Dr. Essam Al-Ammar,  associate professor at King Saud University

Essam Al-Ammar
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Updated 15 December 2019

Dr. Essam Al-Ammar,  associate professor at King Saud University

Energy chiefs, last week,  signed a deal to set up the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s first specialized equipment test lab in Saudi Arabia at the 9th Saudi Arabia Smart Grid Conference in Jeddah.

Dr. Essam Al-Ammar, who has been a member of the International Sustainable Organization, since October 2011, was part of the technical committee of the conference. 

Al-Ammar is an associate professor at King Saud University’s (KSU) electrical engineering department.

He obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at KSA in 1997. He worked at Lucent Technology Co. as a power/software engineer until August 1999. 

Al-Ammar went to the US to pursue higher studies and obtained a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Alabama in 2003. He did his Ph.D. at Arizona State University in 2007.

On his return to the Kingdom, he worked as an energy consultant and adviser at different organizations, including Riyadh Techno Valley, Ministry of Water and Electricity and Saudi Aramco. He also worked at the Saudi Electricity and Co-generation Regulatory Authority as the organization’s adviser for over seven years until July 2019.

Al-Ammar joined KSU as an assistant professor in October 2007 and in January 2012 he was promoted as associate professor.

He is also a senior member of the Institute of Electronic Engineers since October 2001.

He has authored nearly 100 research papers and has 20 patents in energy and water.

Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

Updated 01 October 2020

Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

  • It will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools

JEDDAH: Violations of Saudi Arabia’s anti-sexual harassment laws could be punished by “naming and shaming” following a decision by the Kingdom’s Shoura Council to approve a defamation penalty.

The council voted in favor of the penalty during its session on Wednesday after previously rejecting the move in March this year.

Council member Latifah Al-Shaalan said the proposal to include the penalty was sent by the Saudi Cabinet.

Saudi lawyer Njood Al-Qassim said she agrees with the move, adding that it will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools.

“The penalty will be imposed according to a court ruling under the supervision of judges, and according to the gravity of the crime and its impact on society,” Al-Qassim told Arab News.

“This will be a deterrent against every harasser and molester,” she said.

Al-Qassim said that legal experts are required to explain the system and its penalties to the public.

“The Public Prosecution has clarified those that may be subject to punishment for harassment crimes, including the perpetrator, instigator and accessory to the crime, the one who agreed with the harasser, malicious report provider, and the person who filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit,” she added.

“The Public Prosecution also confirmed that attempted harassment requires half the penalty prescribed for the crime,” said Al-Qassim.

In May 2018, the Shoura Council and Cabinet approved a measure criminalizing sexual harassment under which offenders will be fined up to SR100,000 ($26,660) and jailed for a maximum of two years, depending on the severity of the crime. 

In the most severe cases, where the victims are children or disabled, for example, violators will face prison terms of up to five years and/or a maximum penalty of SR300,000.

Incidents that have been reported more than once will be subject to the maximum punishment. 

The law seeks to combat harassment crimes, particularly those targeting children under 18 and people with special needs.

Witnesses are also encouraged to report violations and their identities will remain confidential.

The law defines sexual harassment as words or actions that hint at sexuality toward one person from another, or that harms the body, honor or modesty of a person in any way. It takes into account harassment in public areas, workplaces, schools, care centers, orphanages, homes and on social media.

“The legislation aims at combating the crime of harassment, preventing it, applying punishment against perpetrators and protecting the victims in order to safeguard the individual’s privacy, dignity and personal freedom which are guaranteed by Islamic law and regulations,” a statement from the Shoura Council said.

Council member Eqbal Darandari, who supports the law, said on Twitter that the defamation penalty has proven its effectiveness in crimes in which a criminal exploits a person’s trust.

“The defamation of one person is a sufficient deterrent to the rest,” she said.

Social media activist Hanan Abdullah told Arab News the decision “is a great deterrent for every harasser since some fear for their personal and family’s reputation, and won’t be deterred except through fear of defamation.”

The move will protect women from “uneducated people who believe that whoever leaves her house deserves to be attacked and harassed,” she said.

“Anyone who is unhappy with this decision should look at their behavior.”