On Saturday, July 30, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India was making all efforts to bring back the over 10,000 Indian workers rendered jobless in Saudi Arabia and was providing them food in camps.
She said the companies concerned had shut their factories and left. “We can’t leave our workers there… We have asked the foreign office to authorise us to bring them (back) from Saudi Arabia,” she said. (IANS)
Student Sama Kinsara adjusts her camera at Saudi Arabia’s only cinema school, her dream of seeing her work on the big screen coming into focus after the lifting of the country’s 35-year ban on cinema.
“Everything is about to change,” the first-year student of “visual and digital production” at Effat University in Jeddah told Reuters.
Her course is to be renamed “cinematic arts,” dropping the deceptive title employed originally to help stay under the radar of religious police and local communities opposed to the idea of men teaching women how to make movies.
Cinema is one of several new avenues for Saudi women, who can now attend soccer matches, take part in sport, and in a few months will be allowed to drive cars.
The deeply conservative kingdom is still one of most restrictive countries for women in the world, with a guardianship system requiring women to have a male relative’s approval for important decisions.
For film student Qurratulain Waheb, the chance to get off the university campus and film with her classmates is welcomed.
“Before there was a problem if we had a camera in the malls, we were not allowed to enter the malls but things are getting smoother now when we have access,” she said. “When we have permissions it gets easier, it gets better and people are more accepting. They want to see what we’re doing.” VOA