File photo of President Halimah
Yacob. (Photo: Hanidah Amin)
• President Halimah Yacob Is Set
To Make Singapore's First State Visit to Saudi Arabia
• Muslim Outfits Join Hands to
Educate Community on Triple Talaq
• Emirati Woman Finds Her Mother
In India After 36 Years
• Report Raises Alarm over Rural Moroccan
Women’s Access to Education and Health Care
• In Egypt, Women Battle Breast
Cancer And Social Stigma
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Girls’ School Launches Pioneering Project to Produce Business Entrepreneurs Of
Students at a top Saudi school for girls are being given the chance to become
the Kingdom’s entrepreneurs of the future by running their own business
Al-Fikr School, in Jeddah, has launched an innovative educational and community
initiative aimed at arming students with the vital skills required to succeed
in the workplace environment.
Dar Al-Fikr Intrapreneur Program (DIP) will see an area of the school set aside
for the “20 Formation” event management company, which will be managed and
staffed by students.
Afandi, director of Dar Al-Fikr Schools and DIP founder, told Arab News: “I
believe that grade 12 students should be exposed to the practical part of the
world before they reach college level, but it is often hard to take them
outside of school to do that.
we decided to build our own space and cover all the knowledge and skills needed
in any employee by offering students the full experience of soft skills in a
matter how much knowledge lectures are delivering to students, if soft skills
are not practiced and experienced by them it will never occur through
theoretical teaching. So, we will apply all the skills that the country is
calling for during this era of growth,” she added.
project manager, Lujain Al-Sarahi, said the school had an annual graduation
project for grade 12 students but wanted to make this year more challenging.
offers internal training that will enable students to open a company within the
school, the core business of it being event management. It will include all the
departments necessary to serve the company,” added Al-Sarahi.
initiative is believed to be the first pre-college graduation program of its
kind to be set up in the Kingdom and will involve students in theoretical and
practical course work along with action research, to give them the independent
know-how and leadership skills to run a modern business.
program will culminate with the young intrapreneurs making a presentation about
their business project to a school conference attended by outside industry
experts who will assess their work.
organizers have established a training company with its own capital funds and
44 students have been enrolled in the program as interns for two days a week,
holding positions in the enterprise and planning actual events.
order to join the company, students had to go through a professional
recruitment process involving them attending workshops, an internal job fair,
and creating CVs and portfolios to fit their roles.
Shaaban, 17, a student and 20 Formation company employee, hoped the initiative
would help define her future career path.
this company, I am employed as a graphic designer. I will be exposed to many
different fields of experience so I can focus on what I want to be and do after
graduation, either in college or in business.
company will help us anywhere we go whether its part of a workforce, at home or
university,” she added.
of DIP: To deliver extraordinary events from inside and outside the school and
to make a difference in the event planning sector in Jeddah.
company will include human resources, finance and accounting departments and
will have social media, public relations, and graphic design committees.
students are already enrolled in the company and will be working on action
research during the year.
main focuses of the program are communication, negotiation skills, time
management, and creative thinking.
Halimah Yacob Is Set To Make Singapore's First State Visit to Saudi Arabia
Halimah Yacob will make the first state visit by a Singapore leader to the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Tuesday to Friday, at the invitation of King
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
that, she will be visiting Kuwait from today to tomorrow, at the invitation of
Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah. It is the second state visit by a
Singapore leader to Kuwait, after the late President S R Nathan made a trip in
Outfits Join Hands to Educate Community on Triple Talaq
Concerned with the number of triple talaq cases in Sambhal district, several
Muslim outfits have joined hands to educate the community on Muslim Women
(Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019.
the government’s efforts to spread awareness, there is little respite in
Sambhal since as many as seven cases of instant talaq have been registered
under the new Act within a month.
minority outfits involved in the awareness effort are Muslim welfare society,
Ulema Mashaikh Board, Muslim Ekta Sangh, Tafule Sunnat and Jamiatul Quresh.
They held a panchayat meeting in Sambhal on Saturday, and chalked out a plan on
how to refrain married couples, especially married women, from taking their family
dispute to police station.
his concern, Shahar Qazi of Chandausi Mohammad Magrub said such incidents of
booking Muslim men on charges of giving triple talaq were nothing less than a
blot on the community. “It seems that highest number of triple talaq cases in
UP has been registered in Sambhal so far and there is no pause on that,” he
the meeting, the heads of their respective outfits argued that over a dozen
more women have approached the police to book their husband. However, police
are investigating into the matter before lodging an FIR.
seven cases of triple talaq reported in Sambhal, five are registered at
Baniyather police station within a month. In the latest incident, one Qamil, a
resident of Asmauli, allegedly threw his wife with five daughters out of his
home giving her instant talaq after she gave birth to a fifth girl. Earlier,
Chandausi resident Tanveer gave triple talaq to his wife as she was not able to
bring Rs 50,000 and a motorbike. The couple had got married two years ago.
addressing the meeting, Magrub argued that due to lack of literacy among
members of the minority community, they were not much aware of the latest
development. “Uneducated men are giving triple talaq to their wives on petty
issues. Today, we held a meeting and decided to make people more aware,” he
outfits were of the opinion that such cases should be sorted out within the
community and if needed, qazi and maulvi should intervene to resolve the
Woman Finds Her Mother In India After 36 Years
After 36 years of separation, an Emirati woman finally found her mother.
breakthrough came after a search of a lifetime done by Mariam Abdul Rahman Al
described her experience as the "Journey of Hope", which started when
Mariam's parents were separated after divorcing in the 80's following a short
mother left her for India, never to seen by her again.
from Ras Khaimah, was raised by her father. Day after day, hope and nostalgia
gripped Mariam while growing up. When her father passed away, she was
determined to find her long-lost mother.
to find the woman who brought her to the world, an idea popped up in Mariam's
mind: publish an advertisment in several Indian newspapers, with the hope of
helping her case.
public appeal went out, with the message to let her mother know she's looking
for her mother in India. She posted: "Whoever knows my mother, please tell
her to reach out to me".
she got some good leads. Some women matched her mother's profile. Finally,
Mariam find a perfect match, after comparing passport details of the women she
thought is her mother.
she realised she had found the one who bore her for nine months in her belly.
didn't only find her mother. She also found her sister, who she never knew.
turned out her mother was pregnant when she left the UAE.
Raises Alarm over Rural Moroccan Women’s Access to Education and Health Care
- Women in rural Morocco suffer disproportionately from lack of access to
education and health care in spite of attempts to improve the situation,
Morocco’s High Planning Commission said in a report.
girls’ access to secondary education is limited despite the progress made at
the primary schooling level, the High Planning Commission (HPC) report stated.
preschool enrolment rate among rural girls for 2017-18 was 25.4% compared with
53.9% for girls in urban areas, 41.6% for girls at the national level and 40.5%
for rural boys, HCP’s statistics said.
secondary school, the net enrolment rate of rural girls was 39.7% in 2019,
compared with 80.2% for urban girls. In high school, the rate was 12.5% against
57.4% for girls in urban areas.
HCP explained that the disparities were because of a very high dropout rate
among rural girls, especially at the secondary level, which is nearly four
times higher than that of urban girls (16.8% against 4.8%).
2014, approximately 60% of rural Moroccan women were illiterate, compared with
31% of urban women.
Idrissi, former president of the Democratic Association of Women of Morocco,
said HCP’s statistics were not surprising.
illiteracy and poverty rates among rural women are still high. Their social and
economic status hasn’t changed that much,” she said.
mainly blamed the government for high dropout rates among rural girls.
houses and transport are not available in all rural areas, which are major
hindrances to girls’ pursuit of their education,” said Idrissi, adding that
families often halt their daughters’ education for fear for their safety.
boarding houses are overcrowded while the quality of school food rations is
very low,” she said.
called on the government to implement a broad policy to improve the
infrastructure that would help rural girls further their education.
than $350 million was allocated to strengthen social support for schooling for
vulnerable groups, especially in rural areas, said Moroccan Minister of
Economy, Finance and Administration Reform Mohamed Benchaaboun during the
presentation of the 2020 draft budget bill before parliament.
NGOs are trying to raise awareness among women in remote areas about the importance
Omar, from Education for All Morocco (EFA Morocco), said the Moroccan NGO was
playing a key role in educating girls in the High Atlas region.
ensures girls from the remote rural areas can access the schools without the
obstacles of poverty and distance,” said Omar.
was not always easy to convince the parents to let their girls come to our
boarding houses in the early days but now the trust and awareness has grown in
the local communities and we are over-subscribed each year.”
efforts paid off with a 100% pass rate for the baccalaureate this year and more
than 130 girls have been enrolled at university since 2013.
also had three girls awarded full scholarships to study in Casablanca and have
two in their final year at the Lycee Benguerir and two studying for their
master’s degrees,” said Omar.
shows how the unique learning environment of the houses enables these girls to
discover their full potential despite coming from largely illiterate families.”
HCP said the mortality rate remained high in rural areas, with 111.1 deaths per
100,000 births against 44.6 deaths in Moroccan urban areas.
health centres are understaffed in rural areas and lack medical equipment,
which makes it difficult for doctors to deal with the most urgent cases.
Geographic and socio-cultural factors are other obstacles to rural women’s
access to health care.
suffers from an acute shortage of health personnel. The North African country
had 7.3 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants in 2017, the Moroccan Health Ministry
said. The ratio is far from meeting the World Health Organisation standard of
one doctor per 650 inhabitants.
constraints of access to health care, particularly in rural areas, are related
to illiteracy, traditional practices and the status of women. For example, men
refuse to have their wives treated by a male doctor, said the Environmental,
Social and Economic Council (CESE) in its “Basic Health Care” report.
warned that the issue of geographical accessibility was a problem that mainly
affects the rural world’s accessibility to basic health care due to the lack of
road infrastructure and dire weather conditions.
Egypt, Women Battle Breast Cancer And Social Stigma
- When Huda Ahmed was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, she
prepared for a long, painful journey to defeat the disease.
she never imagined was that her physical ailment would come with social
repercussions, leading to the breakdown of her marriage at the most vulnerable
point in her life.
had to undergo a surgery to remove a breast because of the tumour,” said Ahmed,
who is in her mid-40s, “but this caused a total change in the way my husband
story is far from unique. Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, the most
common form of the disease in Egypt, often face social stigma or lose their
spouses during their physical battle.
Egyptian Health Ministry said breast cancer is detected in approximately 28,000
women in the country every year. It is most common among older women but
prevalent among middle-aged women as well, with 86 out of every 100,000 women
between the ages of 40-45 receiving a diagnosis every year.
the disease affects Egyptians of all socio-economic backgrounds, the poor have
an especially rough road, finding it difficult to finance the costs of
Emad, the deputy manager at Egypt’s National Cancer Institute, the largest
state-run cancer hospital in the country, said breast cancer is the most
difficult form of the disease for women “because it attacks a pivotal part of
the female body.”
is why it comes with social repercussions, often including strains within
marriages, victims said.
said she sensed a gradual change in her husband’s attitude towards her once she
was diagnosed with breast cancer but especially after she had breast removal surgery.
noticed the change in his attitude to me,” Ahmed said. “This attitude morphed
into total withdrawal from initial sympathy.”
husband secretly married another woman, after which Ahmed demanded a divorce.
Egypt, many breast cancer victims die of the disease, especially if it is not
detected until its late stages, but the country is working to increase
awareness about the importance of frequent exams to detect the disease early.
authorities began a nationwide campaign of free exams at hospitals and clinics
for women of all ages.
the social trauma that breast cancer victims endure remains.
there are no statistics on how many divorces are linked to health-related
reasons, experts said the numbers are high.
Abdurrahman, an oncology professor at Ain Shams University who specialises in
the treatment of breast cancer, said many of his patients were stigmatised or
divorced after being diagnosed with the disease.
breast cancer patients face positive discrimination when those around them show
sympathy,” Abdurrahman said. “Other times, people are afraid to come close to
the patient, especially when symptoms, such as hair loss, appear.”
recalled the story of a patient who died of the disease a few years ago. He
said the woman, in her 30s, refused to undergo chemotherapy, lest she lose her
hair and stop being attractive to her husband. She opted for breast-conserving
surgery but her husband divorced her anyway.
she remarried, she told her new husband that the scar in her breast was caused
from the removal of a benign tumour.
the tumour metastasised and she had to get chemotherapy,” Abdurrahman said.
“She refused all treatment options for social and marriage-related reasons” and
died shortly thereafter, he said.
women, such as Ahmed, who lives in her family home, survive the disease but
find it difficult to move on after being neglected by their spouse.
is very difficult to be abandoned by those closest to you at the time you need
them the most,” said Ahmed.
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