Interior Ministry stresses women’s right to drive without obstacles

Updated 23 November 2017

Interior Ministry stresses women’s right to drive without obstacles

JEDDAH: Women have the right to drive without facing any obstacles, and traffic regulations will be applied to both genders, said Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki.
Female residents and citizens who want to familiarize themselves with traffic regulations can do so by reading the Traffic Law, he added.
The speed limit might increase on some roads to 140 km per hour, so “it is crucial to follow speed signs,” he said.
The director general of the traffic department, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Bassami, said the amount that people are fined for violations is being reconsidered.
A new strategy will be ready in a few months that will include developing the performance of traffic personnel and relying on technology, he added.
The traffic department is also developing a list of driving schools and monitoring them, as well as new regulations promoting public safety, Al-Bassami said.
Mobile radar will be used to monitor violating cars, drivers using their phones and those not wearing seatbelts, he added.
A traffic-violation points system will be applied in the Kingdom, as will a system of withdrawing driving licenses.
According to a royal decree, women will be allowed to drive as of June 24, 2018, Al-Bassami said.
“We are holding meetings to organize and prepare driving schools to receive female trainees,” he added.
Maj. Gen. Bassam Al-Attiyah of the Interior Ministry said there is an accident every minute, a death every 20 minutes and four injuries per hour, and 70 percent of accidents occur outside cities.
A royal decree was issued in September allowing women to drive in the Kingdom. It ordered the formation of a ministerial body to give advice on the practicalities of the edict within 30 days and to ensure the full implementation of the order by June 2018.
The prohibition of driving is considered a social issue in the Kingdom, as there is no actual law or religious edict that prohibits it.


Return of ‘Captain Majid’ announced at Anime Expo in Riyadh

Updated 15 min 11 sec ago

Return of ‘Captain Majid’ announced at Anime Expo in Riyadh

  • Part of Riyadh Season, Anime Expo brings together creative minds for a first-of-its-kind agreement

RIYADH: The Anime Expo in Riyadh —  part of Riyadh Season — already had regional fans excited, being the largest such event to be held so far in the Middle East. But even better news emerged at Thursday’s press conference to launch the event.

Saudi Arabia and Japan have signed an agreement to bring “Captain Tsubasa,” created by Yoichi Takahashi, back to the small screen. The cartoon, known as “Captain Majid” in the Arab world, is an old-school favorite in the Middle East. The anime is expected to air on Dec. 1 on MBC, the CEO of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, Faisal Bafarat, announced.

Riyadh Season is holding the largest Anime Expo in the Middle East, bringing together collaborations between GEA and Captain Tsubasa creator, Yoichi Takahashi, musical collaborations between both Arab and Japanese giants, and more.

Japan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Tsukasa Uemura, told Arab News: “It’s amazing to see good energy among the young people, ladies and gentlemen of Saudi Arabia.” Uemura was struck by how deep the relationship between Japan and Saudi Arabia was, thanks to anime from the 60s and 70s.

“This relation is now coming to fruition, and I hope that the young Saudi generation won’t only observe but also create, from now, starting a new industry in Saudi Arabia — I see a lot of potential here.”

Arab News met three musical acts who will perform together for the first time on Saturday at the event’s closing ceremony: Lebanese singer Sammy Clark, who performed Arabic versions of anime favorites including “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island” (Takarajima), and Japanese voice actors and singers Isao Sasaki and Ichiro Mizuki.

Clark was excited to meet the two men he dubbed his “twin brothers,” — the original voices behind the animations he has worked on. “I’m honored to be here with them,” he said. “I only traveled to Japan once, in 1987. It’s a beautiful country and their people are some of the kindest in the world.”

Clark explained that he and Sasaki were supposed to sing together at Comic Con in Dubai five years ago, “but it didn’t work out.”

“Today, I’m ecstatic to say that I won’t sing with Sasaki alone but also with Ichiro Mizuki, who sings the original opening song for ‘Mazinger.’ We’ll be performing five songs for fans, and one of the surprises we’ve prepared is that I’ll sing something in Japanese and they’ll sing in Arabic,” Clark said.

He added that he never imagined the theme songs would be so successful and resonate with people for so long. “Generations of fathers have played these songs to their kids, and they all enjoy it so much. We’ve managed to touch thousands through an anime song,” he said.

Mizuki told Arab News that his first time in Saudi Arabia has been amazing so far. “Being in the industry for 50 years, I’ve traveled all over the world, but I consider my first performance in Saudi Arabia to be a big deal, especially as an officially orchestrated event. I feel honored to be here,” he said.

Sasaki echoed his words: “Being a first generation anime singer, I’m not getting any younger, but I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to perform here in Saudi Arabia,” he said.