It is a shame that racism and tribalism exist in a Muslim country. Prejudice towards a certain race or tribe has no place in Islam. Its ludicrous when a woman who helps empower others is put down for her appearance and background. But you can’t hold a good woman down! May Allah grant Nawal the strength to fight the good fight ameen.
A well-known black Saudi woman, who is a family counselor and pilot, has been targeted online by racists, including with images of monkeys and gorillas, questions raised about her citizenship, and death threats.
Nawal Al-Hawsawi said that her work to help victims of domestic violence on social media, including 50,000 followers on Twitter, has been the target of mainly racist men who appear to hate women, foreigners and those who are not members of certain tribes. “In addition, pictures of my family and children have been leaked, threatening their safety.”
Al-Hawsawi said the most recent attack was launched by someone who goes by the name “Saudi Conscience” and operates under the Twitter handle @saudi100d100. He and his followers have blamed foreigners for various socioeconomic problems, including unemployment and gasoline and electricity price increases, she said.
They are a self-proclaimed “National Guard,” divide the country into three groups: “Original Saudis” (certain Bedouin tribes), “Vomit of the Seas Saudis” (Saudis of foreign descent or Saudis that are not members of certain Bedouin tribes), and “Strangers” (all legal residents and foreigners in Saudi Arabia).
They have called for the deportation of all “Strangers,” and for the citizenship of those who are not supposedly “pure” Saudis to be revoked, in addition to immediate deportation.
She said her work is a threat to the “hate agenda” of these Saudi “neo-Nazis.” “I represent everything that they hate. I am a Saudi married to an American and they are openly anti-American. My husband is white and they condemn inter-racial marriages. I am black and they believe all black people are slaves who should ‘remain in their place.’”
“I am a native Saudi from Al-Hijaz, born and raised in Makkah, and they believe people from Al-Hijaz are not real Saudis. I am a Ph.D. student, but they claim that women are not intelligent and shouldn’t be allowed to work. I also hold an FAA pilot’s license while living in a country that does not allow women to drive cars.
“They don’t like to see a strong woman standing up for women’s empowerment, undermining their misogynistic and gynophobic platform. They have successfully bullied many activists into silence in the past and they are trying to intimidate me. But they picked on the wrong person,” Al-Hawsawi said.
Al-Hawsawi said she has filed a complaint with the authorities about the death threats and the comments under the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law, overseen by the Communications and Information Technology Commission.
Some of her tweets that have been attacked include a message received from a Pakistani resident who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and wanted to marry a Saudi, but her brothers objected because of the nationality of the groom.
She also posted a question received from a Saudi teacher being physically abused by her unemployed brother, who had forced her to give him money by taking out bank loans and buy him a car. He had also refused to allow her to marry an Egyptian man because of his nationality.
“Again, this was done in the name of protecting the ‘pure lineage.’ With the victim’s permission, I posted pictures of her bruises and injuries sustained when her brother beat her.”
Single mother Nor Azimah Ibrahim who went missing in Madinah, Saudi Arabia had contacted her friend in the holy land to find out the process of marrying a Saudi Arabian national or local staying there.
Abdul Aziz Abas, who is now staying in Madinah to pursue a master’s degree at the Madinah Islamic University, said Nor Azimah contacted him via Whatsapp to seek information before she was reported missing.
“I was a little worried she asked such questions because I may have to manage a marriage or things like that because I am busy with my studies, examinations, doing my thesis,” he said when contacted by Bernama TV here, today.
Abdul Aziz who had known Nor Azimah, 31, when studying at a college in Malaysia had asked Nor Azimah to contact his wife for further clarification on the marriage process.
“I told Azimah to contact my wife for any information,” he said, adding that Nor Azimah did not contact him or his wife after that.
Abdul Aziz said the Saudi Arabian authorities had also called him to record his statement following Nor Azimah’s disappearance.
Nor Azimah, who has a daughter, is from Section 30, Shah Alam, Selangor, and went to perform the Umrah on December 11 with her father and mother.
Her mother, Zamhari Zakaria, 52, said the last time she was together with her daughter was on December 19.
Meanwhile, Zamhani who arrived in Malaysia on December 23, said the whole family should have returned home on December 22. — Bernama
A 31-year-old Filipino, Elayan Kris Allafi or “Olayan Al-Afi,” does not know that he bears a Saudi name given by his mother. It was to cherish the memory of her Saudi husband who “abandoned” her years ago.
According to him, his mother met his father in Manila in 1983-84 through a Filipino friend, who was a business partner of his father. He has been searching for his father for 15 years, he said.
“I retained my official name with the hope to see him again, although the Filipino community does not have such a name. Yet, everybody knows my status there as an “Arabian son”.
Allafi, already married, told Arab News that he has been searching for his father when he 17 or 18 years old, and reported the case to the Saudi Embassy in Manila. He has been contacting the embassy off and on but to no avail. “I was told to wait for their call,” he said.
Allafi also visited the Saudi Embassy in Malaysia, where he is now working with all the details. In the absence of any response from his father, he has now switched over to the social networking media, hoping to trace his father.
“I am a Philippines’ citizen, my father left us during my mother’s pregnancy and never came back again. I’ve never seen him and am really very keen to meet him,” said Allafi in his letter to Arab News.
He said he was raised by Christians and has since embraced Islam in 2005 in Malaysia. “The only evidence I have is my father’s “love letter” to my mother with his full name from Riyadh. I am willing to go for DNA testing if required,” he said.
“I named my two children after my Saudi father — Elayan Rasheed Allafi and Zainah Hadiyyah Allafi — to keep his name alive in our memory. Please help me see my father. I am willing to go through every process,” he said.
The Filipino man has been trying to trace his missing father for the last 15 years. As a last resort, he has sought help from Arab News hoping that his dad would one day see “sonrise” and realize what he had been missing for decades.
He is willing to provide photos, old letters and addresses through Arab News to those who could help him.
“I am confident to see my father some day, so that I can visit the Two Holy Mosques with my wife to perform Umrah,” he said from Malaysia.
The children of Saudi women from non-Saudi husbands will not be considered as citizens in the Nitaqat program after the death of their mothers, the Labor Ministry has announced.
“These children carry Iqamas (residence IDs). The ministry considers them as Saudis as long as they are under the sponsorship of their mothers,” Deputy Minister Ahmed Al-Humaidan said.
When the mother dies, her offspring from a non-Saudi father will automatically lose the privilege of being Saudi citizens in the Nitaqat program, he said.
The deputy minister said the presence of these children in the Kingdom after the death of their mother does not concern the Labor Ministry.
“This is a matter that should be decided by the Interior Ministry,” he added.
There are 700,000 Saudi women who are married to non-Saudis, representing around 10 percent of the overall population, according to a Ministry of Justice report issued in 2012.
According to a 2011 report issued by the Ministry of Labor, Yemenis ranked first among foreign men who married Saudi women, followed by Kuwaitis, Qataris, Syrians, Emiratis, Egyptians, Lebanese, and Pakistanis. According to the report, eight Americans, seven Brits and Europeans, and three Turks married Saudi women in 2011.
A decree issued in 2012 gave Saudi citizenship rights to children of Saudi women married to foreign men. According to the decree, the state will pay for the residence fees of children who are half Saudis but from foreign fathers and will allow them to work in private sector companies. The children will be treated as Saudi citizens in education and medical care and will be included in the Saudization program in the private sector.
The Ministry of Justice intends to assign a special mazoun (imam) to sign marriage contracts for non-Saudis at home.
Other marriage contract procedures will be canceled for non-Saudis in the courts of personal status to spare them of the trouble and to save the time of the judiciary, sources told a local publication.
Judicial sources explained that the procedures for marriage contracts are not in the jurisdiction of the judiciary in the first place.
The move coincides with the rise in the number of signed marriage contracts for non-Saudis.
In Hijri year 1436 (Oct. 25, 2014-Oct.14, 2015 in the Gregorian calendar), Riyadh recorded the highest number of signed marriage contracts with 1,044, about 4.7 percent of the total number of contracts signed in the capital. Al-Ahsa came second on the list with 267 contracts and Jazan with 242.
Justice Minister Waleed Al-Samani recently issued a decision to amend Article 10 of the regulations involving the Kingdom’s mazouns concerning the competence of courts to document marriage contracts for non-Saudis.