Thursday, May 21, 2020

Life in Saudi Arabia

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Saturday, October 26, 2019

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

No More Expats in Baqalas – Only Saudis to be allowed to work in Grocery Stores

Rapid changes are taking place in Saudi Arabia. We have seen that Saudi Arabian government is giving priority to its citizens now. With the implementation of expat dependent fee and localization of many jobs, it seems like Saudi Arabia is concerned about its national.  This is not something bad either, a government has to first cater its own nationals. It’s not that we are closing doors for Foreigners, it’s just that we are opening avenues for our citizens. Another bold step being planned by the Saudi Arabian government is the localization of jobs at the grocery stores. The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) has prepared a draft that briefs that non-Saudis shall no longer be employed at grocery stores. Shops selling confections and consumable items also fall under the same jurisdiction.

So soon you will be seeing no foreign worker at such shops and stores. All the workers there will be Saudis. There is no quota for expats, 100% of jobs in grocery stores would be allocated to Saudis.  The basic intention behind such a step is to open up employment opportunities towards Saudis which can, unfortunately, only be done by closing down job avenues for the foreigners. According to sources claims, by localizing the grocery stores we can open up 20,000 job opportunities for our nationals.   Similarly, if we impose the same limitation of localization upon the food, juice and soft drinks vans, 6,000 Saudis would seek employment. The ministry is in its phase of considering this option as well.

This step shall help boost employment rates of Saudis. Localization of sectors has been done in the near past which has provided us with fruitful results. The ministry claims that 8,000 Saudis got employed after the telecom sector limited its job towards Saudi nationals only. These included the repairing, maintaining and selling of mobile phones. 7,500 medical staff (consisting of nurses and doctors) and technicians, all of them being Saudis of course, were hired on contractual basis in various government hospitals and medical & healthcare centers. The ministry is hopeful that by the end of 2020, the health sector shall absorb employment of 93,000 Saudi males and females.  

The ministry assures that with localization of the car rental offices, 5,000 Saudis shall be enjoying the status of being employed.  Recently the Shoura Council, an official advisory body, appealed the ministries of labor and social development and municipal and rural affairs to enforce the closure of small stores. Instead, the license should only be provided to large stores that can employ a greater number of our Saudi nationals.

The Shoura Council believes that this step will not only be beneficial for the economy but also a great social issue would be resolved. The Tasattur (where on paying a fee a non-Saudi can do a business in name of a Saudi) shall be wiped out! Things are changing rapidly and we hope that these steps would bring in fruitful results as per our expectations!

Source: Arab News

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Governor of Asir orders to deport 2 expat drivers for their reckless driving

Driving any vehicle is a great responsibility. If you are driving carelessly, you not only risk your life but also put others life at a great danger. Traffic accidents are very common around the world. The reason behind these accidents is that people do not follow traffic rules. In Saudi Arabia, road accidents have for long taken lives of many innocent ones. According to a report, road accidents are the leading cause of deaths in Saudi Arabia. We lose on average 21 precious lives every day in road accidents.

It is not that we have bad road tracks or cars. The problem is that the people are careless. No matter how harsh rules are imposed, unless people would not comply with them, we can’t change a thing. If you look at the incident that took place in Saudi Arabia, you would be amazed at the drivers! You must have gone through or heard of the video that went viral on social media, where two truck drivers underwent a dangerous stunt. Yes, a video was uploaded where two lorry drivers underwent dangerous overtaking at the Asir Region. These reckless drivers, one after the other, overtook each other on a narrow road. The whole incident was recorded on a 10-second long video and was uploaded on social media.

One should not be performing in such a way on a car, but these reckless drivers performed the dangerous and stupid stunt while driving trucks! Were they in their senses? God forbids, something really bad could have happened. They were lucky they are safe! racing on a narrow road and overtaking is a stupid thing to do, it not only puts one’s life in danger but others could have been a victim of a serious road accident. Taking rightful notice of the incident, Prince Faisal bin Khalid who is the Governor of Asir, demanded the driver's deportation. Both of the drivers are non-Saudis and have gone through legal action. They first faced penalties for their careless and reckless attitude and now have been deported to their respective countries.

Saad Thabet who is an officer in charge of Prince Faisal’s media office briefed about the matter. He said that the drivers were found guilty of not only putting their lives in danger but also of others. They have violated the traffic rules and regulations. Thereby they have been wisely deported. Prince Faisal said that he is pleased to see the authorities’ efficiency. The civil and security officials in Muhayel, timely arrested the two drivers and took their vehicles in their custody. The two trucks are to be investigated.

Authorities are doing their work well. They are holding campaigns to educate people about the significance of following traffic rules. They are doing their best to put a stop to reckless driving. The authorities have set up speeding cameras to penalize those who over speed. Monitoring is done through cameras and timely action is taken upon the violators. But we need to change ourselves now, for our safety and for the safety of others. Let’s promote a positive driving culture!

Source: Gulf News

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A restaurant owner in Singapore takes his 27 employees for Umrah

The Zam Zam restaurant of Singapore notified that it would be closed during the last 10 days of Ramadan. It was published on the social media so that its far off customers, especially from Johor and Tuas, would not come all the way to see the restaurant closed. Everyone was quite surprised and curious because the restaurant remains open 7 days a week. Why would someone close down a restaurant for 10 days and that too in days when the business would be really good? Even though the Zam Zam management hesitated to disclose the facts, the truth was made public. The boss of the restaurant and taken his 27 employees along himself to perform an Umrah.

The boss claims that he had been saving money for three years to do so. He took his 27 employees for a religious virtue to thank them for their hard work. He says that these employees have been working tirelessly for the restaurant and it was time to pay them off. And letting them perform an Umrah was the best way to do so.  The restaurant remained closed from 19th June 2017 to 28th June 2017 as most of the employees were at Makkah to perform an Umrah. The restaurant bore all the expenses of the 27 employees which included Visa, Ticket, Food, Hotel expenses. The company did not disclose the expense yet it was estimated that a trip of Umrah from Singapore of 28 people must have cost about $ 84,000.

Mr. Zackeer Khan, the restaurant’s manager says that the restaurant was founded in 1908. Those employees had been taken along who had been loyal towards the company and have help lifting it up. Most of the employees had served for more than 5 years. A man in his 60’s who is an old employee at Zam Zam was also taken along.  All the employees were very happy to have performed the Umrah in the holy month.

They requested to perform an Umrah in the holy month as special prayers are offered in Makkah. Although it was not an economically rational decision for the business, yet the boss agreed to it. The workers cried of joy for performing their very first Umrah.  Life is unexpected and they wanted to visit the Holy place one in a life.

An employee who is in his 30’s and has served the company for 7 years says that he was overwhelmed. He never expected that the boss would close the restaurant during great business days. The boss is indeed very kind and it is difficult to find such a good boss.  The employees were seen wearing the Zam Zam jackets and posed for a group photo holding a banner of the restaurant in the city of Makkah. When the pictures broke on the internet, the people praised the boss and the company for their kind gesture and prayed for their safety. The restaurant reopened and both the employees and customers were very happy!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A girl arrested by Police for wearing mini-skirt in Saudi Streets

Saudi Arabia is indeed a conservative society when it comes to women. Women here are not allowed to drive cars as they cannot hold a driving license. Women here cannot dress as they want; they are to cover themselves properly. In public, a woman shall be wearing an abaya. An abaya is a loose garment which is worn by females here so that they are covered properly. The Abaya and driving rule applies to Saudi as well as foreign women irrespective of their religion. In Saudi Arabia, the huge billboards have men all over them. If a female oriented product is to be marketed, either the women face is blurred or is cropped off. 

In a society like this, a young girl became headlines when a video of her went viral on the social media. The lady, who is identified as Kholoud was arrested as she was seen wearing a miniskirt. The 27 years old model was filmed wearing a highly immodest dress (according to Saudi culture). She had contrasted her miniskirt with a sleeves crop top. She was seen at the historical sites and the red sea of Saudi Arabia.  Her video made quite a buzz in social media and thereby within hours, the police became active. The girl was arrested because of her liberal dressing. The Ministry of Culture and Information and the Riyadh Police revealed that the girl is a model. The news of her arrest became international. A woman arrested because she went in Public wearing a miniskirt in Saudi Arabia! The matter got serious.

However, the woman after several hours of the investigation was released. The claims are that no charge was levied on her, she was set free without the imposition of any fine. The model told that the video was uploaded on the social media without her consent. Her quick release and the fact that she hasn’t been charged assures that there was international pressure. Of course, the news was in the international media and the authorities knew that the international press was looking into the case as well. So if the girl was charged, it would have portrayed a very negative image of Saudi Arabia.

While some are applauding and cheering that this is a step towards women rights, some have heavily criticized it. Even when the video was uploaded, people bashed at the girl saying that she has dressed immodestly and should not have come into the public like this. She has violated the Kingdom’s cultural, traditional and religious norms. While others view that it is her choice and she has the right to do what she wants as long as she is not imposing any harm to others.

Whatever the views be, several questions have arisen:  can Saudi women now dress the way they want? If this woman is not charged, have we opened up a new trend for Saudi women? Can we now see Saudi women dressed “Immodestly” in public?

Source: Arab News

Friday, July 21, 2017

4 Major Reasons Why Children are being kidnapped in Saudi Arabia

Recently, newspapers have reported numerous cases of kidnapping. This is quite alarming. If you go into the details of this news you would find out that most kids were kidnapped at the grocery stores. This has caused a panic among the parents. They feel that their children are not safe anymore. This is quite obvious from the past two months; we have been listening to cases where a number of children have been kidnapped or disappeared. It is not that only a few locations are insecure, cases show that kidnapping occurred at different locations in Saudi Arabia, however the most common being the grocery stores.

As the cases of kidnapping have immensely rose, we thought of providing you with some safety measures. These measures are an advice coming from the experts. So the experts have jotted down four reasons why the kids are being kidnapped and how parents can prevent their child from being kidnapped.

Weak Social Ties: We say that the world is a global village; we are in-contact with the people around the world but unfortunately not with the ones who are near us. We have developed societies where people do not know about their neighbors. The weak social ties have let others take benefit of it. Any outsider can come into the society and people won’t even notice.  A psychologist at family issues, Dr. Hani Al-Ghamdi, says that weak social ties have weakened the security levels. Parents need to check their children themselves and they cannot rely on the neighbors for it. 

Training to Children: You must keep an eye on your child if he is playing in the neighborhood; also you need to tell them not to trust any stranger. Your child shall be told repeatedly not to go with any stranger or to talk with anyone. If a child feels that a person is keeping an eye on him or is being friendly, he shall report to parents. Parents need to tell all these important measures to their children.

Irresponsible Parents: Al-Ghamdi stressed that parents have become quite irresponsible. They let their children fetch a grocery item from a nearby grocery store all alone. This is very unsafe for the child.  Also if you are at the store, make sure that you have an eye on your child. Not let anyone take advantage of your neglect.

Running Away from their Home: Also, parents shall understand that there is a difference between kidnapping of a child and running away from the child. Many children tend to escape from their houses because of various reasons. You can prevent a child escape as there are signs that child is planning an escape.

Hawazin Al-Zahrani, who is an educational consultant and holds specialization in children's rights, warned parents to keep an eye on their children as the kidnapping of our young ones is a serious case. Children can be kidnapped for various purposes like sexual abuse, human trafficking, and even terrorist activities. Parents, your children are your biggest responsibility. The state is trying its best to prevent such cases, but you are ought to be careful and responsible!
Source: Saudi Gazette

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Prince Saud arrested on the orders of King Salman for torturing normal citizens

Sometimes when people are given power and authority, they tend to misuse it. They believe they can do anything they want and they won’t be held accountable for it. This is a worldwide phenomenon, some powerful people tend to use their powers to oppress others and get involved in inhumane activities. Power, authority, and status are sometimes misused by those who owe it.

An unfortunate event also took place in Saudi Arabia where a prince used his powers wrongfully. A few days ago from now, a video went viral where a Saudi prince along with some of his associates was seen abusing citizens. Not only the victims were verbally abused but also they were physically harmed by using guns. The guns were used to frighten people or to beat them up with. The blood was spotted on the victim's clothes as well.  This is brutal and cruel act undertaken by a Prince. He had no right to abuse someone like this.

The video went up on social media and people started sharing it with a message that such activities and that too by a Prince are simply not acceptable.  The prince has been identified as Prince Saud Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Musaed Bin Saud Bin Abdul Aziz. People were of the view that the Prince should not have done this. His powers are not meant for this very purpose. Is he made a prince to openly frighten others, abuse them and physically harm them? Is this his duty? Justice was the call.

If Prince Saud Bin Abdul Aziz has committed the crime, which is very clear in the video, he shall be made accountable for it. He shall be arrested and be answerable for his actions. He shall face punishment for his unjust behavior. Hearing the news and getting its conformity, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, issued a legal notice demanding the arrest of Prince Saud Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Musaed Bin Saud Bin Abdul Aziz and his associates involved in an unjust act.

The royal prince, therefore, is arrested. According to the notice issued by The King, the Prince and his associated cannot be set free until the court hearings are completed and the matter is finalized.  The King assured irrespective of the fact that Saud is a Prince, he is accountable for his acts. A law must hold everyone equally: if he is found guilty he shall be punished. So the prince s to be in Jail until the court gives out a verdict after viewing the matter. Recommended: “Even I am not above the Law” – Says Saudi King

As much as we are disappointed by Prince Saud Bin Abdul Aziz’s behavior, we are very much glad at the decision of King Salman. We hope that the justice will be upheld and we would be proudly proclaiming that Saudi Arabia is a country where your status cannot allow you to be unjust. we hope that the courts will give out a sentence that will reflect justice!
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

“Brother, don’t kill me” – An Iraqi woman buried alive by her brothers

The number of women being killed by their own family in the name of honor, in some countries like Iraq, Pakistan and Jordan has arisen immensely. Even though the human rights campaigns have been initiated there and people have been repeatedly told that this is a severe crime but the crime is being practiced at a large scale most probably because the criminals there are not subject to harsh punishments. Education and campaigns are fruitless as 68% of the Iraqi men believe that it is okay to kill women (either be a mother, sister or wife) who dishonors them. This has reveled in a survey conducted on Iraqi youth in 2009.

Although both Iraq and Jordan treat honor Killing a crime, yet the criminal of honor killing is dealt differently than a murderer. There is a separate category for a person who commits honor killing and a separate one for one who commits murder.  Isn’t honor killing a murder? The United Nations took a notice of Honor Killings and in 2015 the UN Human Rights Office demanded Iraq to change its criminal code that provides a defense to the one who commits honor killing. However, the problem remains there. The UN recently revealed that two girls aged 15 and 20 were killed by their own relatives like brother and father. These girls were brutally killed and their murderers enjoy a free life.

The northern region of Iraq namely Kurdistan is a place where most women are suppressed in the name of honor. One of the female parliamentarians, Parwa Ali, claims that Kurdistan enjoys the honor killing of women due to government neglect. She has dealt with a lot of honor killing cases in the area. She briefed that the honor killings and violence against women cases are not registered and brought to courts. The tribal nature of the area does not allow for it, instead, people tend to solve such matters through tribal agreements.

Unfortunately, nothing genuine could be done till date as the political parties do not go for such reforms. They know that these tribes are great electoral support and they do not tend to interfere in their matters.  Our Iraqi sisters are not safe at the hands of their own family. Recently a girl was buried alive in the Kurdish area of Iraq by her own brothers. The brothers claimed that the sister had dishonored the family as she was seen with a man in the car after she left her job. So the family decided that such a girl has no right to live and was buried alive in a grave. She was tied but was lucky to push out some mud from her chest to allow oxygen pass by. He lawyers brother-in-law helped her to come out of the grave.

She was then taken to her home but wasn’t allowed to go out for 18 months. She did escape and now feels unsafe and insecure. Her brothers might be searching her and looking forward to killing the girl for good. She knows she would be killed but wants to live freely until then. This is really sad and we hope that people will understand that honor killing is a major crime. We hope that our Iraqi sisters will get justice and safety.

Source: Al Arabiya


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