First instructor to teach driving to Saudi women awarded gender equality prize

First instructor to teach driving to Saudi women awarded gender equality prize
Francesca Pardini was the first instructor to teach driving to women in Saudi Arabia. (File/@forumautomotive)
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Updated 24 March 2022

First instructor to teach driving to Saudi women awarded gender equality prize

First instructor to teach driving to Saudi women awarded gender equality prize
  • Francesca Pardini won ‘#FORUMAutoMotive Character of the Year 2022’ award
  • Forum chairman: Pardini contributed to “achievement of gender equality and women’s emancipation”

ROME: The first instructor to teach driving to women in Saudi Arabia has received a prize in her country for her contribution to “the achievement of gender equality and women’s emancipation in the world.” 

Francesca Pardini, an Italian former Formula 3 racecar pilot, won the “#FORUMAutoMotive Character of the Year 2022” award, organized by an Italian think tank focusing on a responsible and sustainable automotive industry.  

The recognition is awarded annually to an individual who, during the previous year, distinguished him or herself “in carrying out tangible initiatives for the benefit of sustainable mobility as a whole.”

After concluding her career in the world of car racing, Pardini began working as a senior instructor at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. She has been a driving instructor for women in Saudi Arabia since June 2018.

“My students, who mostly were Saudi young girls, had great curiosity for cars and a huge desire to be behind the wheel. Now women in KSA are buying their own cars and [have become] much more independent than in the past. They prefer to drive Japanese brands,” Pardini said at the event in Milan, which was remotely attended by Arab News.

The Italian instructor also explained that it was “a pleasure working with Saudi young girls as they showed that [they] really want to learn how to drive and were already into cars and safe driving.”

Pierluigi Bonora, FORUMAutoMotive chairman, explained that Pardini received this year’s award “for having contributed to the achievement of gender equality and women’s emancipation in the world,” teaching the women of Saudi Arabia how to drive and promoting “full social inclusion and the removal of any residual barrier.” 

 


UNESCO adds Saudi Khawlani coffee, Camel Heda’a to intangible cultural heritage list

UNESCO adds Saudi Khawlani coffee, Camel Heda’a to intangible cultural heritage list
Updated 55 min 28 sec ago

UNESCO adds Saudi Khawlani coffee, Camel Heda’a to intangible cultural heritage list

UNESCO adds Saudi Khawlani coffee, Camel Heda’a to intangible cultural heritage list
  • 11 of Kingdom’s historical practices, items recognized
  • Arabic music, art, dance registered with world body

RIYADH: UNESCO on Wednesday added Saudi Khawlani coffee, and the skills and knowledge associated with its cultivation, and Camel Heda’a to this year’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The decision was taken in Morocco during the annual meeting of the UN’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Kingdom, in cooperation with Oman and the UAE, led the joint application to register Camel Heda’a, which is an oral tradition where herders communicate with their animals. The communication includes guiding camels to safety during sandstorms, instructing them to open their mouths to feed and having them drop onto their knees to be mounted.

The registration of Saudi Khawlani coffee involved the efforts of several bodies including the Heritage Commission, Ministry of Culture, the National Committee for Education, Science and Culture, the Permanent Saudi Delegation to UNESCO, the Culinary Authority, and the Saudi Society for the Preservation of Heritage.

Khawlani coffee is one of the most luxurious and famous types in the world and has been cultivated in the south of the Kingdom for more than eight centuries. It is associated with the customs, poetry and songs of the people of the region.

With these new additions, Saudi Arabia has now registered 11 cultural elements with UNESCO including the Majlis, Arabic coffee, the Najdi Ardah dance, the flute, falconry, the Asiri cat, the palm tree, the Sadu weaving craft and Arabic calligraphy.

This registration forms part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 that aims to document the nation’s rich heritage for future generations locally and abroad.


Saudi Program delivers 150 homes in Yemen

Saudi Program delivers 150 homes in Yemen
Updated 01 December 2022

Saudi Program delivers 150 homes in Yemen

Saudi Program delivers 150 homes in Yemen
  • The project also included the repair of 600 homes, benefiting over 4,000 beneficiaries in Aden

RIYADH: The Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen (SDRPY) delivered 150 homes in Aden, Yemen, to improve the living conditions of low-income families.

The new residences were part of the ‘adequate housing’ project, carried out in partnership United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) and Alwaleed Philanthropies, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The project also included the repair of 600 homes, benefiting over 4,000 beneficiaries in Aden.

It also provided vocational training for Yemeni construction workers in electricity, solar energy, photography, and painting, and upskilled 40 engineers in advanced geographical information systems, construction project management, specialized procurement and project cost calculation, and technical and economic feasibility studies.

Engineers from the Ministry of Public Works and Roads have also been trained in project management, according to SPA.

Ahmed Medkhali, SDRPY director in Aden, said the project was part of Saudi Arabia’s intensified effort to rehabilitate damaged homes and build safe residences that provide proper living conditions for the Yemeni people.


Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement

Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement
Updated 01 December 2022

Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement

Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry and Saudi General Authority for Military Industries signed an agreement with Spain’s Navantia company to acquire and build a number of multi-mission combat ships for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

The Kingdom’s Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Salman and Spain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism María Reyes Maroto attended the agreement’s signing ceremony.

Prince Khaled said on Twitter that this agreement falls within Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision to strengthen the capabilities of the Saudi defense ministry.

“This MOU represents the latest effort to fulfill the vision of HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister to localize our military industry and empower and strengthen the capabilities of the ministry of defense, which will help provide security for our country and region,” he said.

The agreement aims to raise the level of readiness of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces to enhance maritime security in the region, protect the Kingdom’s vital and strategic interests, and support defense ministry’s  operational and tactical goals.

According to the agreement, Navantia will localize up to 100% of naval shipbuilding, integration of combat systems, and ship maintenance, in line with Saudi Vision 2030 objectives.

It also focuses on integrating combat systems into new ships, engineering and designing systems and hardware, and developing software.

Testing, systems verification, prototyping, simulation, as well as logistical support and training program design will also be within the scope of the agreement.


KSRelief chief meets UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs

KSRelief chief meets UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs
Updated 01 December 2022

KSRelief chief meets UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs

KSRelief chief meets UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the adviser at the Saudi Royal Court and general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, on Wednesday met with UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Joyce Msuya, in the capital, Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the meeting, they discussed a number of issues of common interest related to relief and humanitarian affairs.

Msuya praised the Kingdom’s effective and influential international humanitarian role, noting the efforts of KSrelief in alleviating the suffering of refugees and needy groups around the world.


Saudi, Kuwaiti foreign ministers discuss developing joint action

Saudi, Kuwaiti foreign ministers discuss developing joint action
Updated 01 December 2022

Saudi, Kuwaiti foreign ministers discuss developing joint action

Saudi, Kuwaiti foreign ministers discuss developing joint action

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and his accompanying delegation, during his official visit to the capital, Riyadh, the Kingdom’s ministry said on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the two sides stressed the importance of strengthening the joint action process between the two countries, in implementation of the directives of King Salman and Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, in a way that translates the strong and well-established relations between both countries, and achieves the aspirations of the two peoples toward further progress and prosperity, the ministry said in a statement.

Prince Faisal held an official dinner banquet in honor of the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister and his delegation.