New Age Islam News Bureau
17 May 2015
Afghanistan's Women Rangers Challenge Stereotypes
• Afghanistan's Women Rangers Challenge Stereotypes
• Mass Rape of More Than 120 Women by Armed Militia in East Congo, Says Aid Group
• Saudi Women Bring Life Back To Heritage Site
• Asma Javed, AMU Student Leader, A Vocal Protester Whose Life Was Cut Short
• Social Media Fury After Iraqi Media Report Killing of Baby Girl by ISIS
• Muslim Girl Denied Entry to Class for Hijab in UP, India
• Islamic Daughters Influence Father's Journey to Priesthood
• Daughters of Diaspora: Two Algerian Sisters, One In Texas, One In Paris
• Women Flex Their Culinary Skills In Front Of Top Chef
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Sondos Asem: Only woman to be sentenced to death in Egypt mass trial
18 May, 2015
Sondos Asem, a member of the Freedom and Justice Party, was one of the defendants sentenced to death in absentia by an Egyptian court on Saturday, and the only woman to receive the death penalty.
She is one of the 16 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including leaders Mohamed al-Baltegy and Khairat al-Shater, to be sentenced to death after being charged for acts of espionage by conspiring with Palestinian movement Hamas.
The preliminary verdict was sent to the grand mufti for approval as is required with all death penalty sentences under Egyptian law. The final decision is expected to be announced on 2 June.
She was the former international media coordinator for Morsi’s office, and at a time where the Muslim Brotherhood’s dominance in the political arena was regarded with apprehension at an international level, she represented the group’s youthful voice of moderate political Islam.
The 28-year-old was also the senior editor for the English-language Muslim Brotherhood online website Ikhwan Web, and part of the group’s foreign relations committee.
In a 2011 interview with the New York Times, Asem spoke candidly of the problems that the Muslim Brotherhood would tackle, focusing on the economy instead of banning alcohol across the country.
“[Egyptians] want to reform their economic system and to have jobs. They want to eliminate corruption,” she said.
She also dismissed opinions that viewed the Muslim Brotherhood as being oppressive to women.
“It’s a big misconception that the Muslim Brotherhood marginalises women,” she said, adding that “50 percent of the Brotherhood are women”.
“We believe that a solution to women’s problems in Egyptian society is to solve the real causes, which are illiteracy, poverty and lack of education,” Asem continued.
In 2012, her mother Manal Abdul Hassan was among the female Muslim Brotherhood candidates who ran for parliament, although she was not successful. Her father is also a leading Muslim Brotherhood supporter who was in charge of publishing the group's educational materials like How to be a good Muslim father.
The 28-year-old is currently studying at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government. Asem, who studied English Literature as an undergraduate, received her Master’s degree in journalism and mass communication at the American University of Cairo, where she wrote on the impact that social media has as a reliable source of information for youth.
Afghanistan's women rangers challenge stereotypes
18 May, 2015
AFGHANISTAN: In a country where only 16% of women work, four women were hired to protect Afghanistan’s first national park in a rather bold move set to challenge gender stereotypes.
Once a popular stop on the 1960s hippie trail, Band-e-Amir Park and the now destroyed Buddhas of Bamiyan rarely see foreign tourists anymore.
Years of war and destruction following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the rise of the Taliban have made these stunning sites a dangerous place to visit.
However, as the country slowly moves to rebuild itself, rangers have been trained to protect the park and carry out conservation work.
Fatima, Kubra, Nikbakht, and Sediqa are the park’s first and only female wardens. Their responsibilities include assisting local tourists, teaching children about conservation and ensuring visitors do no harm to the park.
Declared a national park in 2009, Band-e-Amir is made up of six azure blue mineral lakes surrounded by stunning cliffs and is home to wildlife such as the Persian leopard, ibex, urials as well as the Afghan snow finch.
The park stretches over 570 square kilometres and is located on the Hazarajat Plateau in the mountainous Hindu Kush.
Mass rape of more than 120 women by armed militia in east Congo, says aid group
18 May, 2015
Members of an armed militia raped women en masse in Congo earlier this month after attacking and looting an eastern town, the Doctors Without Borders charity group.
The group said it had treated 127 rape victims between the ages of 14 to 70 who came forward after a May 1 attack on the town of Kikamba in South Kivu province.
The victims said they were raped the next morning as about 60 armed men looted homes, assaulted men and women and forced 30 children to help them load up stolen goods.
“Many victims came forward very quickly, looking for medical assistance,” said Francisco Otero, head of the aid group’s mission in South Kivu. “This is not the norm, as victims usually don’t report this type of aggression for fear of retaliation by armed groups or rejection by their own community.”
In addition, two victims were treated for gunshot wounds, the group said. Rape has long been used as a brutal weapon of war in eastern Congo, which has been mired in conflict for more than two decades.
The Congolese military itself has been notorious for violent sexual crimes, and Congolese army commanders signed a declaration in March to combat rape in war.
In a report last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “grave concern” over the sexual violence perpetrated by armed groups in 19 different countries, including Congo.
Congo’s government has prosecuted high-ranking officers for sexual violence and is paying reparations to survivors but the UN said the central African nation saw a resurgence in 2014 of violence by armed groups, including an increase in rapes.
Saudi Women bring life back to heritage site
18 May, 2015
The 400-year-old heritage site in Bukayriyah recently saw unusual visitors in years. Herfah Society organized a fair for productive families at the site that is considered the oldest architectural heritage site in Al-Qassim.
Women from productive families exhibited their homemade crafts, food products as well as heritage and traditional pieces to visitors.
Craftswoman Um Shujaa showed visitors how wool is woven to make woollens, carpets and Sadu. She explained how she carries out her own work and produces artistic piece of colored woollens .
Um Shujaa, who has been with Herfa since its inception, works in training and production at the same time. She believes that Herfa has helped take her from a state of random production to a more organized way.
She shared her experience in different regions in the Kingdom by participating in all the festivities and activities held at the national level. She is a known public figure as she frequently appears in the media often to explain to the viewers about her career and work and the role she plays as an educator and trainer.
While she used to work earlier for money, Um Shujaa says that her current role as a protector of culture and heritage is more important. “That is why I returned to work after an absence of years when Herfah asked me to resume working,” she added.
Nura, on the other hand, showed people how Al-Khous is done. She was working on making beautiful pieces that has been ordered earlier by customers.
Herfa works in collaboration with the National Handicraft Program (Bari) on several activities and programs that aim to bring life back to many Saudi handcrafts to highlight them as well as promoting them in the local market and selling them as traditional gifts to be given to guests from abroad.
Asma Javed, AMU Student Leader, A Vocal Protester Whose Life Was Cut Short
18 May, 2015
The Aligarh Police are likely to arrest Javed, a property dealer, said to be her live-in partner, in connection with the murder.
Woh jo ki akele hi dharne par baithi thi (The one who sat on dharna alone). Aligarh Muslim University remembers Asma Javed, a student leader who was found murdered in mysterious circumstances in her apartment here, as the first woman to sit on dharna on the campus.
The Aligarh Police are likely to arrest Javed, a property dealer, said to be her live-in partner, in connection with the murder.
“He is the prime suspect. There is indeed evidence against him. We may arrest him soon,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Aligarh, Ravinder J. Gaud said.
Asma was of course not the first woman to contest Aligarh Muslim University polls as reported by the media, but she was vocal and controversial. Her murder has got the entire city divided. While most conservative residents of the city, especially her neighbours in Al Hamd Apartment in a prime locality, resort to character assassination, women students and faculty members of the university remember her for becoming one of the first to highlight that its women’s cell was not functioning.
Most people — her classmates and fellow research scholars — say “she was too bold for a small town like Aligarh.”
She got into the limelight in 2006 when she sat on a dharna, all alone, on the road, in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s residence, alleging sexual harassment. “She had the guts to do things she felt passionately about. And the kind of strong woman she was, she also got her demands met,” Shadab Bano, a faculty member of the Department of History of AMU Women’s College, told The Hindu.
“But most of all, her dharna brought forth the fact that the Women’s Cell of the University was almost dead. After her activism and the dharna, it sort of started functioning. Rules and procedures which were only on paper started getting implemented on the ground.”
Then, again she made news when in 2011 she contested for the president’s post of the AMU student union. The 182 votes she got did not highlight her actual popularity.
“Pretty bold, courageous and equally popular,” Shahbaz Ali Khan, Asma’s classmate in MA from the Department of Hindi, remembered her.
“The tragedy of her life is that the small town like Aligarh judged her when she was alive and now that she is dead, people are passing moral judgments over the way she lived. We as a society can become very insensitive to the choices a woman makes in her life,” he said.
She got married in 2010, but in six months, her husband left for South America without telling her. Salman Javed, Asma’s brother, said this left her in depression. A few months ago, Mr. Gaud said, she had filed a complaint against a prominent businessman for rape on the pretext of marriage but later she withdrew it. There were many in her friends’ circle who believed that she was forced to do that.
Social media fury after Iraqi media report killing of baby girl by ISIS
18 May, 2015
Iraqi media reported on Friday the killing of a child nearly two years of age by the hand of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants allegedly because her father was fighting the Islamist group.
Iraq News Agency said Noorhan al-Assafi is the daughter of one of the sheikhs of al-Assaf tribe, who were battling ISIS when the Islamists pressed on an offensive that led them to control a main government building in Ramadi, capital of the western Iraqi province of Anbar on Friday.
One source from Ramadi told Iraq News Agency “that the terrorist ISIS afterentering al-Ramadi, killed dozens of people including women and children for backing the security forces there.”
“ISIS killed Noohan Ali Talal al-Assafi alongside 11 members of her family, mainly her uncles because they belonged to al-Sahwa,” the source said. Al-Sahwa was formed in 2005 as a Sunni salvation movement against al-Qaeda in Anbar; it morphed into Sons of Iraq, who also rejected ISIS militants.
On social media, Iraqis shared many pictures of Noorhan and expressed their disdain over her killing.
One person on Twitter shared a cartoon of her as an “angel” and another rejected violence saying “war kills women and children and humiliates men.”
Others vowed that the Popular Mobilization units will take vengeance over her killing.
The units are mainly Shiite volunteer groups aiding Iraqi forces against the Islamist militants.
Muslim Girl Denied Entry to Class for Hijab in UP, India
18 May, 2015
NEW DELHI – A private school in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh denied entry to a Muslim girl in the classroom for wearing a Hijab, with the school's administration claiming the decision was taken not to discriminate between children on the basis of dress.
“Many girls want to study and practice their religion by wearing the Hijab, but face a lot of difficulty in schools,” Nahid Lari, member of Uttar Pradesh Commission for Protection of Child Rights, told OnIslam.net.
“They discriminate with Muslim girls by not allowing them to wear a headscarf.”
The dilemma started when 9-year-old Farheen Fatima could not sit inside her classroom in St. Joseph Inter College in Lucknow town as the school administration denied her entry while wearing headscarf.
Farheen also told that the school is being run by a Hindu family and not by Christian missionaries.
“The school has its own dress code. And there should not be any discrimination on the basis of religion in the school. We are not concerned about the religion of our students,” N. Emenuel, principal of the school, told OnIslam.net.
“Farheen and her parents were informed about dress code in the school at the time of admission.”
However, Farheen and her mother stated that they were not informed about dress code banning hijab during the admission process.
“She was wearing headscarf at the time of admission process. Her photograph with headscarf was affixed even on her admission form,” said Waqar Fatima, mother of Farheen to OnIslam.net.
“They should have told us earlier that she will not be allowed with a headscarf in the school.”
Farheen informed that she was not allowed to go inside the classroom, the very next day of her admission.
She spent her whole day sitting inside the library, only to be asked to call her parents on the next day.
They were informed that Farheen will only be allowed to sit inside the classroom without her headscarf.
“We gave an application to the school administration asking them to allow Farheen to attend classes wearing her headscarf,” her mother added.
“They never replied to our letter. The school principal even refused to give anything in writing on dress code.”
As the new went viral, Lari, visited the school and inquired from other students about Farheen's headscarf.
She asked them whether they feel discriminated because of the presence of Farheen in the school.
“Not a single student said they had any problem with Farheen wearing headscarf,” Lari told OnIslam.net
Farheen's family has now decided their daughter will transfer to another school.
But, the commission has recommended harsh action against school management.
District Collector of Lucknow Raj Shekhar has ordered an inquiry against the school.
The incident of banning Muslim students due to their religious beliefs is not the first in India.
In 2009, the Supreme Court of India directed a Christian school based in central India to reinstate a class 10 Muslim student, Mohammed Salim, who was sacked after he refused to shave insisting it was part of his religious belief.
Muslims account for 180 million of India's 1.1 billion people, the world's third-largest Islamic population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
Muslims have long complained of being discriminated against in all walks of life in Hindu-majority India.
Official figures indicate that Muslims, who make up around 13 percent of India's population, are lagging behind in literacy.
Muslims also complain of being discriminated against in jobs.
They account for less than seven percent of public service employees, only five percent of railways workers, around four percent of banking employees, and there are only 29,000 Muslims in India's 1.3 million-strong military.
Islamic Daughters Influence Father's Journey to Priesthood
18 May, 2015
Like most seminarians, the Rev. Dennis Saran could tick off the many influences that bolstered and shaped him in his yearlong path to the priesthood.
There was his Catholic upbringing, of course. His teacher-priests and fellow seminarians. Long-dead theologians whose writings and ruminations have spoken to him through the ages.
But Saran includes among them three influences few seminarians can claim: his adult daughters, two of whom have charted a notably different path.
They are converts to Islam.
"They actually helped me in my journey," said Saran, whose letters to and from the two daughters during their college years in Madison often explored religious themes.
"They'd say, 'Well, Dad, have you read Thomas Merton?' or they'd send me titles of books to read," said Saran. "They would encourage me because I think they were along their own spiritual journeys as well."
Saran's daughters — Amanda, Michelle and Kelly Saran — were among the family and friends who filled the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Saturday for the ordination of Saran and Venezuelan-born Deacon Mauricio Fernández-Boscán.
"I really just want to support him ...for what he decides is right," said 26-year-old Kelly, who with her oldest sister, Amanda, converted to Islam in 2009.
"In the end, we're all just seeking the truth," Kelly said. "And if he can touch people with God's message, then there's a purpose."
Pulled to the priesthood
Saran, 59, is thought to be the first father ordained in the 171-year history of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
A pediatrician in a thriving Waukesha practice, he left that to enter the seminary in 2010, a year after his second wife, Beverly, died of lung cancer. Saran's first marriage, to his daughters' mother, had ended in divorce and a church annulment many years earlier.
Looking back, he says he felt pulled to the priesthood even before his wife took ill. At the same time, Amanda and Kelly had begun exploring Islam, among other traditions. Saran and his daughters point to Beverly's death as a seminal moment in their relationship and their respective searches for spiritual meaning.
"We really came together as a family around my stepmother dying," Kelly said. "When you witness a death like that, you start to ask yourself, 'What is my position in life?' 'How do I deal with this kind of tragedy?'"
Within a few months, Kelly and Amanda made their Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith, at an east-side Milwaukee mosque. And the following year, their father sold his Waukesha home and moved into a single room at the sprawling and quiet St. Francis de Sales Seminary, where a single crucifix adorns the wall over his bed.
Their divergent paths have required some adjustment on all sides. Dennis Saran knew very little about Islam other than what he gleaned from news accounts of violence and atrocities a world away. But he has tried to understand it through the lives and experiences of his daughters.
"Here I was as a father being presented with girls who wanted to be modest, who didn't smoke and didn't drink, who didn't believe in sex before marriage — what could I say?" said Saran.
"The way I see people like my daughters is they're basically saying, 'All I can do is lead a holy Muslim life, a life that demonstrates that Islam is to love each other.' And sometimes, I think that's the best we can say about anything, even Catholicism," he said. "I want to be a priest who demonstrates that the Catholic faith is about love as well, by who I am."
That's not to say there aren't debates and spirited discussions.
"The most exciting time is when we have dinner," said Saran, who offers a general grace to encompass the broad swath of beliefs around the table. In addition to Kelly and Amanda, middle daughter Michelle is Christian, though religiously unaffiliated, and married to a Jehovah's Witness.
Amanda now lives in California with her Muslim husband, so most of the spiritual sparring falls to Kelly and her father. They acknowledge the fundamental difference of their religious traditions — the divinity of Christ. But they choose to focus on the similarities of their faiths as brethren in the Abrahamic traditions.
"In the end, the beautiful thing is that they're so similar...their ideas of treating each other well, taking care of your neighbors ... living God-conscious are all things both religions share," said Kelly, who has found herself defending the Catholic faith at times to those who misunderstand it. "So, we support each other. He helps me become a better Muslim, and I think I help him become a better priest, a better Catholic."
Saran's daughters have struggled to understand his choice. A frequent refrain over the last four years, he says, has been: "We're getting used to it."
Saran has worked to reassure them, welcoming them into his new life at St. Francis, where their presence has led to some interesting interactions with the younger seminarians.
One of their biggest fears, Kelly said, has been that his role as a priest, expected to live in total obedience to the church, would somehow overshadow his role as a father.
A few weeks ago, Michelle and Kelly learned that their dad could be assigned to a parish in Mequon, almost an hour's drive from their home. So they called the office of Archbishop Jerome Listecki hoping to schedule an appointment so they could lobby for something closer.
They didn't get past his assistant. But the story made the rounds of the archdiocese's placement board, and Saran has since learned he'll serve at Christ the King Parish in Wauwatosa, about half as far as Mequon.
"I thought it was sweet," their father said, laughing, although he was also a little chagrined. "I said, 'Girls, that's really nice, but don't ever do that again.'''
Intimately close to God
Saran is a down-to-earth kind of guy, funny and at times self-deprecating. He comes off more earnest and caring than outwardly pious.
His five years in the seminary have been an exploration, not just of Catholic theology, but of the nature of God and love — they are one and the same, he says — and of his own spiritual longings and limitations.
One of the things that surprised him most, Saran said, is "just how intimately close you can get to God."
"But it's a constant fight against your own ego."
Saran views his earlier life as a husband and father as preparation for this moment. He's come to believe that unselfish love — the love we have for a spouse, for our children, for our pets, even — "is really a foretaste of God."
Kelly sees his experiences as a family man and physician as gifts to the church, and she hopes that it uses them well.
"I really want the Catholic church to take care of my father, spiritually and physically," said Kelly. "And I want it to recognize the sacrifice our family is making for him to be a priest — the sacrifice that he is making."
Daughters of Diaspora: two Algerian sisters, one in Texas, one in Paris
18 May, 2015
Djida waited until just before they left their home in Algiers to tell her 10-year-old daughter, Nada, that they were going to a new life in France.
You can take one thing with you, she told her. A neighbor, a police officer, was waiting in his car to ensure they made it to the airport safely.
It was June 18, 1994, and Algeria was in the third year of what would become known as the Black Decade, a savage civil war that broke out after the government invalidated elections set to be won by the Front of Islamic Salvation. While the government would eventually win the war, the death toll mounted to more than 150,000 civilians.
Women had become easy prey in a battle of competing visions of what Algeria should be — observant or secular — and some were brutally killed for wearing the veil, while others paid the same price for refusing it.
Djida — an accomplished doctor and a divorced single mother who would never accept the veil for herself — was an obvious target. So were many of the people in her world. Each day Djida saw friends, acquaintances and other professionals murdered, some of them her patients, dying in the days between their last and next appointments at her clinic. Yet people said the worse was still to come.
Were it just Djida alone, she would have assumed the risks and stayed. She loved Algeria. Though she had traveled and even worked abroad, every separation was borne with the intent to return home. Unlike her sister Nora, who left before Algeria’s descent into blackness and who always dreamed of moving to America, Djida wanted to stay.
Her daughter, though, deserved a better life where such violence wasn’t the norm.
Now Djida rushed her to pick something to take to France; their neighbor was waiting.
Nada chose a sweater knitted by her grandmother, a keepsake that showed on its front a squirrel, an apple tree and a little girl — Nada — all rendered in yarn.
Bordj, December 2014
Though Nada Fridi’s grandmother and grandfather passed away years earlier, their house in the Kabylie Mountains still belonged to the family, and Nada returned to spend the 2014 winter holidays in Bordj Bou Arréridj, in eastern Algeria. Her American cousin Meriem Bekka flew in from the U.S. to join her.
Nada, now 30, had become an architect and urban planner in Paris. Meriem, 25, the daughter of Djida’s sister Nora, was born in Texas and was a specialist on Syria at the Carter Center in Atlanta.
As girls and young women, each had sampled the other’s country, and they were fluent in both cultures. When Nada was a teenager, her mother — who worked long hours in France — sent her to sister’s house in Texas for high school, feeling it would be better for her daughter to be part of a happy nuclear family. In turn, when Meriem went to college, she attended Sciences Politiques (known in the French vernacular as Sciences Po) at a specialized campus in the southeast of France with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa.
Over that holiday gathering in the mountains, Nada and Meriem would wait until the rest of the family retired before huddling in the room they shared, catching up on everything from their everyday lives and loves to politics and social movements. They were both North African and, at least culturally, Muslim, and had come of age at a time when these identities were often cast in tension with the two countries they called home.
Both were part of a diaspora, and they had landed in places quite different. France and the U.S. were unalike in many ways — in their attitudes toward racial and ethnic minorities, in the public benefits available to those in need, in their histories of immigration and in the paths available to those seeking citizenship.
And Nada’s and Meriem’s journeys into diaspora were also different. Nada’s mother, Djida, refused to unpack one of her suitcases for her first two years in France, with the hope that she would be returning to Algeria as soon as the violence subsided. In contrast, when Meriem’s mother, Nora, first met her husband, an Algerian native who had interrupted his studies in the United States to return and do his compulsory military duty, she teased him, “Put me in a suitcase and send me to America.”
It didn’t quite happen that way or that fast, but Nora and her husband, Wahby, eventually settled in Austin, Texas, where they raised Meriem and her brother. To her relatives in France and Algeria, Nora had adopted “American” characteristics: She was career focused, successful and so optimistic. They teased her that she was perfectly Texan — impeccably groomed, femininely dressed, inoffensive in her conversation, dutifully religious and a corporate riser in her sales job. They joked that she was “high heels and high fives.”
Meriem’s family felt welcome in Texas, partly because most people didn’t know where Algeria was. “South America?” she was often asked, and her classmates usually assumed she was Mexican. But it didn’t much matter, as the U.S. — even in its moments of xenophobia — was a nation of immigrants.
The French, on the other hand knew, exactly where Algeria was, and the relationship between the two countries was quite complicated.
As they talked in their room, Nada quizzed Meriem on the events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri. Was it, as it seemed from across the Atlantic, a turning point in the United States’ tortured racial history? Were American Arabs and Muslims getting involved and showing solidarity with black people?
As the cousins spent the last days of 2014 together in the land of their mothers, they didn’t know that in the early months of 2015 events back home would make these conversations resonate so strongly. Because of the choices their mothers made, Nada and Meriem would soon be caught in the currents as the United States and France found themselves violently confronting failures of their multicultural societies. A generation later, the question remained, Who belongs to a place?
Full report at:
Women flex their culinary skills in front of top chef
18 May, 2015
JEDDAH — Building on the success of two editions of the popular ‘My Saudia Kitchen’ campaign, a unique culinary challenge event for women was organized recently by dairy and food company SADAFCO in Jeddah at the popular Al-Shallal amusement park.
The event aimed to enhance Saudi women’s daily cooking experience with easy-to-implement creative concepts, expert tips and professional guidance.
The “Culinary Challenge” event was hosted by celebrity chef Summaya Al-Idrissi. In line with the My Saudia Kitchen campaigns’ three-step theme of plan, cook and impress, Al-Idrissi cooked various innovative dishes within 15 minutes each.
She shared expert tips with the women-only audience for creatively planning a meal and preparing an impressive layout.
Mohammed Rafeeq, marketing manager for SADAFCO, said: “At SADAFCO, we understand that the art of cooking is held in high regard and cherished within the Arab world and women in Saudi Arabia take pride in providing tasty and quality meals to their families.
“When we introduced the successful ‘My Saudia Kitchen’ campaign, our goal was to directly engage with women by offering them insights about a daily activity that they are passionate about.
“The culinary challenge event is yet another of our endeavors to enrich the cooking experience of Saudi women as they learn from acclaimed cooking experts.”
The event also witnessed a cooking competition between two women who were asked to showcase their culinary prowess by cooking innovative dishes using the Saudia range of products.
Al-Idrissi judged the final products and awarded a modern food processor worth SR3,500 to the winner. All contestants were also presented with certificates of appreciation.
The three-day event witnessed the presence of nearly 3,000 women who appreciated the opportunity to learn from a professional chef and enjoy the thrill of witnessing a live cooking competition.