Under the auspices of Her Highness Princess Hissa bint Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud the “Thank You” initiative was held at the Social Welfare Home for Elderly women in Riyadh on the occasion of International Women’s Day, a magnanimous gesture from Her Royal Highness towards this section of society which is so dear to the hearts of all.
Princess Hissa delivered a speech on the occasion in which she stated that Saudi women are witnessing a qualitative shift in the field of empowerment and that this year will be Women’s year in the Arab women’s capital (Riyadh) under the slogan “Women are the embodiment of homeland and ambition”, as part of the Kingdom’s vision 2030 this year. Her Highness also described women as the partners of their male brethren in building a country proud of its people, through their common economic and social empowerment, which enables them to continue to play their influential respective roles in the vital sectors of Saudi life.
The Princess also noted that the degree of each country’s civilization progress is measured by the extent of its care for the elderly, which constitutes a real reflection of the development of a country and its awareness of the cultural heritage offered by the older generation and its importance for the development of coming generations, and that the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 underlines the value of older persons and their importance in the process of linking the past to the present.
She added: We are a country rooted historically and socially in pure Islam and proud Arabism, and guided by the directives of our beloved leadership to instill our ancestral values in the generations of the future and to stem the ideas and alien ideologies that had infiltrated the Saudi society in the recent past.
On this International Women’s Day I stand before you proud that I’m celebrating it with the leading elderly women who are confident in themselves, proud of their values, blessed with the courage and the qualities that have enabled them to bring up new generations of authentic, strong Saudi women, naturally capable of showing leadership qualities both within their family and their society at large; spurred by the pride which their Saudi brethren have in their Saudi sisters’ role in supporting them and standing side by side with them in building their society together.
Princess Hissa stressed that: The Kingdom has supported homes for the social care of the elderly for more than 56 years thanks to the humanitarian and social role they play in supporting those in need of care, through the services provided by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, by social workers and psychologists and in all programs and activities that help them finish their education or obtain vocational training to learn some crafts. We will never forget them nor will our wise leadership that has provided them with many services through 900 governmental and civil organizations in all regions based on a study by Waqar Association.
Princess Hissa concluded her speech by thanking the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques who has secured great achievements for women that will carry on, “achievements I can personally testify that he wanted to realise, influenced by the role models set by his mother, grandmothers, and prominent women of society, just as he was influenced by his father, grandfathers, and distinguished men of our beloved country”, She added. It was King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who suggested to the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz that the great university and educational edifice in Riyadh carries the name: the Princess Noura bint Abdul Rahman University, when he was the Governor of Riyadh. He also encouraged male and female researchers to compile the biographies of distinguished women of the past, one result being the book “Women of Najd” by Dr. Dalal Al Harbi, based at the King Abdulaziz Research Center.
“I also congratulate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the youthful, ambitious steps he has taken, emanating from the established, authentic past. I am full of hope that my generation, the generation of steadfast work and empowerment, will rise to the task of achieving the great success which our leadership and the people look forward to, and build a balanced society that, God willing, continues to enjoy the respect , benevolence , and prosperity that we are witnessing. Today as I stand among historians, writers and artists, I recall a story my father recounts concerning King Abdulaziz who encountered on a trip in the desert a woman riding her horse alone at night. He stopped and asked her: do you not have the support of a man? She replied: I have the support of God and then Abdulaziz. King Abdulaziz was greatly touched and influenced by her words. Turning to his companions, he said: This woman who trusts in God and then in a man she has never seen before deserves from us to work harder to enhance her pride in herself and her feeling of security in her country. That is why we stand before the daughters of that generation of mothers like that woman of strength, trust, and faith, and who have inherited that courage, trust, and faith.
The director of the social welfare home for Elderly women in Riyadh, Badria Amash Eid al-Thaqeel, stressed that the patronage of Princess Hissa bint Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the initiative is a gesture of great kindness from Her Highness towards the elderly women and her presence to celebrate this special day, brought joy and warmth to their hearts. She added that part of the services offered to the older women, is to integrate them into society and ultimately to make them happy in any way. May your magnanimous gesture of visiting them and celebrating this day with them, and may all that we all do for them and your visiting them grant us more blessings.
Al-Thaqeel added: The efforts provided by the state under the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in terms of attention and harnessing all material and human resources for their dignified care, which includes medical, medicinal, social and psychological care, as well as physical therapy needed by the elderly at this age, in addition to ensuring proper nutrition for them in accordance with their health status, all of which are provided by specialized cadres in these areas. Everyone competes to have the pleasure of serving our mothers and obtain their blessings from humanitarian motivation rather than a social or community duty. This was true starting with the esteemed staff of the home to the respected segments of society. Part of the services provided by the home also is the integrated medical services of qualified medical staff, a comprehensive clinic and a pharmacy stocked with all the necessary medicines.
She also pointed out that the doors are wide open for visits to the home by women from all walks of life, as with external visits by the women to hospitality centres, camps, and universities.
She noted that literacy classes have been opened for those who had not had the chance to go to school. Two female high school students were seconded to teach the older women. While others enrolled in vocational institutes to learn handicrafts.
The ceremony included acts from the elderly women such as playing the national anthem by Ohood al-Faisal on the piano, and began with a recitation of the Holy Quran by Lulua Al-Ahmadi, and a poem to welcome the visit of Princess Hissa bint Salman bin Abdulaziz delivered by Aisha Al-Anzi. A talk by Huda al-Turki touched on the role of women and their empowerment in society. While Fatima Hilmi gave a presentation on the services provided by the home to the elderly women and the endeavours to enable them to enjoy social empowerment.