Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia extends detention of women arrested for driving, relative says



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Two Saudi women detained nearly a week ago for violating the kingdom’s female driving ban were ordered held for 25 more days on Sunday, a relative said.

The women, who were arrested Dec. 1 after driving into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates, are supporters of a grassroots campaign launched last year to oppose the ban. The two women have a combined Twitter following of more than 355,000.

Organizers behind the Oct. 26 campaign say the ban on women driving underpins wider issues regarding guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia that give men powerful sway over women’s lives. Read more…

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Saudi Women Protest Driving Ban on 1-Year Anniversary of Campaign



Saudi Arabian women are getting behind the wheel to protest the country’s ban on female drivers.

The demonstration falls on the one-year anniversary of last year’s campaign, which encouraged women to drive, then share video and photo evidence online. About 60 women took to the streets in 2013.

Kicking off this year’s campaign is a woman driving through Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital city. A video uploaded to YouTube by the Oct. 26 Saudi Women Driving Campaign shows her discussing how shameful the driving ban is toward women. In the United Arab Emirates, women can fly jets to fight the Islamic State, but she could be called a terrorist just for driving a car, the woman says in the video. Read more…

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Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia Will Soon Be the World’s Tallest Building



Big things are coming to Saudi Arabia.

The Middle Eastern country is set to begin visible construction next week on what is expected to be the world’s tallest building at 3,280 feet, according to Construction Weekly.

Kingdom Tower will be 568 feet taller than Khalifa Tower, the current Guinness World Record holder in neighboring Dubai, once it is completed. The tower is the first phase of Jeddah Economic Company’s approximately $20 billion, 17 million-square-foot Kingdom City project, of which it will be the focal point. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, is chairman of the Kingdom Holding Company, a partner in JEC. Read more…

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Just 11% of Americans Tweet Every Month



The country where the highest percentage of Internet users are active on Twitter may come as a suprise. It’s Saudi Arabia. One-third of the country’s online population are active monthly Twitter users, according to PeerReach.

The study considers active Twitter users to be those who tweet, rather than Twitter’s metric of those who log in to the service. It’s important to note that about 40% of the users Twitter considers monthly actives never tweet.

Statista‘s chart below shows the 10 countries with the highest percentage of Internet users tweeting at least once per month. The U.S., home of the microblogging platform, ranks eighth on the list. Read more…

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Loud and Brave: Saudi Women Set to Protest Driving Ban



If you asked Rotana Tarabzouni in 2011 about the protests to end Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers, she would have cynically called the cause hopeless.

Now, two years after the first campaign, the Saudi-raised, California-based singer is optimistic that change is coming to her home country

On Saturday, women in Saudi Arabia will get behind the wheel and take to the streets — an act of defiance against the country’s policies blocking female drivers. While there’s no formal law banning women from driving, the conservative nation’s unwillingness to grant licenses to female applicants has become a de facto way of barring women from legally operating cars Read more…

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