Behind the scenes at Saudi Arabia’s women-only racing rally

Rally Jameel has been supported by the FIA’s Women In Motorsport Commission, and the aim of the rally is to develop and bring in new women drivers, navigators and organizers. (Supplied)
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Rally Jameel has been supported by the FIA’s Women In Motorsport Commission, and the aim of the rally is to develop and bring in new women drivers, navigators and organizers. (Supplied)
Rally Jameel has been supported by the FIA’s Women In Motorsport Commission, and the aim of the rally is to develop and bring in new women drivers, navigators and organizers. (Supplied)
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Rally Jameel has been supported by the FIA’s Women In Motorsport Commission, and the aim of the rally is to develop and bring in new women drivers, navigators and organizers. (Supplied)
Rally Jameel has been supported by the FIA’s Women In Motorsport Commission, and the aim of the rally is to develop and bring in new women drivers, navigators and organizers. (Supplied)
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Rally Jameel has been supported by the FIA’s Women In Motorsport Commission, and the aim of the rally is to develop and bring in new women drivers, navigators and organizers. (Supplied)
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Updated 19 March 2022

Behind the scenes at Saudi Arabia’s women-only racing rally

Rally Jameel has been supported by the FIA’s Women In Motorsport Commission, and the aim of the rally is to develop and bring in new women drivers, navigators and organizers. (Supplied)
  • Among the large organizing team is a number of women working to ensure the event goes off without a hitch

JEDDAH: With the inaugural Rally Jameel now underway, the organizing team is now busy looking after the competitors, running the rally route and ensuring everyone stays safe during the event. Among the large organizing team is a number of women working to ensure the event goes off without a hitch.

Under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which recognises that a modern and progressive nation must encourage and empower all members of society, women have been heavily involved behind the scenes at Rally Jameel, an initiative by Abdul Latif Jameel Motors. Some hold key roles that are critical to the event’s daily operation and overall success.

“I am the chief medical officer at the rally, so I’m responsible for the medical safety of all the participants and organizers of the rally,” said Dr. Ahad Al-Saud, who as well as being a senior doctor in Saudi Arabia, is also the chief medical officer of the Saudi Arabian F1 Grand Prix, the FIA medical delegate for Saudi Arabia and the head of the Saudi Arabian Marshall’s Club.

“I want the rally to be very successful, with all the competitors finishing safely. I feel they are so lucky to be competing in Rally Jameel, as Jameel in Arabic means ‘beautiful’ and this is really a beautiful rally.”

Not all of the organizers have a background in motorsports, or even sporting events. For some of the women involved behind the scenes, this is their very first experience of racing and rallying of any kind. For them, Rally Jameel is providing an exciting new experience.

“This event is very important at a grassroots level to bring women not normally associated with rallying or racing into the sport,” said Aseel Al-Hamad, the well-known figurehead of women in motorsport, the first female member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation and a member of the FIA.

Rally Jameel has been supported by the FIA’s Women In Motorsport Commission, and the aim of the rally is to develop and bring in new women drivers, navigators and organizers, and prepare them for participating in future local and international championships.

Before the rally, all of the teams went through a rigorous training program to prepare for the event. The training, which was partly conducted by experienced women from the wider motorsport world, covered everything from road book navigation to safety, sand recovery and general tips on how to complete what for some is their first-ever driving event.

The inspiration for Rally Jameel came initially from the hugely successful Rebelle Rally in America. With that as a benchmark, the organizers have worked with members of the Rebelle organizing team to both bring in competitors from the US and also to help with some of the organization of the rally. Members of the event team even traveled all the way to Saudi Arabia for the rally.

“I’m thrilled to be part of Rally Jameel, helping as one of the stewards of the event. It’s really important to show support at a pivotal moment for women in Saudi Arabia,” commented Emily Miller, founder and director of the Rebelle Rally.

“It’s also great to work with the rally’s organizers, as we have a truly shared passion for motorsport and adventure, as well as the drive to elevate women. I’m really excited for Rally Jameel’s future.”

The navigational rally, which is not designed as a speed test, started in the north-central city of Hail and is heading to the sites of Qassim city. It will then move on to the capital, Riyadh, via hidden checkpoints and challenges.

The local public are being urged to get involved and enjoy what is looking to be a popular event on the annual GCC motorsport calendar.


KSrelief begins food, aid distribution in Yemen’s flood-hit Al-Mahra province 

KSrelief begins food, aid distribution in Yemen’s flood-hit Al-Mahra province 
Updated 1 min 11 sec ago

KSrelief begins food, aid distribution in Yemen’s flood-hit Al-Mahra province 

KSrelief begins food, aid distribution in Yemen’s flood-hit Al-Mahra province 
  • Al-Mahra, among other southern and eastern governorates, witnessed heavy rains in the past few days

Dubai: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) began its aid efforts in Yemen’s Al-Mahra governorate on Saturday by distributing emergency food aid to people affected by the torrential rains and floods. 
The center distributed 100 food baskets containing basic materials, benefiting 1,092 people.
Al-Mahra, among other southern and eastern governorates, witnessed heavy rains in the past few days. 
KSrelief’s immediate intervention comes as part of its continuous efforts to aid and support Yemeni people in different crises.


Prizewinning Saudi student speaks of journey to competition success

Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2022

Prizewinning Saudi student speaks of journey to competition success

Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
  • Lama Al-Ahdal scooped medals in Physics Olympiads and made her country proud

JEDDAH: Prizewinning Saudi student Lama Al-Ahdal, who has been scooping medals at Physics Olympiads, says her competition success motivates her to continue with her passion and achieve great things for the Kingdom.

She won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad, a bronze at the International Physics Olympiad, and a bronze at the Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiad.

Al-Ahdal spoke to the Saudi Press Agency about the beginning of her journey in the Physics Olympiad through the Mawhoob Competition, which she took part in several times.

It was her participation in 2018 that led to her nomination to attend training forums, a path that would eventually lead her to victory.

“I started attending basic courses in Jeddah, through which I qualified and passed the required tests. I was nominated for the Winter Forum at Princess Nourah University in Riyadh, then trained with the physics team, from which a number of students in the Kingdom would qualify to form the Saudi team for the Physics Olympiad.

HIGHLIGHT

It was her participation in 2018 that led to her nomination to attend training forums, a path that would eventually lead her to victory.

“At the beginning of 2019, we underwent intense eight-hour training, both remotely and at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, to prepare for international competitions. I learned how to calculate the strength of the Earth's magnetic field using a string and two pieces of magnets, how electricity can be generated by heating two pieces of metal, how to measure the thickness of a candy wrapper using a laser, and other scientific experiments.

“The top five students were then nominated to represent the Kingdom, and thankfully I made it and snatched the gold medal in the Gulf Physics Olympiad, the bronze medal in the Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiad, and the bronze medal in the International Physics Olympiad.”

Joining the Saudi physics team and undergoing training helped her to discover that physics was a beautiful subject. “I learned a lot from it and the Olympiad experience.”

Her participation increased her skills and developed her thinking by getting to know competitors from different countries.

“I also developed my time management skills since the training continued even during school days. My father and mother had a major role in helping me achieve my goals and encouraging me to try new things to gain more skills and learn more,” she said.

Setting a specific goal and working to achieve it was the most important thing that motivated her to take up the challenge and try new things.

Her father, Abdul Rahman Al-Ahdal, said his daughter’s journey was full of scientific challenges.

“She has always been a talented child and a bright student, with a  promising future ahead of her. God blessed her with a group of highly experienced trainers and supervisors. It is important to focus and draw a plan and work to achieve it.

“I thank King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, and everyone responsible for helping the sons and daughters of the Kingdom partake in forums of creativity, innovation and scientific Olympiad, and other scientific activities.”


Visitors take a trip to Saudi Arabia’s Taif to rejuvenate in nature

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2022

Visitors take a trip to Saudi Arabia’s Taif to rejuvenate in nature

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
  • The region has more than 2,000 flower farms that produce more than 200 million roses every season

TAIF: Visitors from all over the Kingdom and the Gulf are flocking to Taif this summer to get respite from the heat and rejuvenate in the region’s mountains.

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape, several of which are also working farms or have beautiful gardens planted with the famous Taif roses and wild plants including basil, al-baitran, and marjoram.

Tourists and visitors can also stay in cozy, rural hostels made of old stone ornamented with carvings and sculptures of animals, where they can enjoy stunning views of the mountains and valleys of Taif, which are home to a variety of rare birds.

The city and other nearby areas such as Al-Hada and Al-Shifa are also famous for their fruits.

The region has more than 2,000 flower farms that produce more than 200 million roses every season. Taif roses have historic, economic and religious importance. The oil is used to perfume the walls of the Kaaba, which is also washed twice annually with its scented water.

Besides basking in nature, visitors to Taif can also visit museums, local markets, rose factories in Al-Shafa and Al-Hada, the cable car, a strawberry farm, the zoo, and historic castles.

 


 


Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu
Updated 14 August 2022

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu
  • The month-long drill includes logistical exercises and operations with live ammunition

RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Armed Forces and US Marine Corps on Saturday launched a joint training exercise along the Red Sea coast in the western city of Yanbu, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said.

The “Outrageous Anger 22” exercise was inaugurated in the presence of Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Dibais, commander of the western sector, and Maj. Gen. Paul Rock, commander of the Marine Corps at the US Central Command, as well as senior officers from the Saudi armed forces and US Army.

An inspection tour included sites where the two forces will conduct the joint operations.

Col. Saud Al-Aqili, commander of the exercise, said that it aims to rehearse implementation of bilateral operational and logistical plans, exchange expertise between the two sides, and develop complementary work with civil authorities.

Col. Matthew Hakula, commander of the US forces, said that the joint maneuvers will raise combat readiness, as well as strengthen compatibility between Saudi and US troops.

The month-long drill includes logistical exercises and operations with live ammunition.


Saudi envoy receives ambassador-designate to KSA in Dublin

Saudi envoy to Ireland Nayel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir receives Ireland’s Ambassador-designate to KSA Gerry Cunningham in Dublin. (SPA
Saudi envoy to Ireland Nayel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir receives Ireland’s Ambassador-designate to KSA Gerry Cunningham in Dublin. (SPA
Updated 13 August 2022

Saudi envoy receives ambassador-designate to KSA in Dublin

Saudi envoy to Ireland Nayel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir receives Ireland’s Ambassador-designate to KSA Gerry Cunningham in Dublin. (SPA
  • In a tweet, Al-Jubeir wished Cunningham a successful tour in Riyadh

RIYADH: Saudi Ambassador to Ireland Nayel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir received Ireland’s Ambassador-designate to the Kingdom Gerry Cunningham at the embassy’s headquarters in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday.

During the meeting, the pair discussed bilateral relations between the Kingdom and Ireland, and ways to develop ties in all fields.

In a tweet, Al-Jubeir wished Cunningham a successful tour in Riyadh.

Last week, the Saudi ambassador welcomed Adil Bannaga, ambassador-designate of Sudan to Ireland.