Saudi Arabia once thought of Valentine’s as a day that contradicts Islamic beliefs, and heart shaped flowers were sold in secret under the counter. But now, red roses, chocolates and teddy bears are publicly displayed across the Kingdom, after being suppressed in the dark for long.
That was all due to curbs that were placed by the Saudi religious police back in 2016, up until former president of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Makkah, Sheikh Ahmed Qasim Al-Ghamdi announced on TV that celebrating valentine’s doesn’t go against the Islamic teachings, and that celebrating it is permitted to not only non-Muslims, but to all.
“it is a positive aspect of the human being,” he said.
From that day on and valentine’s day have become lucrative to many businesses, especially restaurants, cafes and flower shops of course.
And as for this year, here are some offers that you wouldn’t want to miss out on:
- Abdulaziz Al-Noman.
A high-end local chocolatier, is doing a cooperation with Fitaihi Jewelry and Rubaiyat retailers; to provide customers with free chocolate boxes and flowers.
- Fitaihi jewelry.
Is also offering discounts on pendants and love bracelets, and if you purchase from their collection “forever Yours”, you will get the elegant free box of chocolate and roses that is mentioned above!
- Nadine Attar.
A jewelry designer and the face of Nadine Jewellery, is dedicating a whole line ‘A journey of love” specially for Valentine’s day.
“Don’t hold back on true sentiments.”
The collection is a limited one, that holds quotes verses from the Qur’an and famous Arab poets such as Al-Mutanabi and Khalil Gibran. The thing that add authenticity to the brand, and makes it the perfect gift for your loved one.
The famous lingerie brand has launched a campaign called #CelebrateRomanceWithNayomi, with discounts on its romance collection reaching up to 25 percent, in addition to a free shipping on all orders until Feb. 14.
Happy Valentine’s day to all, and may this day be a reminder of the progress that the Kingdom is showing.
Saudi Arabia Ends Gender Segregation in Restaurants
Restaurants in Saudi Arabia no longer requires one entrance for single men and another for women and families, as the Kingdom scraps its rules on separating between men and women at restaurants.
It is yet another attempt at easing the social restrictions and it’s a huge step indeed, seeing how sex segregation had been enforced for decades in public spaces.
In a tweet announcing the news on Sunday, the ministry of municipalities and rural affairs stated that it was eliminating several requirements for restaurants, including the need for ‘an entrance for bachelors and a separate entrance for families’.
However, It remains unclear whether a restriction on seating inside the restaurants will also be removed.
Women of Saudi Arabia Can Now Join the Military
The foreign ministry has announced that Saudi women can now join the military and serve as private first class, corporal or sergeant. I mean talk about gender equality!
Just when we though easing regulations on Saudi women can’t get any better, the ministry surprises us all with such shocking yet incredible news.
— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) October 9, 2019
According to Sky News, roles have been opened in Saudi’s land forces, royal navy, royal air forces, royal Saudi air defense forces and medical services for armed forces.
The ministry stated a number of conditions for applicants who are willing to join the army, these conditions are in regard to age, nationality, in addition to the physical and professional competence.
Heba Al Otaiba, director of strategic communications at the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took it to Twitter to congratulate the Kingdom on such a brave decision.
“Great news. I look forward to watching Saudi Arabia’s women, lead across many industries, including serving in the country’s military.” The tweet read.
Saudi Arabia Launches A Contest For Aspiring Filmmakers With Prizes Up to SR40 million
The Ministry of Culture just announced the launch of a new competition on Sunday entitled ‘Daw‘ which aims to support Saudi films, and also empower aspiring and rising filmmakers.
The competition will be divided into four tracks that include supporting and developing screenwriting and supporting film production and films of Saudi students majoring in film-making at international institutes and universities.
Entries will be evaluated by specialized juries who have experience in choosing winning films projects, and winners will be announced next year in February.
Prizes are up to SR40 million as it is all part of the ministry’s plan of showing tremendous support to Saudi talents majoring in filmmaking by providing such a huge funding platform.
The competition will support young filmmakers in every possible way by providing the needed assistance in producing the films and also creating a production infrastructure and making their career path clear for those interested in different fields of cinema.
Whether you are a filmmaker or a producer, you can participate in the competition online through this link. It just opened yesterday and will remain open till December 29th to give the chance to more people to apply.