Award-winning researcher given warm send-off; joins Aussie university

Updated 31 January 2013
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Award-winning researcher given warm send-off; joins Aussie university

A respected member of the Indian expatriate community in the Eastern Province and an award-winning researcher was given a warm send-off by senior members of the community.
Dr. S.M. Javaid Zaidi, an alumnus of India’s Aligarh Muslim University and a chemical engineering topper, was engaged in innovative research at the prestigious King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). He is moving this week with his family to Australia where he is set to join the University of Queensland.
At the farewell event, two well-known members of the Indian academic community, Mukarram Ali Khan and Dr. Jamil Ahmad Qureshy, highlighted Javaid Zaidi’s academic accomplishments.
“A father of three, he is among the brightest students of AMU and brought laurels to the community with his academic pursuits,” said Qureshy. “It is always good to move on to keep yourselves in the constant pursuit of excellence.”
Prominent among those present at the farewell were Parvez Qader Askari, Anis Bakhsh, Jawaid Ali Khan, Nafis Tarin, Feroz Fazal, Rizwanullah, Saeed Malik, Shah Faiz and Ibadullah Siddiqui.
All of them recalled Javaid Zaidi’s efforts in raising the profile of the community by winning the Almarai Prize for Scientific Innovation. He was among the first Indians to receive the award from Riyadh Gov. Prince Sattam in June 2012.
“We will remember Javaid Zaidi for all the good work that he has done in his area of research and for the larger good of the community,” said Askari.


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.”