ThePlace: Al-Mabiat, an archaeological site in Madinah region, dates back to the Ummayad and Abbasid periods

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Updated 09 May 2020

ThePlace: Al-Mabiat, an archaeological site in Madinah region, dates back to the Ummayad and Abbasid periods

  • Arab geographer Al-Maqdisi described Garah as the second largest city after Makkah

The ancient archeological site of Al-Mabiat, also known as Garah, dates back to the Umayyad and Abbasid periods. It is one of the most important early Islamic sites in north Arabia.
Excavations made in 1984 showed that a large Muslim city once existed on the site. The survey revealed rich components of archaeological and cultural value. Excavations in 1985 revealed the remains of a mosque, a city wall and complete housing units.
Among the finds of the excavations were narrow streets with shops on both sides and houses decorated with wooden doors and windows and fresco-style art, reminiscent of the famous Samarra culture.
In the 4th century, Arab geographer Al-Maqdisi described Garah as the second largest city after Makkah.


Saudi female lawyers praise Justice Ministry’s efforts to empower women

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Updated 27 October 2020

Saudi female lawyers praise Justice Ministry’s efforts to empower women

  • Compared to the previous status of women at the Justice Ministry, Al-Daknan said this latest step was a significant achievement

JEDDAH: Several Saudi female lawyers have praised the Justice Ministry’s decision to appoint 100 female notaries as a step forward for women’s legal empowerment.
“We appreciate Justice Minister Walid Al-Samani’s … rapid steps toward empowering women to work in all available jobs, considering them viable components of society, particularly in the justice sector,” lawyer Njnood Qasim told Arab News.
She added: “We hope that it will be the beginning of an important and most anticipated step, which is the appointment of a Saudi woman as a judge.”
Qasim noted that many qualified women have been recruited by the Justice Ministry for the first time in history to work in the fields of law, Shariah, sociology, administration and technology.
Lawyer Rana Al-Daknan, meanwhile, said she thought women could fill any role in society. “An ambassador, an undersecretary, a minister, but I think no woman should be a minister before women become judges,” she told Arab News.
Compared to the previous status of women at the Justice Ministry, Al-Daknan said this latest step was a significant achievement, but added: “Of course we are looking for more, though that does not mean we should not appreciate this step.”

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The newly appointed female notaries will officially start their work next Sunday with a specialized training program lasting three months.

Al-Daknan explained that women first began obtaining notary licenses in 2018, and the services they offer include documentation, transferring property, authorizing powers of attorney submissions and other services.
“The next step for women is working with conciliation committees, which is known in other countries as being a magistrate. Thankfully it is possible now for both men and women to obtain conciliation licenses, where they will assume the role of the judge,” Al-Daknan said. “I personally have applied and (am) in the process to obtain this license.”
Another lawyer, Abrar Shaket, told Arab News that this move was the natural result of the Kingdom’s steps to empower its female citizens under King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.