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The crown prince speaks in a divided tongue

This week came news that the next Saudi ambassador to Sweden is a woman. Her name is Enas bint Ahmed Al Shahwan, and she is number three in the line of Saudi women ambassadors. Previously, Saudi Arabia had women as ambassadors for the United States and Norway.

Personally, I have a fairly recent memory of visiting a gym in the Saudi city of Jeddah three years ago. Hala Al-Hamrani trained the women in kickboxing on the rhythms of heavy electrodes. A quick update shows Halah opened another gym last year, before the covid-19 pandemic put a dead hand on the entire business.

Hala Al Hamrani is a kickboxer and runs a gym in Jeddah where she trains other women.

Photo: Roger Torrison

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has Demolition of a number of bastions of misogyny. Women are now allowed to drive, have access to sports arenas, and the path has been opened for previously closed professional training such as pilot, taxi driver and professional military personnel.

This development is linked to the special foster child of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the grand reform plan of Vision 2030. When Vision 2030 is implemented – the number refers to the next nine years – Saudi Arabia will break free of its massive dependence on oil. Instead, technology and tourism should flourish in the conservative monarchy. Do you intended.

If the plan is to succeed, the country’s women – 43 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population of 35 million – must enter the workforce. Women must be allowed to be mobile and independent: to drive, to be able to make their own decisions.

And that looks good Everything, but how does this thinking fit into what is said in Saeed Al-Nahhal’s article about Rafaa Al-Yami? The article describes domestic abuse against women, abuse that appears to occur with fond memories of the authorities. How are women who want independence imprisoned in government institutions?

Not to mention prison sentences for women whose “crime” they tried to shed light on various women’s rights issues.

Simple answer to the question He: They do not meet. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks in a divided tongue, praising the progress made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the field of women.

Female ambassadors and taxi drivers were made possible by dictation from above. But proposals or demands for changes that come from below are cruelly and mercilessly rejected.

Hala Al Hamrani is a kickboxer and runs a gym in Jeddah.

Hala Al Hamrani is a kickboxer and runs a gym in Jeddah.

Photo: Roger Torrison

The crown prince likely does not mind letting rotten and oppressive tribal traditions live in his kingdom. And that has strange consequences.

Hala Al Hamrani, a grandmother of kickboxing, has a forgiving family that allows her to live her dreams and runs her own gym. On the other hand, Rafaa Al-Yami’s relatives denounced her training activity. Her brothers punish her and the Saudi state stands by.

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