Saudi flight delayed over stewardess' lack of guardian

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A Saudi Arabia Airlines flight from Jeddah to the eastern city of Dammam was delayed over a passenger's demand that a stewardess be removed from the aircraft because she wasn't accompanied by a male guardian, Okaz newspaper reported.

Flight 1108 was delayed when a stewardess began to read out and demonstrate flight safety procedures was interrupted by a passenger who asked her "why are you on the plane without a guardian?" the newspaper reported.

The passenger then proceeded to demand the plane not take off until all women unaccompanied by male guardians be removed from the aircraft.

The captain called security who then forcefully removed the objecting passenger and his son and started an investigation, according to the newspaper. The incident caused the flight to be delayed two hours.

Every woman in Saudi Arabia must have a male guardian accompanying her when travelling, usually a husband or father, sometimes a son. Women in the kingdom need the consent of a male guardian to work, travel abroad, marry or to open a bank account.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who has tried to accelerate the pace of reform in the kingdom, announced in 2011 that women would be able to vote and run in municipal elections starting in 2015.

Last month, the monarch appointed 30 women to the 150-member Shoura Council which was previously an all male body that advises the government on legislation.

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Posted by: ziad

Welcome to the average Saudi Muslim Hood... Thamir, this is the truth we are facing in saudi... at least in some areas... let's not hide from it.. we are going backword in our civilization while everyone is going front word.. Have you asked yourself, why are all muslim countries in turmoil while none muslim countries are not... How sad...

Posted by: Saudi Engineer

Ziad,

This is completely beside the point of the article, but...

If you believe there are no non-Muslim countries in turmoil you my friend obviously have never heard of Cyprus...or Greece.... Or most of the rest of Europe. They may not be rioting in the streets (yet) but their economies are in utter shambles. And in the case of Greece, they were actually rioting in the streets...and speaking of riots....London anyone?

Posted by: M.abbadi

May be he was trying to prove a point .

Posted by: Thamir Ghaslan

Dear passengers,

under your seats, you will find life vests.
above you, oxygen masks.
to your right and left, emergency exit.
and next to me, my mahram.

Everyone calm down. This guy has been heavily ridiculed and does not represent an average Saudi.

Posted by: Expat

@ Parvaiz...while these restrictions may have been suitable for the time in which they were ordained, surely they should be updated.

@ Thamir...while the guy may not represent an average Saudi, what he was saying is an accurate representation of the Saudi laws. As such, while the people may not be as parochial as the world believes, the laws and rules are.

Posted by: Parvaiz Ahmad

I agree with Thamir. His actions do not represent an average Saudi. And I wonder if he has a maid servant at home?
This whole issue of Mahram, like so many other things about Islam is twisting and misrepresentation of facts. It does not need me to certify that Islam while laying down guidelines and rules for the human beings 1400 years ago has taken care of all that is practicable.

How many of us can imagine the travel conditions, even a few miles away from home, into the featureless desert that Arabia was 1400 years ago, when such restrictions for women were ordained.

Even today it is difficult and sometimes fatal to veer even a couple of miles from the main highways into the deserts without a GPS.

So for a women to have a Mahram with her in those days made perfect sense. And if one thinks about this issue seriously, lets us ask ourselves a basic question. How many of us are perfectly comfortable with our mothers, wives and daughters going out alone to distant places even today?

Posted by: Adam

They should have pointed out that on the plane airside, she is not on Saudi soil.

Posted by: Mike Gandhi

All house maids those are working in Saudi Homes have a male guardian ???????

Posted by: Andy

@ Mike, This is very true. Why isn't he objecting to that one as well.. I think this man is still living in the stone age.

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