‘Abducted’ Saudi woman marries Yemeni

Updated 11 November 2014

‘Abducted’ Saudi woman marries Yemeni

The Saudi woman who fled the Kingdom in 2013 with her Yemeni boyfriend has married him with the help of Houthi members, according to recent reports.
Huda Al-Niran reportedly married Arafat Al-Qadi last Thursday, Nov. 6, in the city of Imran, north of Sanaa. The Houthis run Imran’s administration after seizing it in July.
Houthi members allegedly stormed the Dar Al-Amal (House of Hope) in Sanaa on Thursday and kidnapped Al-Niran. She was being kept there under a Yemeni court order until her application to the United Nations as a refugee could be decided.
The marriage reportedly took place a few hours after the alleged kidnapping. Members of the Houthis had organized a ma’zun or marriage officer to legalize the union, according to reports.
Abdullah Al-Jafari, the woman’s lawyer, said he would file a lawsuit against Al-Qadi and the Dar Al-Amal administration over the kidnapping of Al-Niran. He said he has information that the Houthis were involved in the abduction.
Al-Jafari is reportedly in contact with the young man in Sanaa and the woman’s brother, Ali Abdullah Sakeena, who has accused Al-Qadi of abducting his sister.
Al-Jafari said he has been in contact with officials at the Saudi Embassy in Yemen to help resolve the case and get Al-Niran returned to her parents.
Fatima Jarallah, general director of Dar Al-Amal, claimed that 15 armed men had barged into the house and abducted the woman. Security officers at the home, who do not carry weapons, said that Al-Niran had gone with the men because she had heard the voice of Al-Qadi.
Al-Niran, known in the Saudi media as “the girl from Bahr Abu Sakeena,” a reference to her hometown in the southern part of the Kingdom, reportedly fell in love with Al-Qadi who was living in the country at the time. When her parents refused to allow her to marry, she fled the country with Al-Qadi.
They were caught by Yemeni security forces, detained and then transferred to the Migration and Passport Authority in Sanaa. Last year a Yemeni court cleared Al-Qadi of the charges of abduction.
The story of the two young people has hit local and international headlines, and is a trending topic on social networking sites.

Photo exhibition recalls 90 years of Saudi-Lebanon ties

Updated 27 min 47 sec ago

Photo exhibition recalls 90 years of Saudi-Lebanon ties

  • Thousands of photos on display
  • Ties ‘rooted’ in history, says Kingdom’s ambassador

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari and Lebanon’s Minister of Information Minister of Information Jamal Jarrah on Monday inaugurated a photography exhibition celebrating 90 years of bilateral relations.

The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives and the Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Cultural Foundation provided the embassy in Lebanon with historical documents and photos for the exhibition, which was launched on World Photography Day. Some of the material dates back more than 90 years.

Bukhari said the exhibition’s content proved that the countries’ relations were rooted in history and recalled the words of King Abdul Aziz bin Abdulrahman, who said: “Lebanon is part of us. I protect its independence myself and will not allow anything to harm it.”

Jarrah, who was representing Prime Minister Saad Hariri, said: “We need this Arab embrace in light of the attacks targeting the Arab region and we still need the Kingdom’s support for Lebanon’s stability, because Lebanon is truly the center from which Arabism originated.”

The exhibition starts with a document appointing Mohammed Eid Al-Rawaf as the Kingdom’s consul in Syria and Lebanon. It was signed by King Abdul Aziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Faisal Al-Saud in 1930 and states that the consul’s residence is in Damascus and that his mission is to “promote Saudi merchants, care for their affairs and assist them with their legal and commercial interests.”

Black and white pictures summarize milestones in the development of bilateral relations, while others depict key visits and meetings between leaders and dignitaries.

“The exhibition demanded great efforts because the pieces were not found at one single location,” former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told Arab News. “Circulating this activity in the Kingdom’s embassies in numerous countries is a great step and has pushed the Lebanese Ministry of Information to benefit from this archive. The Lebanese people remember the important positions the Kingdom has taken over the year to support their independence and sovereignty and in hard times.”

Lebanon, particularly Beirut, is a hit with Saudi travelers although the Kingdom had been advising citizens since 2011 to avoid the country, citing Hezbollah’s influence and instability from the war in neighboring Syria. 

But the easing of restrictions since February has led to a surge in Saudis heading to Lebanon.

Riyadh earlier this year released $1 billion in funding and pledged to boost Lebanon’s struggling economy. Another sign of warming ties was an anniversary event marking the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father that featured Saudi Royal Court adviser Nizar Al-Aloula as a keynote speaker.

“The exhibition highlights the unique model of Lebanese-Arab relations that should be taught in diplomatic institutes, starting with the Lebanese Foreign Ministry,” former minister Marwan Hamadeh told Arab News. “Over the course of 90 years, we have had brotherly ties and political support for independence, freedom, growth, economy and culture and then the Taif Accord (which ended the Lebanese Civil War). Even after that, when Lebanon engaged in military adventures, the Kingdom was there to help with reconstruction and we are proud of these relations.”

Highlights include a recording of King Faisal telling President Charles Helou about the need to strengthen “brotherhood in the face of the aggression targeting our countries without respecting the sanctity of holy sites and international, human and moral norms to extend its influence not only in the region but across the world.”

There are also photos from a recent meeting that brought together King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Lebanese officials. 

An old broadcast recording can be heard saying that the “tragedy of the Lebanese civil war can only be ended by affirming the Lebanese legitimacy and preserving its independence and territorial integrity.”

The exhibition is on at Beit Beirut, which is located on what used to be the frontline that divided the city during the civil war.