$ 400 m deal signed to launch 6th generation satellite

Updated 21 January 2013
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$ 400 m deal signed to launch 6th generation satellite

Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) signed $ 400 million contracts to make and launch the sixth generation satellite (Badr7) in Riyadh yesterday.
Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Muhammad Mulla and French Economic Development Minister Arnaud Montebourg attended the ceremony.
Arabsat signed the deals with the consortium of two companies Astrium and Thales Alenia Space and Arianespace.
Khalid bin Ahmed Balkhyour, president and CEO of Arabsat said that the contracts for manufacturing and launching Badr7 were worth more than $ 400 million. “The new satellite Badr-7 will be co-located at Arabsat exclusive Hot Spot 26°E with Arabsat other satellites known as Badr. Badr-7 will provide massive satellite capacities for television broadcasting, telecommunications and information exchanging services in Ku-band in addition to the broadband services in Ka-band,” he said. “The 6th generation satellites are a quantum leap in terms of the manufacturing technology and the capabilities of these satellites,” the CEO said.
Badr-7 will be manufactured by the consortium of Astrium that will manufacture the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform and Thales Alenia Space that will design and build the communications payload, while the Global company Arianespace will launch the satellite. The new satellite will cover the Middle East, Africa, Asia and many parts of Europe.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-ti
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”