful solution in Yemen. We support the efforts of the UN envoy for the Yemeni cause,” he added.

“We are committed to providing all humanitarian support to our brothers there. We are also working on the post-war reconstruction of Yemen.” The Kingdom supports the envoy’s efforts to hold negotiations at the end of November, added Al-Jubeir.

Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict, he said.

In contrast, Houthi militias are imposing restrictions on Yemeni cities and villages, leading to starvation, he added. 

They are also seizing humanitarian aid and preventing Yemenis from getting cholera vaccinations, Al-Jubeir said. 

The Houthis fire ballistic missiles indiscriminately at Saudi Arabia, use children as fighters and plant mines across Yemen, he added. 

The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, he said.

Saudi Arabia did not want the conflict in Yemen; it was imposed on the Kingdom, Al-Jubeir added. 

Saudi Arabia worked with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to develop the Gulf Initiative. 

This led to a transition from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the internationally recognized government headed by current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Kingdom also worked to develop Yemeni national dialogue that led to a Yemeni vision regarding the country’s future.

A new Yemeni constitution was about to be drafted when the Houthis seized much of the country, including the capital. 

Yemen’s legitimate government requested support, and the Saudi-led coalition responded under Article 51 of the UN Charter.