Saudi women travel with friends abroad without mahram

Updated 29 July 2015
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Saudi women travel with friends abroad without mahram

ABHA: Several Saudi businesswomen started traveling with a group of friends after recent regulations which allow women to travel without their mahram.
These women said they find great fun to travel as a group with their friends and their children, where they can achieve their goals of travel.
Travel and tourism offices said many Saudi women’s groups prefer to travel to Arab countries such as Dubai, Egypt and Bahrain, and a few women travel to European countries or non-Arab states due to the different habits in non-Arab countries that force some of them to choose countries similar to the Saudi environment.
Um Ali, 30, traveled abroad with friends of the family for shopping in some world cities. But after marriage, her children and husband’s desires changed her plans to travel where they wanted especially to visit museums and scientific places.
Fatma Yahya, a postgraduate student, is keen on traveling abroad to learn cultures of other people and their ways of living. Yahya prefers to visit marine and green places. She clarified that lack of tourism education is the reason behind her reluctance to spend her vacation inside the Kingdom.
Khadija Al-Qahtani, a journalist, said: “Local society changed its outlook toward Saudi women and started respecting them. Saudi women do not have any problem traveling alone abroad as they have succeeded in working in high positions in addition to their contributions to support their families and communities.
"People in the Kingdom cannot criticize women when they travel abroad with their friends as they have the same rights as men, while local society does not criticize women when they travel with their female relatives especially within the Kingdom."
Jibreen Al-Jibreen, an associate professor of social studies at King Saud University, said: “Saudi women can travel abroad with their friends or even travel alone. However, it is normal and must not draw attention.”


US’ Mnuchin says talk about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh to meet with counterpart

Updated 48 min 13 sec ago
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US’ Mnuchin says talk about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh to meet with counterpart

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 : US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible US sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation had been completed.
Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was “a good first step but not enough” as Riyadh faced increasing international pressure over what happened to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
US President Donald Trump, who has said the United States would consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia, emphasized on Saturday that he was not satisfied with the Saudis’ handling of the case.
“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” Mnuchin told reporters in Jerusalem.
Mnuchin confirmed that he would not attend a Saudi investment conference on Tuesday. However, he said he would visit Riyadh as planned for talks with his counterpart on joint efforts to counter terrorist financing and plans by Washington to reimpose sanctions against Iran in November.
“I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin said.
The visit, he said, was necessary as Washington prepares to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
He said he had no reason to believe that Saudi Arabia would renege on commitments to make up for any shortfall in global oil supplies as Iranian oil exports are curbed under the sanctions.
“I have no reason to believe that they are not going to honor those commitments,” said Mnuchin, who will meet Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih while in Riyadh.