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الأربعاء، 4 أبريل 2012

Saudi women

Book refutes stereotypes about Saudi women

Published: Apr 12, 2012 00:44

Updated: Apr 12, 2012 00:44

Saudi women have been playing an active role in all walks of life in society and compete with men in acts of charity, according the book “The Women in Najd: Her Status and Role.”

They also enjoy freedom in financial matters and the right to personal freedom, thus disproving the stereotyped image of her being a victim of socioeconomic injustice and cultural taboos, said the book written by Dalal bint Mukhalad Al-Harbi and published by Darat Al-Malik Abdulaziz Library.
According to the book, women of Najd actively participated in wars and in the defense of their people. They sometimes struggled for a living in the absence of male guardians and relied on their own efforts to be self-reliant without being opposed by the community.
The book points out women also participated in all walks of life. There were doctors who treated the sick, teachers educating girls in her community, especially in religious matters like the Holy Qur’an. They also taught how to read and write, in addition to mathematics and accounting.
The book also tells us Saudi women were known for their role in promoting knowledge among people. To this end, some distinguished women and princesses were keen to distribute books and finance their distribution among poor people, including students, to help them in the pursuit of knowledge.
“So we can see the women through a range of documents, which establish her clear picture in her community and also her outstanding contribution in various activities. She engaged in trade, sale and purchase as well as other transactions without any negative perception from her community,” the author points out. She added that women could even defend her financial rights with full confidence or depute somebody on her behalf.
According to the author, Najd women lived in a tolerant society that ensured their rights at all levels, including civic administration. The book said the contributions of women of society in all classes were appreciated by the communities they lived in. They were scientists, teachers and physicians.
The book also focuses on the nature of Bedouin women. The first element of her character is patience with her personal life and harsh nature of outdoor life.
Talking about the impact of the environment on the characters and lives of urban women, the author said her research found that in the transition from a nomadic to urban life women retained many of the same attitudes and personality traits. Urban and nomadic women both look at men with admiration and appreciation especially if they defend their town.
Talking about the role of women in the family, the author said the mother occupies and important place in a Najd family. She performs home duties to ensure psychological security and stability.
According to the Family Relations Act, the mother has the authority and responsibility for the upbringing of children until they become young adults. The children then become the responsibility of the father until the age of marriage.
She also plays the role of mediator in the family. The book said the father’s relationship with his children is conservative, whether they are boys or girls, so the mother defends them before the father and conveys their wishes and opinions to him. Similarly, she conveys to the children the opinions of their father, and urges them to abide by them


AlSayedah Khadijah Bint Khawilid Business Centre, KSA

Dr. Basmah

Dr. Basma Mosleh Omair. With a database almost touching eight thousand, the AlSayedah Khadijah Bint Khawilid Business Centre at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to helping women know their legal rights, lobbying government to further the cause of gender equality and ultimately playing a role in propelling the Kingdom’s march towards progress and glo

Business Centre

As the Executive Director of AlSayedah Khadijah Bint Khuwalid Business Centre at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Basmah Mosleh Omar has learnt the art of understanding diverse perspectives to market issues convincingly and to have the confidence to lobby for women’s empowerment.

With a PhD in Education Technology / Leadership & Management Dr. Basmah has imbibed new skills with each new area along the way. During your tenure in the center, you have famously said; “King Abdullah has tried to help women, his ministers support him. Yet so far, not much has happened. The problem is that in the ministries where the paper is handled, there is resistance to change.”

What are the steps required to speed up the endemic apathy that prevails towards gender equality in KSA?

I have been misquoted on this point, with two separate comments merged erroneously into one. King Abdullah has done much for women’s empowerment, but challenges lie in the implementation of regulations. Issues and obstacles are sometimes found in middle management or the bottom line at client interface level. The implementation of regulations should be realistic and feasible. Raising awareness about these new policy changes is also important; as is the coordinating between ministries to ensure compliance.

Islam traditionally exemplifies progressive women with pronounced leadership abilities being given the freedom to express these.

What milestones has the AlSayedah Khadijah Bint Khawilid Business Centre (AKBK) reached in women’s advancement through the use of national development plans, international conventions and reforming current legislation?

AlSayedah Khadijah Bint Khuwalid Center with the Ministry of Trade has ratified rules allowing women to become Board Members in IPO family companies and private companies, so women can now become Board Members, and therefore become a chairman.

Additionally, women were not able to get trade licenses in construction, contracting and real estate, and today this is permitted. Earlier, women’s paperwork all had to be processed in Riyadh, now it is decentralized. Women can now trade in all trades, no exception, just like men.

As for the Ministry of Labour, we have an official letter stating the abolishment of legislation 160 of the old labour laws advocating no mixing between genders in the work place. That has now been repealed and a clause mentions that men and women in the workplace must operate according to Sharia’a which means upholding greater leniency in a mixed gender work environment.

With government initiatives stressing on the need to establish a diversified SME base in order to sustain growth and absorb young people into the workforce, what specific programmes does the AKBK have for this vital group?

The Chamber of Commerce has a department dealing with SMEs for both genders, whilst we study the regulatory issues affecting ease of conducting business and working with government to enact viable reform. We don’t help them directly in training or in finding them loans, we handle the legislative side and then other departments in the Chamber of Commerce handle the more technical details of entrepreneurship. Ultimately, we are troubleshooters, concentrating on easing the obstacles for women entering business spheres by reforming legislation. We also act as facilitators on behalf of young people coming up with new concepts that may get stuck in ministry bureaucracy because their ideas are untested and licensing is challenging. Diverse age-groups have different needs that we handle.

Please list the challenges that you face in ensuring that the initiatives organised by the AKBK assist women to fulfill their entrepreneurial aspirations?

There are several, such as: Once a regulation has been changed, systems must be followed to ensure standardized implementation, raise awareness amongst women that these regulations exist, and gaining acceptance from society if some regulations are perceived as overly ‘Dramatic’ to enact. Above all, verifying that within ministries policies have permeated across the board.

AlMultaka, KSA

Madam Lama Aggad

Madam Lama Aggad

AlMultaka providing food for the body, mind and soul of the contemporary Saudi woman, bringing forth a renaissance in womanhood.

Empowering Womanhood

AlMultaka is the perfect place to step into when a whole day stretches ahead with no schedules and deadlines to meet. This multipurpose ladies only hive of activity has so much to offer - Salon, fitness centre, spa, gallery, library and of course a designer-wear showroom for Riyadh’s most stylish ladies.

With so much happening under one roof, there is never a dull moment at AlMultaka. This is an environment where beauty, design, art and aesthetics meet to conquer your senses and captivate your time with the utmost enjoyment. Besides, AlMultaka encourages reputed companies in the fields of investment, real estate, travel, law and interior design to set up their ladies’ branch under AlMultaka’s umbrella in order to facilitate networking and business growth.

Saudi national Lama O. Aggad, Founder, AlMultaka, shares the idea and purpose behind her organisation.

How did the idea of AlMultaka originate and what is the ultimate purpose?
With the strong upbringing and support of my father, I grew up to be a well rounded individual who believed in facing challenges with grit and determination. My aim was to become a Saudi woman who instils change and excellence through her work in the country.

I received an Honours graduate from the avant-garde and prestigious Chelsea School of Art and Design as well as the Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, in London.

With a solid grounding in art and design, I returned to Riyadh to set up AlMultaka (the Rendez-Vous), a meeting place for women, where culture meets luxury, in an inspiring ambiance of hope, excellence and energy. The revolutionary idea drew parallels between business and community development through change and innovation.

Today, AlMultaka caters its services to 250-300 ladies a day and has become one of the leading centres in Riyadh offering only the latest in high-end services and products.

What are the challenges of running an organisation such as AlMultaka?
Initially there were many uncertainties and hurdles. The concept itself was quite new therefore the legalities concerned or needed were unclear. With the support and assistance of the ladies branch of the governmental authority, licenses started to appear giving women the legality and strength to continue successfully in their varied chosen fields.

Another challenge was staffing. We are great supporters of Saudisation but also needed superb, highly qualified personnel to portray AlMultaka in the best light. This took a great deal of training and perseverance. Initially we started with 8 employees, now after 18 years, we are a team of 168 with a majority being local Saudis.

In the history of AlMultaka, at which point did you feel that all the effort was absolutely worth it?
It is always wonderful to see AlMultaka in action especially when we have 600 or more ladies a night during our fitness sessions. I feel like AlMultaka is doing everything right.

There are many such instances but on a personal level, I rejoiced when my father, my wonderful mentor, Omar A. Aggad, decided to visit AlMultaka not having been there for some time. This significant tour, some years back started an endless barrage of astonishment, compliments, amazement and deep appreciation for the effort we had put in all those years that turned AlMultaka into this success story.

He concluded we are a beacon of hope for several such new endeavours and he takes pride in the brand we have become. As we move to greener pastures, his appreciation and blessings remain our driving force.

From the perspective of a business woman, why is AlMultaka the place to be?
When you see three generations of our clients coming through the door hand in hand to participate with us the feeling is wonderful. There must be something about us which brings us such admiration and loyalty from the people.

AlMultaka represents the success story of every Saudi woman whether she is a business woman, a housewife, a University Dean, a doctor or a student.

We contribute to society, respect the environment and fully support local communities. The company’s success has been recognized through winning a number of awards and there’s scope for further and faster growth.

How deeply is the idea “from women to women” incorporated in the daily operations at AlMultaka?
We are becoming a global community and the only way forward is hand in hand. Our philosophy of “drops that gather one by one finally become a sea” is the root of our efforts in expanding the AlMultaka community. With a team that is aware, dedicated and vivacious; we are sensitive to our clients’ and community’s needs and have thus achieved the amazing results.

This is an exciting time for the country with many positive exchanges with other cultures. We are now in tune with worldwide events and have a better understanding of businesses and economies in general.

We have to empower women with skill, proper managerial background, and the right education to implement business tools. We must also encourage all to participate in ladies oriented sectors which will translate into important roles women play in the national economy.

Designer-wear Showroom

Elevating fashion to an art, AlMultaka houses a collection of designer wear from globallyrenowned haute couture designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean Louis Scherrer, Ashley Isham, Maria Grachvogel, Cliements Ribeiro and Carlos Miele. Presentations and showings of Lama O. Aggad’s designs and collections take place when time permits. 

Beauty and Hair Salon

 Housing a team of highly qualified professional hairstylists and beauticians, with the objective of delivering innovative treatments and services, here is a haven where beauty and relaxation go hand in hand.
Beauty is something all strive for, and it’s waiting for you at AlMultaka’s Beauty Salon. Whether you’re yearning to find the life-long beauty within or simply need to look drop-dead gorgeous for one special night. AlMultaka Salon is here for you. Change your look, rejuvenate your skin. And bring a glimmer to your toes. Spend an hour, spend the day.

The Hairstylists-Artists, use the finest products, to create “portraits” that fit the client, the occasion and the attitude. State of the art styles, wavy or straight, classic or chic, whatever mood, style or stage you’re in, the Hairstylists will create the look the clients always dreamed of.

The colorists use the finest products and the latest techniques to create a color and texture that enhances the shape of the haircut and the quality of the hair.

From IPL hair removal, to Crystal Peel, to firming the skin, AlMultaka’s Estheticians use only the finest ingredients to gently, effectively restore and protect your skin tone, texture and appearance. These techniques will help promote the general health of the skin, moisturize fine lines, reduce irregular pigmentation, smoothes, refines and firms the skin.

Fitness Centre

Be it staying fit or losing weight, the fabulously appointed fitness centre offers diversified classes in aerobics, Pilates, body combat, body shaping, spinning, yoga, and our most popular Fight do, X55 and Mega Dance Classes. These
are all handled by certified and highly qualified instructors. Besides, the gym has the highest quality equipment to enjoy an invigorating work-out. Memberships that allow unlimited access to the gym, steam room and aerobics classes are also available. This includes a comprehensive fitness evaluation and a personalised workout programme for diverse categories of fitness levels. AlMultaka Fitness Centre is a Radical Fitness Certified training centre and a certified Stott Pilates Centre.

Children also learn the importance of exercise and good health habits that will be used throughout their lives through workouts in Hip hop, Kid fit, etc. Classes that are fun and offer a unique child care experience not to mention the annual Ballet event.


Offering a refreshing, whole body and mind experience.

AlMultaka Spa boasts a range of programmes that combine rejuvenating treatments with sustainable weight reduction. It also includes a well-balanced eating plan that awakens dormant energies and harmonises weight to healthy levels.

This luxurious, refined treatment not only offers an upscale setting for its clientele but an amazing spectrum of experiences by professional certified staff who are unified in their dedication to superior service and client comfort. 

Young mothers who seek a day off to relax by themselves can head to AlMultaka without hassles. Their kids will be well-taken care of at the colorful playroom with fun activities that are designed to develop selfesteem, coordination and social skills.

Little Fingers provides the children with a safe caring environment.

Kids aged between 0-month and 10 years are entertained under expert supervision with a range of activities like painting, drawing, sculpting, dancing, storytelling and making their own dolls, T-shirts, gift boxes, cards. The sky is the limit….In addition, classes offered for kids range from ballet and computer lessons to fitness exercises. 


 Renowned as one of the most fashionable and favourite meeting places in Riyadh, the restaurant offers a bubbling atmosphere where you can enjoy delicious food and beverages, delivering an exceptional dining experience to every customer every time. Homemade salads, sandwiches, soups, wraps, fondue, crepe, croissants, saj, pizza, pastries and a lot more are available to soothe your palate. Besides, freshly squeezed juices and an extensive range of teas and coffees are offered on the menu. The
restaurant organises international and traditional dinners featuring Italian, Chinese and Mexican cuisines, Swiss Fondue, Mediterranean and the renowned and much sought after Ramadan Sohour evenings. High expectations for the perfect experience are met at our Classical English Afternoon Tea apres midi’s reminiscent of times past.

An ideal setting for any celebration. Engagement, graduation, or retirement parties. Time to catch up with friends. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your dining experience and the legendary customer service.

Explore a new way to vitality

An alternative way to a much healthier and cleaner body, allowing detoxification and relaxation, are the unique massage and therapy services at AlMultaka to give you renewed vitality. Ayurveda is a safe and relaxing centuries-old natural method. Holotherapy Treatment uses Chinese acupressure, shaping treatments by Mars, Aromatherapy relaxing massage, La Stone Therapy, Reflexology massages, back and neck massages and body wraps, be it cholcolate or specially made muds help to untie stress knots and improve blood circulation giving you that glowing skin you’ve always desired.

Try the Moroccan Bath ultimate experience with deep cleansing and hydrating creams, have the soft baby skin you dream of.

End your day at the spa, by stretching out and enjoying the Alpha Sphere, a Space Ship for the Inner Journey, consciousness levels get activated and conventional experiences of space, time and “me myself” get transcended, or simply enjoy the lazy breeze as you lounge on our intimate terrace high above – where the sky and spa meet as one. Have lunch brought in, browse through mail or just dream on…………

1 التعليقات:

  1. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Saudi Arabia? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Saudi Arabia in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Calle Valencia,39
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez