Asma's Feed
May 7, 2012
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Sin has led to Middle East unrest, says Saudi Arabia’s top cleric

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(Islamist protesters wave flags with Koranic inscriptions during a protest in front of the Tunisian television headquarters in Tunis April 24, 2012. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi )

Saudi Arabia’s top religious official has blamed Muslim sinfulness for instability in the Middle East, where pro-democracy unrest has toppled four heads of state.

Apr 27, 2012

Bin Laden’s family deported to Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH (Reuters) – Pakistan deported the family of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia on Friday, their lawyer and a diplomat said, nearly a year after U.S. special forces killed the world’s most wanted man in a northwestern Pakistani town.

The move ended months of speculation about the fate of the three widows and 11 children, who were detained by Pakistani security forces after the May 2 raid.

Apr 24, 2012
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Saudi man spends 12 extra years in jail awaiting father’s pardon

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(The Kingdom Tower stands in the night above the Saudi capital Riyadh November 16, 2007. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji )

A Saudi Arabian man who was jailed for three years in 1997 has spent a further 12 years behind bars waiting for his father to pardon him, a local human rights group has said.

Apr 4, 2012

Taboo-breaking Saudi films spur debate in staid kingdom

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, April 4 (Reuters) – An important Saudi
official riding in a chauffered Rolls Royce unspools a wire
fence across previously unclaimed land. “It’s mine now,” he
says.

The scene, in a YouTube spoof video satirising a new state
agency to combat corruption, has attracted 2.2 million viewers
in a strait-laced Islamic kingdom where Saudi online comedians
are tackling once-taboo subjects – and gaining a wide following.

Mar 28, 2012

Saudi rights activist says will fight travel ban

JEDDAH (Reuters) – A Saudi Arabian human rights activist and lawyer who has been barred from travel by the authorities said on Wednesday he would appeal against the ban, which has been criticized by Amnesty International.

Waleed Abu al-Khair, who has previously filed cases against the government for jailing an activist without trial and for not allowing women to vote in municipal elections, said he was summoned to the interior ministry on March 21 and told he was banned from travelling because of “security concerns”.

Mar 28, 2012
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Saudi religious police drop lethal car chases in effort to improve image

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(Members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or religious police, attend a training course in Riyadh April 29, 2009 . REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed )

Saudi religious police will stop car chases that have led to fatal accidents in the past, local media say, in an attempt to soften the image of a force that aggressively enforces Islamic Sharia laws. Bearded members of the religious police patrol the streets in Saudi Arabia to enforce strict gender segregation laws and ensure that all shops close during Muslim prayer times and that men and women are modestly dressed.

Mar 11, 2012

Saudi inflation at 14-mth high on food, housing

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, March 11 (Reuters) – Saudi
Arabia’s annual inflation rate edged up to a 14-month high of
5.4 percent in February, mainly because of higher food and
housing costs, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.

Quoting data from the Central Department of Statistics, the
agency said consumer prices increased 0.3 percent from the
previous month in February after a 0.1 percent rise in January.
Food prices climbed 0.5 percent and housing 0.7 percent.

Feb 29, 2012
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Saudi women seek right to play sports despite Muslim clerics’ veto

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(Women's basketball team, Saudi Arabia's Jeddah United, pose at Kuala Lampur airport in this undated photo. Saudi Arabia's Jeddah United team played on February 17, 2012 a basketball match against Women's basketball team, Universiti Malaya (Kuala Lampur) team. REUTERS/Saudi Arabia's Jeddah United/Handout )

The image of 24-year-old Nour Fitiany resting courtside as the pounding of basketballs and thumping of feet reverberated around her wouldn’t merit a second glance in most countries.

Feb 29, 2012

Saudi women push for the right to play sports

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – The image of 24-year-old Nour Fitiany resting courtside as the pounding of basketballs and thumping of feet reverberated around her wouldn’t merit a second glance in most countries.

But in Saudi Arabia, where girls are banned from sports in state schools, powerful clerics castigate women for exercising and female gyms must adhere to strict regulations, Fitiany’s ambition to play basketball – let alone represent her country in international tournaments – is a bold political statement.

Feb 20, 2012

Saudi activist acquitted of terrorism chargess

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – A court in Saudi Arabia has acquitted Saeed bin Zuair, a political activist who had been in jail for five years on terrorism charges, his son Abdullah bin Zuair said Monday.

Bin Zuair, 62, a media professor who has called for political reform, has been jailed three times since 1995, most recently in 2007 on accusations related to security and terrorism.