Indian expats raise welfare concerns with visiting minister

Updated 12 March 2016

Indian expats raise welfare concerns with visiting minister

JEDDAH: Visiting Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V.K. Singh held an interactive session in Jeddah for over two hours on Thursday with members of the Indian community on questions related to higher education for their children and steps taken by New Delhi to help non-resident Indians (NRIs) when they return home.
Mohammed Alungal, chief executive officer of Al-Abeer Group, wanted the Indian government to popularize alternative medicines by taking it up with the authorities, especially during the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia. He quoted the example of Qatar where alternative medicines were being permitted by the local government.
Alungal suggested the creation of a legal cell or center at Indian missions in Saudi Arabia that can work in tandem with Saudi legal experts to provide advice to investors of both countries.
Vijay Soni of the Saudi-India Business Network (SIBN) raised the issue of expanding community schools in the Kingdom so that all Indian children could get quality education.
Aijaz Ahmed Khan, president of the India Forum, called for the opening of the branches of renowned Indian institutions in the Kingdom.
Kader Khan and Saleem Quadri explained the work being carried out by the Indian Pilgrims Welfare Forum (IPWF) and sought the intervention of the government in orienting pilgrims before their departure from India.
Consul General B.S. Mubarak recalled the contribution of the minister during “Operation Rahat” during which 4,700 Indians and 1,000 foreign nationals were evacuated from Yemen. Mubarak also highlighted the contributions of India Forum, SIBN and IPWF.
The minister elaborated on the just concluded Haj agreement with the Saudi government and steps taken by New Delhi to make the Haj more comfortable for Indian pilgrims. He also thanked the expat community for its contribution to the Indian economy and active participation in promoting the country’s interests across the outside world.
The minister also explained the increased involvement of the Indian government in getting public issues resolved, and the acceptance of various documents as proof for the issuance of passports.
While thanking people for attending the session, the minister said officials would help the community, and that he would raise their issues with concerned ministries on his return to India. He also said that all initiatives must conform to Saudi law.

Saudi camel racing no longer an all-male affair, says Princess Jamila

Updated 23 March 2019

Saudi camel racing no longer an all-male affair, says Princess Jamila

  • Princess Jamila’s camel will compete in a race marking the conclusion of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival
  • King Salman will attend the grand finale of the 46-day event

JEDDAH: A camel owned by a woman will compete in an official race in Saudi Arabia for the first time, a senior figure in the sport said on Friday.

Fahd bin Hithleen, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Camel Club and the newly appointed president of the International Camel Organization (ICO), said the race is part of the closing day of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on the outskirts of Riyadh, which began on Feb. 5 and ends on March 23.

“The camel race will end this Saturday with the participation of the first female in camel racing,” Hithleen said on his official Twitter account. “I congratulate Princess Jamila Bint Abdulmajeed bin Saud bin Abdulaziz for breaking into the camel world and wish her all the success.”

The festival finale will take place in the presence of King Salman.

Princess Jamila said that camel racing is no longer exclusively the preserve of men, as the ongoing reforms in the country continue to empower Saudi women and open up new opportunities for them across the Kingdom.

The Kingdom established the ICO, the first global group of its kind for camels, on Thursday with the participation of representatives from 96 countries. Riyadh was chosen as the location for its headquarters and Hithleen was appointed to serve a five-year term as its first president.