Youth project launched to highlight Palestine issue

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Updated 05 December 2012

Youth project launched to highlight Palestine issue

The Wasl group, affiliated to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), has launched the “Leqaona Maqdesi Meeting on Jerusalem” project to create new ideas, skills, and a youth-based intellectual dialogue on the Palestinian cause.
The project involves young women of ages 17-27, especially but not exclusively Palestinians, across the Kingdom. A launching event was organized to discuss this project at 4 Shabab Café in Jeddah.
The event aimed to create in-depth awareness on the Palestine cause. During the discussions, various speakers from different universities participated to communicate Palestinian issues among young attendees.
The youth-oriented project is divided into two parts. The first part is academical — to give information about Palestinian matters — while the second consists of creating an intellectual dialogue to discuss the Palestinian issue. The latter is aimed at achieving a decisive outcome to produce practical projects to serve the Palestinian cause.
In her welcome speech, Shaimaa Al-Farra, president of the Leqaona Maqdesi projects, said: “The meeting aims to discuss the project, which involves intellectual dialogues on 10 topics concerning the Palestinian issue that will enrich our knowledge and help us to support the cause.
“We hope such events result in brightening up the horizons of change and reform, freedom, and openness among the youths with regard to the lingering Palestine issue.”
The project’s main objective is to raise awareness among youngsters and correct the misconceptions regarding the Palestinian cause. The various sessions of the meeting provided the participants with an advanced level of knowledge on the issue.
Abdul Musin Hilal, ex-professor of political science at Umm Al-Qura University, praised the Wasl members and said: “The initiative of creating the Wasl group will educate and empower youth against social, economical and political challenges in the Palestinian society, which the Israeli occupation has aggravated. Youth have been denied educational opportunities, sites for cultural activities, and community development resources. Wasl works on creating a core of young community leaders, especially among Palestinian youths who will act as active citizens taking up the responsibility for the needs and toward the development of the community.”
The event included a series of discussions and presentations. “The Leqaona Maqdesi project will help young influential people to develop and defend the cause through intellectual and persuasive dialogue. Eventually, this will help to serve the Palestinian case through practical projects,” said Shatha Al-Shehry, a Wasl official. “Meetings will be organized once a month at the College of Business Administration to spread awareness on and knowledge of the Palestinian issue.”
Wasl expects to hold its first annual forum on Palestine in Saudi Arabia soon and to establish a specialized academy to serve the cause.

Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018

Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.