Alwaleed’s tweet revives debate on Saudi women driving

Updated 01 December 2016

Alwaleed’s tweet revives debate on Saudi women driving

JEDDAH: Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal created global headlines on Wednesday after he tweeted saying: “Stop the debate. Time for women to drive.”
The Twitter post, which was linked to a lengthier statement outlining arguments for Saudi women getting behind the wheel, comes a few months after the Kingdom’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also publicly endorsed women’s right to drive.
Bin Salman is leading ambitious and all-encompassing reform efforts for Saudi Arabia, which are embodied in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan (NTP).
The ban is considered a social issue in the Kingdom, as there is no actual law or religious edict that prohibits it. For years, the topic has been the center of extensive debate in government, media and social circles.
For its part, BBC News website ran a story entitled “Prince Alwaleed says women driving ban hurts Saudi economy.” In it, Prince Alwaleed was quoted as saying that “it is high time that Saudi women started driving their cars.”
The Guardian, based in London, and the New York Times also carried news of the prince’s tweet.
Prince Alwaleed’s open letter, in English and Arabic, included an elaborate and well-researched argument for Saudi women to start driving.
He emphasized that the issue has become even more pressing in the current economic circumstances.
“Would it not be better from the standpoint of safety, security, not to mention religious morality, to allow women to drive their own cars than to expose them to the dangers inherent in having them driven alone by foreign males?” the Saudi prince asked in his four-page letter.

Visitors gives thumbs up to ‘mesmerizing’ heritage event at Riyadh Season

Updated 8 min 31 sec ago

Visitors gives thumbs up to ‘mesmerizing’ heritage event at Riyadh Season

JEDDAH: Visitors to Riyadh Season have given a massive thumbs-up to a special event that highlights Saudi culture and heritage.

Nabd Al-Riyadh, or “Riyadh’s pulse,” showcases a different region of the Kingdom every day through folk dances, digital displays, laser shows, musical performances and an exhibition of traditional handicrafts.

“It was a great experience, especially as it took place at Al-Masmak Palace which was a significant starting point of the Kingdom’s unification. I appreciated the merging of history, culture and heritage with such a lively atmosphere,” visitor Mohammed Al-Saif told Arab News.

Maha Al-Ammar said Riyadh Season had added color to the city. “Riyadh has really changed. Look at where we were before and where we are now. Everything is so beautiful,” she said. “Nabd Al-Riyadh is such a well organized cultural event.”

Another visitor, Anfal Al-Jaferi, said: “We didn’t get to witness such events in the past, but now they are everywhere, in many zones.

“I didn’t feel the need to shop because the scenery was so enjoyable, and the themes of the events were mesmerizing. The effort that has gone into Riyadh Season is clear to see.”

Riyadh Season continues until Dec. 15 with a raft of artistic, sporting and cultural events, including theater, music performances and fashion shows.