First Published: 2013-06-03

 

Saudi Arabia inaugurates first sports complex for women

 

Complex, where women can engage in sports such as karate, practise yoga or attend fitness classes, is Kingdom’s first sporting centre for women.

 

Middle East Online

Saudi women who trained abroad have been recruited

RIYADH- The first sports complex for women in Saudi Arabia has opened in the east of the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom, the daily newspaper Al-Watan reported on Monday.

The paper said businesswomen and women personalities attended the inauguration of the centre in Al-Khobar province after it was given the go-ahead by the authorities.

Saudi Arabia, which applies a strict interpretation of Islamic or sharia law, bans men and women mixing in public and access for women in public areas.

Al-Watan said the complex, where women can engage in sports such as karate, practise yoga or attend fitness classes, is the country's first sporting centre for women.

The centre's director, Hanaa Al-Zuhair, said Saudi women who trained abroad -- including a karate black belt -- have been recruited to run courses at the centre.

Before the centre opened, women's sport in the kingdom had been virtually non-existent, although some young girls do take part in sporting activities at private schools under certain conditions.

Last year, Riyadh came under international pressure to allow two female athletes to compete in the Olympic Games in London.

The International Olympic Committee allowed a judo player and a runner to take part with their heads and body covered, in compliance with sharia law.

On May 19, 25-year-old Raha Moharrak became the first Saudi woman -- and the youngest Arab -- to conquer Everest, the world's highest mountain.

 

Two Danes stabbed by man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Gabon

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

Israeli air traffic halted due to strikes

Iran's schools suffocate in smog

Christmas in Jordan dimmed by Jerusalem crisis

Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’

Tunisia elections delayed

Istanbul summit strong on the rhetoric, weak on concrete steps

Morocco’s Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessor’s populism

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison