Madinah governor known for his humanitarian work

Updated 15 January 2013
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Madinah governor known for his humanitarian work

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah appointed Prince Faisal bin Salman as governor of Madinah yesterday. Prince Faisal, who presides over the largest media empire of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region called the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), is widely known for his business skills and acumen, for his unflinching support to humanitarian causes and, above all, for his rare charitable disposition.
As soon as the news of Prince Faisal's appointment broke out in the Saudi capital yesterday, congratulatory messages started pouring in from different parts of the Kingdom and abroad. A number of high-ranking officials, foreign dignitaries and citizens congratulated him on his appointment as the governor of Madinah, the second holiest city of Islam. The selection of Prince Faisal was considered a natural choice because of the prince’s reputation as a philanthropist, and an austere, hard-working disciplinarian.
His mission is "to serve Saudi society" with added zeal and enthusiasm at a time when the country and the region are facing different challenges.
Prince Faisal's appointment was being celebrated not only in the SRMG but also across the Kingdom by one and all.
Born on Dec. 25, 1970 in Jeddah, Prince Faisal is the fifth son of Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense. A graduate of Oxford University, Prince Faisal is a young visionary leader well-versed in the affairs of the state. He has intimate knowledge of local, regional and international affairs also. Prince Faisal, who also holds a doctorate degree, wrote a thesis on "Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf: Power Politics in Transition 1968-1971."
Before starting his business career, the SRMG chief was a professor of political science at the Riyadh-based King Saud University (KSU), a premier educational institution of the Kingdom. After the death of his brother Prince Ahmed bin Salman in 2002, Prince Faisal took over as chairman of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group. He, because of his untiring efforts, led the SRMG to attain greater heights gradually but consistently.


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
  • 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.”