First Saudi Woman Minister

Today is definitely a happy day. Saudi Arabia has made a leap of progress. King Abdullah surprised everyone yesterday morning with major overhauls to the judicial and educational system. And the biggest bombshell of all was that a woman was appointed as head of girl’s education. This is a position that has always belonged to the longest bearded most conservative muttawa possible and now to have a woman in it is FANTASTIC, notwithstanding the fact that the woman who was chosen is a moderate Muslim, educated and a highly qualified woman. She has extensive experience in girl’s education. I doubt that that they could have found anyone more qualified.  

What I found most surprising and I’m sure that someone out there wanted to send a message by publishing this on the first page of Al Eqtisadiya (Saudi version of Financial Times):


If you take a closer look at the left hand corner, you’ll see a photo of Mrs. Nora Al Fayez right underneath a photo of the new head of the muttawa vice police. Her face is uncovered.


Now there’s a lot of buzz that of course she wouldn’t be this progressive unless she was a non-tribal woman, probably originating from Jordan or Palestine and she definitely is divorced because no “real” Saudi in his right mind would allow his wife to appear publicly with her face uncovered. I am very proud to say that actually she belongs to one of the biggest tribes in Saudi, Bani Tameem from Al Nawayser part of it and she is from Al Washim here in Najd. Her husband very much supports her and is proud of her.


Filed under Culture, Education, Gender Apartheid, Informative

19 responses to “First Saudi Woman Minister

  1. I read about this yesterday, and it is really exciting! Thank you for providing more information.

  2. FoOoFa

    WoooOOOOooooW 2 thumbs up Abu Mit3ib 😀
    Next stop….women driving (wishful thinking)

  3. Nefertiti

    alf mabrouk! This is indeed happy news. Looking forward to more excellent news from His Majesty King Abdullah.

  4. Umm Latifa

    salam alaykum, kayfa’l-hal, Iman. I have a small “petition”. Could you please write more about prominent Saudi Women, in sha Allah? There is a lot of interest in achievements of women in the Kingdom, and not much information available. Jazaki Allahu khairan.

  5. Nefertiti

    I second Umm Latifa!

    Do write about strong, independent women like Lubna Olayan, Nabila Tunisi etc etc…

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  7. Here’s to the tribal, undivorced women of Saudi. Cheers!

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  9. Finally an addition to the Banu Tameem that I can tolerate my husband bragging about 🙂

    I think it is a wonderful step and also like the shake up although long over due. Interesting to see where the girls education is, I mean will they now no longer need to learn how to make butter from goats milk?

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  11. Ali

    Having a Saudi woman in such a high ranking position is good. But what about the hundred of Thousands of Saudi women who have minimum rights, who live in high wall prisons in Riyadh, who can not even go to McDonalds without a Muhram. Common this is only a hoax to please the new US Government.

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  13. Abu mohammed

    But I raely wish our gairls became like her , not just blody princes demanding more and more.
    The paradox is these women asking to go to the blody McDonalds !
    There is a blody difference btw two women ,one of them seeking to highly potential career and national benfit, and the other seek for fun and having fun with boys or whatever!

    Cheers dear

  14. I am glad to see Saudi society opening up on women rights. This is a real change!

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  16. Nadia

    Abu Mohammed – why does wanting to go to Macdonalds translate in your mind into wanting to have fun with boys?!!

    Why do some Arab men try to justify restrictions placed on women that are not grounded in any kind of logic? Perhaps a woman wants to go to Macdonald’s so that she can buy a burger because she is hungry? And perhaps she doesn’t want to bother her father/brother/uncle/husband/ unrelated Indian driver (does anyone else spot the paradox?!) to get them to go for her or take her there?

    At first it seems trivial in comparison with a desire to contribute to educating the future generation but what Ali was saying is merely an example of how the restrictions on movement greatly impinge on the freedom of saudi women to do normal everyday things- these laws are aimed at preventing vice by preventing mixing of the sexes but they punish women by preventing them from doing things which carry no vice at all like getting a burger!! I don’t know where you get the notion that women are sex crazed and can’t be allowed out of sight to work or shop or eat lest we run off with the first man we see! Quite frankly, it’s enormously arrogant of men to think so, most of you are nowhere near as good looking as you think you are!!! 😉 Or perhaps it’s the opposite, that you think Saudi men are unable to supress their animalistic urges and will pounce on anything female that moves in front of them (despite being covered from head to toe) without the protection of a mahram?

    Improving the daily lives of ordinary women is no less noble a cause – we don’t all have the ability to be rocket scientists and brain surgeons, that doesn’t mean that we are unable to contribute to society. To touch the daily lives of ordinary people, to make their lives a little more comfortable or easier, is in my opinion, a great achievement. Do not dismiss Saudi women’s demands for these small freedoms as trivial – you don’t have to live under them and I doubt you would be happy and quiet about it if you did! So go on girls, keep asking for what you know to be rightfully yours!! I truely believe this is achievable within the bounds of Islam and that Saudi women can and should contribute more to the national good without losing sight of their moral traditions.

    I applaud the appointment Mrs Nora Al Fayez, a candidate who is emminently qualified for this post. I look forward to the day when qualifications, intelligence and ability are the criteria upon which professional appointments are made; regardless of sex- Not just in Saudi but globally. This is a huge step forward for Saudi towards utilising the enormous untapped potential of it’s intelligent, hard working, educated and above all morally upstanding girls.

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  18. А если посмотреть на это с другой точки зрения то не все так гладко получается

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