Cold wave to lash KSA with snow, wind

Updated 06 January 2015
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Cold wave to lash KSA with snow, wind

A wave of bitterly cold weather accompanied by wind, sub-zero temperatures and snow is expected to hit the Kingdom on Wednesday and last until Sunday, the Presidency of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (PME) said on Monday.
The extreme cold is forecast strike the north and northwest areas of the Kingdom as a result of storms coming from Europe and America. The inclement weather is expected to move across the entire country.
Hussain Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of the PME, said this would be the coldest weather for the year. The northern areas would be struck first, including Tabuk, Turaif and Al-Jouf, where sub-zero temperatures and light snow is expected. The PME also expects wind that would limit visibility.
The temperatures would likely drop in Madinah, Jeddah and Makkah, accompanied by strong winds. The cold wave would reach its peak on Thursday in Hail, Qassim, the Eastern Province and Riyadh.
On Friday, the storm would reach the Kingdom’s southern areas such as Najran, Jazan, Asir and Baha, said Al-Qahtani.
He urged fishermen, drivers using mountain roads and the Kingdom’s residents and citizens to take extra precautions to prevent accidents. He advised people to wear warm clothes, especially those suffering from asthma and rheumatism. Al-Qahtani said citizens and expatriates must also keep a close eye on weather forecasts on the Internet and look out for any SMS messages sent out by the various government agencies.
According to weather.com, the temperature in Madinah was 20 degrees Celsius on Monday and would become partly cloudy and drop by Thursday to 18 during the day and 8 at night.
In Riyadh, the weather was 21 degrees Celsius and would drop to 16 during the day and 4 at night by Thursday. In Jeddah, the temperature was 25 degrees Celsius, and would hover at this level throughout the week, and around 16 at night.


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.”