Saudi Labor Minister Adel Fakeih seen here speaking during the annual Ministry of Labor event held at King Fahad Cultural Center in Riyadh on Thursday night. Fakeih has come under heavy criticism for his enforcement of Saudization policies aiming to provide young Saudis with more jobs in the private sector, an effort to combat the high unemployment rate which reached 12 percent according to government statistics.
The Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) has warned that heavy rainfall is likely to continue in various regions of the Kingdom, especially the southwestern highlands. This photo is from the region of Namas in southwestern Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman and second deputy prime minister Prince Muqrin seen during a reception in Riyadh on Tuesday where senior ulema came to greet the King in his palace. (SPA)
With a population of more than 5 million, the capital Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s biggest city. It has experienced rapid growth over a short period of time; the population more than doubled since 1990. But despite that growth, Riyadh remained lacking of any real means of public transport, and city residents have to use private cars to go from one place to another, leading to congested streets and chronic traffic jams.
After more than a decade of debating the need and feasability of the project, city planners finally announced that Riyadh will get a brand new public transport system to serve its fast-growing population. In July 2012, the government shortlisted four consortia to build a metro system in Riyadh, and last December the government announced that a new “Public Transport Commission” will be established to be tasked with regulating inter- and intra-city public transport services as well as encouraging private investments in the sector.
King Abdullah gave orders to finish the project in four years. Prince Khaled bin Bander, the governor of Riyadh, said the project is progressing according to the plan. ArRiyadh Development Authority recently release more details about the public transport plan for the city, including a collection of photos for metro and bus stations designs.
According to the plan, six metro lines will serve as the backbone for public transport in the city:
- Blue line: The 44km long line will serve the Olaya-Batha-Hayer axis and will include 39 stations.
- Green line: The 22km long line will move along King Abdullah road, linking KSU in the west to King Fahad Stadum in the east. It will include 14 stations.
- Red line: At 45km, it is the longest line. It will be constructed along Madinah, with the old train station in the middle of the line.
- Orange line: It will link King Khaled International Airport to the new King Abdullah Financial District, with stops at Princess Norah University and Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University.
- Yellow line: The 26km long line will be constructed along King Abdulaziz Road and will include 26 stations.
- Purple line: This line will server eastern Riyadh and will feature 9 stations only.
Two renderdings showing the design of the metro station at King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in northwestern Riyadh.
Design of the major Olaya metro station.
Design of the major metro station in Qaser al-Hokem area in downtown Riyadh.
Design of the major metro station in western Riyadh.
The Saudi Annual Heritage and Culture Festival, better known as Janadriyah, kicked off today with the traditional camel race in a track outside the capital Riyadh. (SPA)
A woman looks at a book during the Riyadh Book Fair earlier this week. The book fair has become a major cultural event in Saudi Arabia, with local and regional publishers competing to make big sales at the annual event. (REUTERS/Faisal Al Nassar)
Rendering of CMA Tower, the new headquarter of the Capital Market Authority that is still under construction. When completed in September 2013, CMA Tower will be the centerpiece of the new King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in northwestern Riyadh.
The Shaybah oil field complex seen at night in the Empty Quarter desert, southeastern Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
In this photo distributed by the US State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton shakes hands with Saudi Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif at the State Department headquarters in Foggy Bottom, Washington DC. The prince has met earlier this week with President Barack Obama and other US officials.
Snow fall on the northern region of Tabuk has become a recurring scene in recent years. This photo, published by the Saudi Press Agency Monday, shows a Saudi man playing with snow in Tabuk.
Football is the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia. But women are not allowed to attend football matches in the conservative kingdom. That’s why many Saudi female fans wait for the chance to attend matches when the national team plays abroad. Photographers for Reuters news agency snapped a few shots of them cheering for the team which played Sunday against Iraq in the Gulf Cup tournament currently taking place in neighboring Bahrain. The Saudi fans who filled the stands of Khalifa Stadium in Isa Town have left dejected after Iraq defeated Saudi Arabia 2-0. The Saudi team will play Wednesday against Yemen.
The photo shows “a young Saudi woman curled up in fetal position inside a suitcase, clutching on to her passport as her travel permit dangles from it.” It was was produced by Bushra A., a Saudi college student who is studying abroad.
Bushra, a senior journalism major, told me the the text messages controversy was partly to blame for triggering the portrait’s concept, but she added that she has “always wanted to depict the issue of how Saudi women are constantly being viewed as ‘minors’ and incapable of making life-affirming decisions without male and governmental approval.”
While the photo might appear like a strong statement against the male guardianship system, Bushra said the aim of the portrait is not necessarily to criticize or make anyone or anything appear bad. “Rather it is an illustration of how many Saudi women genuinely feel towards the system,” she said.
You can read more about Bushra’s work on her tumblr.
In this photo distributed by the Saudi Press Agency, Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif is seen launching a website for the alumni of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences in Riyadh. Prince Mohammed bin Naif has reportedly ordered the arrest of liberal writer Turki al-Hamad yesterday after he published some tweets criticizing Islamists.