1,000 divorces in two months because of rising drug abuse

Updated 16 March 2014

1,000 divorces in two months because of rising drug abuse

Addicted to drugs and alcohol, men are divorcing wives, with 1,000 of such incidents taking place in Jeddah only, over the past two months, said a judge on Monday.
Expressing his concern about the situation, Yahya bin Fahm Al-Sulami, a judge at the District Court for Guarantees and Marriage Contracts, told Arab News,the government should introduce compulsory drug testing for anyone who wants to get married in the Kingdom.
Many parents in Jeddah agree that there should be mandatory testing of men who want to marry their daughters. They say there has been an increasing number of young people abusing drugs in the city.
Hana’ Ahmed, a student at King Abdulaziz University, said she is about to marry and demanded that her suitor undergo drug tests. “I just want a normal, happy marriage,” she said.
She said drug testing should be compulsory for all men wanting to marry. This would help couples live decent and normal lives, she said.
Um Ashwaq, a government employee, agreed that there should be mandatory testing.
“My marriage was a failure because soon after I married, I found out that my husband was addicted to drugs. My life was a living hell because he used to beat me when he was under the influence.”
“Everyone used to ridicule him because of his actions when he was on drugs. I asked the court to give me the right to divorce him because of that.” She said her former husband had smoked large quantities of hashish.
Suad Al-Harbi, an employee at a private firm, said she was sure that most men would not get married if the Ministry of Health made drug testing mandatory. She said that many people in Jeddah, including women and girls, are on drugs.
“Everyone in Jeddah is talking about drug addiction. The Ministry of Health should make drug testing mandatory, along with tests for Aids, for anyone wanting to get married. This will hopefully reduce divorces.”
Al-Harbi said many of her friends got divorced recently because their husbands were addicted to narcotic substances.
Fatimah Muhammad, a social worker, said drug testing must be made compulsory for young men. She said many young people in Jeddah are addicted to some form of drug.
Muhammad said men addicts are “violent and unreasonable” towards their wives and children. “His influence may also see other family members becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol.”
She said government should take action because addiction threatens “our community and families.”


Saudi Arabia’s ‘Awdah’ initiative helps over 12,790 expats return home

Updated 04 June 2020

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Awdah’ initiative helps over 12,790 expats return home

  • Residents with exit and re-entry visas, final exit visas and individuals with visit visas are eligible for the service
  • People can register through the Absher platform

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s initiative Awdah helped 12,798 expatriates return home amid the coronavirus travel bans, state news agency SPA reported.
The program, which means return in Arabic, was launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help stranded expats return to their home countries and received a total of 178,452 individual registrations between April 22 to June 3. Only those whose countries have agreed to receive them have been flown out.
Residents with exit and re-entry visas, final exit visas and individuals with visit visas are eligible for the service.
To register, a person must use the Absher platform to provide residency number, date of birth, phone number, city of departure and name of airport at home country, the report added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, the General Authority of Civil Aviation and other governmental organizations are working together to help stranded expats return home.