Jeddah’s Effat University celebrates a ‘female success story’

Effat University is a pioneer in creating world-class educational opportunities for Saudi women. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 10 February 2019

Jeddah’s Effat University celebrates a ‘female success story’

  • Prince Turki Al-Faisal said: “The university will continue to pursue the excellence that is worthy of the name Effat”
  • 1,100 new graduates win honors as top-class institution marks 20th anniversary

JEDDAH: Effat University celebrated 20 years of educational achievement on Feb. 7 under the patronage of Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and governor of Makkah Region.
On its 20th anniversary, Effat university also celebrated the graduation of 1,100 students.
The ceremony was attended by many members of the royal family, including Prince Turki Al-Faisal and Princess Lulwa Al-Faisal, vice president of the board of trustees and the general supervisor of Effat University.
Princess Lulwa opened the proceedings with an inspiring speech about the story of her mother, Queen Effat Al-Thunayyan, and about her work in supporting women’s education in Saudi Arabia.
Effat University is a pioneer in creating new educational opportunities for Saudi women.
“Today we celebrate a purely female success story,” said the princess.
Addressing the graduates, she said: “The question (that was asked 70 years ago) was: Why teach women? Why give them jobs? The answer is: We were preparing for this day, for the era in which Saudi women have their natural position in public life, in building the country and developing it. Where women stand completing the row next to men, their brothers, where they stand as an impenetrable wall for their country.”
The princess said that women in Saudi Arabia are finally able to bridge the gaps that could not be filled before.
“You are the answer to this question that has been asked for 70 years. You are answer to the call of the present time. Congratulations! I feel I can see Queen Effat putting her pen cap back on and smiling. Triumphantly, Effat Al-Thunayyan answered the call with her words and deeds, perseverance and patience.”
Next, President of Effat University Haifa Jamal Al-Lail delivered a speech addressing the importance of this celebration, since Effat was the first private female college. It was established in 1999 and became a university in 2009.
She said: “The goal of the celebration is to highlight the role of the university in the process of national development, to celebrate the achievements of the university and to strengthen the identity of the university locally and internationally.’’
During the ceremony, there was a video presenting the most prominent Effat graduates and showing how Effat has paved the way for them to pursue their careers.
Assistant professor and provost Malak Al-Noori told Arab News how Effat helped to prepare females for a bright future: “Effat was established to offer women empowerment opportunities and special majors that are not offered by other universities.’’
She added: “We also help our students to get not only the academic aspect of an education, but most importantly a well-grounded personality.”
Effat University was founded by Queen Effat Al-Thunayan, wife of King Faisal.
She was a pioneer in the education and empowerment of Saudi women, and started Dar Al-Hanan School, the first school for girls in the Kingdom in 1955, opening doors for Saudi women to be educated right to this day.
Prince Turki Al-Faisal said: “The university will continue to pursue the excellence that is worthy of the name Effat.”
He told the graduates: “You are the future and the hope to achieve the aspirations of leadership of your country.’’
The happiness of this day would not be perfect without family support, said Hala Al-Zahrani a first honor architecture major graduate and a mother of one, speaking to Arab News.
“I am really thrilled. I cannot believe that I finally made it to this day. I appreciate all that Effat university taught me and the way my family supported me led me to this success.’’


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.