Saudi women outraged at US TV host

Updated 02 January 2013
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Saudi women outraged at US TV host

Saudi women expressed outrage at Chelsea Handler, the American host of the TV show “Chelsea Lately,” when she swore at Saudi men for being able to receive notification by SMS of their wives’ travels abroad. Some are tired of explaining the situation to foreigners and others say Chelsea should have done her homework before going on air.
The 37-year-old American talk show host asserted that “they have this new policy in Saudi Arabia where if a woman leaves the country, the husband receives a text message,” before going on to use foul language to express her disdain.
She continued: “Talk about the worst marriage ever. You have to have a conversation every time you want to leave house? I don’t think so buddy; you’re lucky if I tell you where I’m going.”
Sabah Abdulmalik, a 42-year-old stay-at-home-mom said, “I would like to inform Chelsea that this is only a service that people can activate or decline and that this was not forced upon us,” said.
“This service was developed by the Saudi authorities and not by husbands who want to track their wives, so when she says such a word, she should know that it was not conceived of at a local level and that it’s a matter of choice,” she added.
Saudi fashion designer Reem AlKanhal says she respects freedom of speech but this crossed the line. “I think we have deeper problems than traveling, driving and covering our faces. They only focus on the aspects of our lives that make them laugh and we hate to be the butt of jokes on live television,” she said.
“We have female leaders and accomplished women but the international media does not like to shed light on this, choosing instead to brainwash their audience that we still live in tents and that we don’t have rights,” she added.
A female Saudi blogger who chose to remain anonymous said that Chelsea’s clip was offensive not only to Saudi women, but to Islam as well. “We learned that Muslim women should not leave the house without the approval of their husbands and I think it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
“Her words were very aggressive and we do not accept such attacks, especially using bad words knowing that this is not how we were raised and this is not normal to us in Arab, local TV shows and talk shows,” she added.
Sarah Essam, a 32-year-old mother of two, wonders how Chelsea thought she was defending Saudi women in making these statements. “I know that using shocking language and discussing controversial topics are surefire ways to attract a larger audience, but this is beyond disrespectful and she crossed the line,” she said.
“Thanks to her words, she actually made us defend our husbands and stand behind this service even if we don’t approve of it,” she added.
Mariam Hejazi, a 28-year-old banker, demanded an apology from Chelsea. “We have been tolerating the international media for a really long time. How can they judge a whole nation when funnily enough, it is their motto to “never judge a book by its cover,” she said.
“She should have done her homework as a TV host or journalist. She should have investigated further because if she did, she would have known that we were raised knowing we do not travel or leave the house without our husbands knowing and that the text messaging system is a service that can be accepted or declined,” she added.
Yasmine Abdulrazak, an English teacher at a college in Jeddah, thinks the clip was actually funny and did not feel offended by it. “I don’t know why we are always offended when people talk about us. Yes, the media highlights the negative things about Saudi Arabia and they always make women feel like we need a hero to save us,” she said.
“Chelsea is a comedian and her job is to mock people and attack others to make her audience laugh. We see her make fun of celebrities, politicians and nations but they do not express offense in the same way we did today,” she added.


Innovation in manufacturing and communication the focus for Tanween's second weekend

Updated 18 October 2018
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Innovation in manufacturing and communication the focus for Tanween's second weekend

AL-DHAHRAN: Innovation in manufacturing and communication are the focus on Thursday and Friday at the second weekend of Tanween by Ithra, a 17-day gathering of the brightest and most creative minds in Saudi Arabia.
Following the overwhelming turnout of students and professionals from all over the Kingdom at the launch weekend, the Creativity Season’s second weeke program focuses on manufacturing and communication and is designed for Saudis to be inspired by influential speakers from around the world, engage in hands-on futuristic workshops, as well as be creative by transforming their ideas to reality.

The Tanween Talks will introduce bold, innovative concepts and trends from artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual media. Science and fiction come together in presentations from biodesign pioneer and STEM innovator Natsai Chieza; and Professor Manfred Hild, a global research leader in humanoid robotics. Workshops including “Future as Big as Your Imagination” and “Saudi After Oil” will further provoke, stimulate and prepare audiences for a rapidly evolving future, as the impact of technology takes effect. The weekend will also present visitors with the one-of-a-kind opportunity to be a creative entrepreneur and turn their ideas into reality with the “Design, Manufacture and Go to Market” workshop.
Family-friendly shows, exhibits and installations featuring future technologies will run the duration of the Creativity Season. Slava’s Snow Show, an award-winning Russian theatrical performance combining pathos and comedy for all ages will round off the weekend that will also feature performances such as Bamboo Nonsense Instrumental Show and Project 2, a live spontaneous science fiction theater.
Site-specific installations such as “Sketch Aquarium” at the Children’s Museum will pop up as part of the Creativity Season, presenting visitors of all age groups a unique opportunity to interact, observe and enjoy the works of art that have been curated to celebrate the first edition.
At Ithra’s Great Hall, 25 outstanding examples of work from the world of art, technology, science and fashion — including a Tilt Brush interactive experience by Google, Studio Drift’s free-floating concrete monolith Drifter and Studio Swine’s multi-sensory waterfall — will offer fresh insights into contemporary design, encouraging visitors to explore new possibilities and discover new perspectives.
The second week will also see a colorful celebration of daytime fireworks on Friday at 4.00pm. The event will be open for public free of charge and will take place at Ithra Lush Gardens.

Tickets & Pricing
Tanween Talks
Tickets to Tanween Talks are priced at SAR 35 for a day pass allowing ticket holders to attend an unlimited number of talks on the day. Tanween Talks attendees must be at least 14-years-old.

Tanween Exhibits
Day pass tickets to ‘Sense and Sensibility’ Exhibit in the Great Hall are priced at SAR 25 for adults and SAR 15 for children. Museum tickets are priced at SAR 35 for adults and SAR 10 for children. A Tanween Exhibits Ticket provides visitors access to both the Great Hall and the Museum at SAR 50 for adults and SAR 25 for children.

Workshops
Workshops are categorized as Inspire, Enthusiast and Premium.
Inspire workshops are free.
Enthusiast workshops are priced at SAR 100 per workshop.
Premium workshops are priced at SAR 200 per workshop.
Workshop attendees must be at least 16-years-old.
Special workshops for children between 6- and 10-years are available. Please refer to www.ithra.com for more information.

Children’s Museum
Tickets to the Children’s Museum are priced at SAR 55 for children and SAR 20 for adults.