The Greens’ squad are using the
plastic bottles they collected at the football stadium to create an art work
that will highlight the harm plastic does to the planet. (Supplied photo)
Women Including Three Muslims Step into Indian Parliament
Musicians Banned From Playing In Charity Concert in Qazvin
Petition Backs Doctor Who Asked Muslim Patient to Remove Veil
Council for Women Launches First Forum for Female Directors in August
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Women Footballers Set Their Sights On Green Goals
In the natural scheme of things, sports and environment are not easy to
combine. But a group of eight Saudi women are attempting just that through
their football team, the Greens.
team’s members want to use their passion for sport to raise environmental
awareness and bring about a mindset change across the Kingdom.
Greens were established by the Saudi Sports for All Federation two months ago —
specifically to promote environmental causes. The federation focuses on sports
as a social, rather than professional, activity for women, men, adults, children,
the elderly and people with special needs.
the Greens is Rawh Alarfaj, 34, who played football for 12 years before
deciding to become a coach.
am very passionate about sports overall, but my speciality is football and I
feel I am good at it,” Alarfaj, who lives in Riyadh, told Arab News. “One of
the things that keeps me going is that I am one of the founders of the
Challenge Sports Club, which I manage right now.
were focused at first only on football. But from the beginning of 2017, we have
also had a basketball team for women in Riyadh.”
run programs for everyone in society because our goal is to increase the level
of public participation in sports in Saudi Arabia from 13 percent in 2015 to 40
percent by 2030, based on a study we did at the federation,” said Alarfaj.
we’re at 18 percent. The programs focus on all kinds of sports. Just days ago,
in the Danish capital Copenhagen, we took part in the Global Goals World Cup,
which promotes causes such as environmental ones.”
tournament, better known as GGWC, frames the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs) as a sport, with 30 teams worldwide competing to create the kind
of world they would like to see. Each team creates an action plan with a
particular global goal and strives to achieve it in their own country.
the Greens, the focus was SDG 15: “Life on Land.” “We thought it would be a
good global goal to choose right now because the issue has many sides,” Alarfaj
said. “Awareness of the state of the environment is a very important topic now.
So we organized a number of campaigns across the Kingdom.”
a male professional football league game in Riyadh, Greens players distributed
reusable bags as they educated the crowds about the benefits of using them
instead of plastic bags.
the event, the team — with the help of a number of young Saudis — cleaned up
the stadium. They collected plastic bottles for use in building a “plastic art
work” — due for completion in June — which highlights the harm they do to the
environmental protection campaign was not confined to Riyadh alone. A clean-up
drive was undertaken by the Greens at a public park in Alkhobar, in Saudi
Arabia’s Eastern Province, while awareness talks were held in Jeddah about how
plastic harms marine life.
campaigns are really important,” Alarfaj said. “A lot of young people
volunteered to help us and it’s something that needs to be a part of the
campaigns gain the team points toward their final tournament score. “Global
Goals isn’t just about football,” she said. “It’s about the SDGs and how to
achieve them through sports, specifically female football. It’s very good to
take part in sports for a cause and to have this culture in Saudi Arabia.”
taken part in the GGWC this year, the Greens hope to host the tournament in the
Kingdom in a couple of years. “To win, you can’t just go out and play,” Alarfaj
said. “You have to organize these campaigns and engage society in the goal you
is the most peaceful activity which people can use to espouse a cause,” she
said. “So I recommend that people get more engaged with sport and use it as a
tool to spread awareness about different causes.”
Kashgari, 28, discovered she loved football when she was only 8 years old. She
used to play the sport with her relatives as children.
she grew older, so did her passion for the beautiful game. “It’s my favorite
hobby and biggest passion today,” said Kashgari, who was originally from Jeddah
but lives in Alkhobar at present.
mission was to come up with an initiative that engaged the people of Eastern
Province and also made a big impact on Life on Land through plastic recycling.”
this end, Kashgari asked residents and communities to donate 10,000 plastic
bottles to a recycling center. She also targeted children by organizing a fun
learning day in the Altamimi public park, while teaching others in schools
about the importance of recycling through playing a game.
I really liked about the GGWC is that it combines sports with humanities and a
good cause,” Kashgari told Arab News. “I have learnt a lot about sustainability
and simplicity, while enjoying every moment of the football tournament and
scoring three goals. It was an amazing opportunity and an unforgettable
said many Saudis lack awareness of ways to implement the specific goal of Life
I read about the Life on Land global goal, especially the concept of the three
Rs (recycle, reuse and reduce), and looked around, even at myself, I realized
that we might have known about it, but we needed a reminder,” Kashgari said.
when we reached out to recycling centers, we found that they don’t really take
plastic bottles unless it’s a massive amount. They don’t support communities or
individuals, so I realized it’s very important that we do something about it
and give it more attention.”
a football club, the Greens were able to collect plastic bottles over a period
of two weeks to recycle them. It also collaborated with five schools and two
sports clubs in Alkhobar to collect 100 tons of plastic bottles, utensils and
plates — the minimum required for recycling at the center.
to Alyah Aboalola, a Greens player from Jeddah, more needs to be done for
environmental protection in the Kingdom.
was focused more on raising awareness about the sea because local residents in
Jeddah are into scuba diving as part of their interest in life under water,”
Aboalola, 24, said. “There’s a lot of plastic being thrown into the sea, which
affects the quality of marine life and coral life.”
involved full time with a sports academy, Aboalola said she was thrilled as a
Greens player to have reached the semifinals in Copenhagen.
like to do this professionally later on,” she said. “When you take part in
sports, you build a community and, through it, we can do more for society. I’d
like to always keep sports and environmental
Including Three Muslims Step Into Indian Parliament
Delhi: In the 17th Lok Sabha, 78 women have made an entry which is the largest
number of women MPs after the Independence of India.
may be mentioned that in all, 726 women contested Lok Sabha Polls this time but
only 78 could make it. In the last Lok Sabha, there were 61 women MPs. In 1957,
there were only 22 women MPs which was the least number.
the important women who made to Lok Sabha, Ms. Sonia Gandhi is the most
important person who occupies the post of chairperson of UPA.
woman member of Lok Sabha is Ms. Smriti Irani who defeated Congress President,
Mr. Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. NCP’s Supriya Sule, Kanimozhi of DMK and Hema
Malini are other prominent women MPs.
the women MPs, 40 are from BJP, nine from TMC, 5 from Biju Janata Dal and six
from Congress .
Muslim women MPs are from TMC. They are: Ms. Sajida Ahmed, wife of former MP,
Late Mr. Sultan Ahmed, Ms. Afreen Ali and Ms. Nusrat Jahan Ruhi.
Ruhi is an actress who stepped into politics for the first time and won the
seat. Ms. Afreen Ali embraced Islam recently.
may be mentioned that TMC Supremo, Ms. Mamata Banerjee had given tickets to 7
Muslim candidates out of which four were women.
Musicians Banned From Playing In Charity Concert In Qazvin
musicians were banned from playing in a charity concert in Qazvin. They were
not allowed to even sit among the audience.
of the largest annual charity programs in Qazvin Province was staged on
Thursday night, May 22, 2019. A traditional music band was supposed to perform
at the auditorium of the Azad University of Qazvin. But on the order of the
president of the Azad University of Qazvin, Moussa Khani, the female musicians
of the band were prevented from entering the hall. The female musicians were
not even allowed to sit among the audience and watch the concert. For this
reason, many musicians left the auditorium in protest. (The state-run ILNA news
agency – May 23, 2019)
week, on May 17, 2019, a female singer by the name of Negar Mo’azzam was placed
under surveillance by the Prosecutor’s Office of Isfahan Province for her solo
singing during a sightseeing tour to the historical village of Abyaneh.
the mullahs took power in Iran in 1979, women have been banned from singing in
public and their performances have always been censored. Female singers were
forced to stay home and many left the country.
arrested for taking part in Yoga course
judiciary official announced on May 23, 2019, that 30 women and men had been
arrested in a private Yoga class in Gorgan.
Solaimani, from the Justice Department of Golestan Province, said, “Someone had
run an ad on his Instagram account recruiting students for a Yoga class at his
home. Solaimani said the reason for these arbitrary arrests was “improper
clothing of women and men in this house.”
stressed that the Iranian regime monitors the slightest details of their
citizens’ private lives. He said, “Those who break the law take advantage of a
lack of monitoring of the cyber space, and undertake criminal measures.” (The
state-run Asr-Iran website – May 23, 2019)
another report from Sanandaj, active members of Nojin cultural association,
including a woman by the name of Zahra Mohammadi, were arrested by agents of
the Intelligence Department of Sanandaj and taken to an unknown location.
National Council for Women (NCW), in collaboration with the Ministry of
Culture, will launch the first forum for female directors in Egypt by next
August to empower their creative abilities.
a statement, Dr. Maya Morsi, President of the Council, said on Saturday that
the forum aims to develop their talents and creativity, and to ensure greater
roles for women in the film industry.
added that she is grateful for the efforts and role of the Minister of Culture,
Enas Abdel Dayem, in launching the forum and supporting the Egyptian women in
their communities, noting that Abdel Dayem is a role model for other women to
also stated that the Egyptian woman is currently living in a ‘golden age’ as
the new government is working actively to advance her position in society and
is aware of her importance.
of Culture Enas Abdel Dayem announced the launch of the first forum for female
directors during the opening of the second forum for young directors under the
theme “theater for the public”, in which the minister asked the General
Authority for Culture Palaces to set up workshops and forums in writing and
theatrical texts for young people and women starting from the new season.
film industry has known many female directors, including Kamla Abu Zekry,
Sandra Nashaat and Hala Khalil, though there is still huge space for more to
its 40th edition, the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) announced establishing a special section
titled “Arab Female Directors”, where the film Nawara’ by the Egyptian female
director Hala Khalil was chosen to be screened within the section.
Petition Backs Doctor Who Asked Muslim Patient To Remove Veil
petition to prevent the possible sacking of a doctor who asked a Muslim patient
to remove her veil so he could hear her explain her daughter's medical
condition has reached more than 60,000 signatures.
Keith Wolverson said he was “completely bowled over” after the online petition
attracted so many votes. It was set up after he was reported to the General
Medical Council (GMC) and became the subject of a racial discrimination
admitted yesterday he was "rather fearful of the consequences" after
finding out he had been reported over the incident.
said there was no sign the patient was upset during the consultation at the
Royal Stoke University Hospital last June.
freelance GP, who has been practising for 23 years, added that the support
shown on the change.org website had encouraged him to "fight to the bitter
end" so he could carry on working in the profession.
about the incident, the 52-year-old medic, from Derby, said: "I asked a
lady to remove her face veil for adequate communication, in the same way I'd
ask a motorcyclist to remove a crash helmet.
the letter [about the GMC inquiry] came through, I was rather fearful of the
a little bit sad the country has been committed to depths such as this. But it
takes more than this to knock me off my perch."
creator of the petition, called "Stop Dr Wolverson getting fired",
said he believed the doctor acted in "the best interest of the
would like to get as many people as possible to sign this petition and save
this man's reputation,” the petition says.
believe he acted in the best interest of the child involved and there was no
racist or religious discrimination in his actions.
need to ensure the General Medical Council treat this man fairly and look at
all the evidence.
NHS is severely understaffed and we cannot afford to lose doctors due to
fabricated accusations of discrimination."
Wolverson added: "I have been absolutely bowled over by the support. It
has reaffirmed to me how wonderful people really are. I am going to fight it
until the bitter end."
he explained that because he was a freelance doctor the accusation could lead
to him having trouble getting offers of work.
I want to carry on. Yes I will carry on, but it is academic until the inquiry
Wolverson said he expected to face a hearing from the GMC which would decide on
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