Officials, parents blamed for misspelled names

Updated 21 March 2016

Officials, parents blamed for misspelled names

DAMMAM: Many Saudis are currently officially registered on the Ministry of Civil Services database with names that are misspelled or that do not exist in the Arabic language, according to a report in a local publication.
This has been the case of a 50-year-old woman who has been called Narjis for years even though her correct name is Ranjis. She blames her parents for making a mistake while registering her when she was born. She only found out later at school that her name was incorrect, but has refused to change it.
Another woman, a grandmother, whose is known to her family as Kawkab, has been registered as Koka ever since her father went to the ministry and pronounced it in his local dialect, which was copied that way by an official. She said that she finds it quite funny because the name Koka does not exist in the Arabic language.
Another ministry official registered a man as Ali Alwan, when his children only know him as Ali. Ma’sooma is a known as Aseem, because her father Abu Rizq registered her as Aseem. She has held onto it because she finds it better than Ma’sooma.
A father forgot that he named his daughter Mona, and registered her as Su’ad, which resulted in people calling her by both names. This also happened with Zawan, who is now known as Rawan.
Newspapers sometimes publish advertisements about people changing their names either because they are old or do not mean anything. They change their names by reregistering with the ministry, which requires them to advertise this in local papers.
Spokesman for the ministry, Mohammad Aljasier, said officials require parents to choose appropriate names for their children. Compound names are banned under the country’s laws, he said.


Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 26 May 2020

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.