Sunday, May 8, 2016

Waad Academy

Waad Academy just opened its doors this past fall to welcome students.  I recently had the chance to tour this impressive state of the art facility located in the Obhur area of the city.  

This new school offers a brand new concept in education here in Jeddah, focusing on turning out well-rounded individuals by feeding the mind, heart and body.  So in addition to academic achievement, Waad’s philosophy incorporates spiritual and physical well-being as well. 

This academy has succeeded in creating a nurturing learning environment, using modern technology, creative designs, and delicious colors which sets it apart from other local schools.  

The main building houses the administrative team, the beautiful and spacious auditorium which accommodates 1000, and the cheerful lunchroom. 
Shooting off from the main building are brilliantly designed wings which provide separate boys and girls campuses, which will eventually serve students from KG2 through Grade 8.  
There is also a beautiful modern library – which is "oh-so-much-more" than just a library.  
One unique and creative feature of the school are its mega slides, which certainly help to make learning more fun at the academy.  
The school's sporting and recreation facilities are extraordinary, including themed outdoor play areas, gymnasiums offering an assortment of indoor activities and sports, basketball and tennis courts, plus a soccer field, running tracks, swimming pool, and a rock climbing wall.
A host of extracurricular activities and a wide variety of after-school programs are also available to students.  There is even a wonderful nursery on site for the children of teachers and administrators.
Waad Academy encourages the involvement of parents in the child’s education and progress and also invites the entire community to participate in planned social and sporting events.    
The attention to detail makes it obvious that years of thought and planning went into the making of this institution.   The future of education in Saudi Arabia is here and now at Waad Academy. 

To learn more about Waad Academy, CLICK HERE.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Saudi Society Will Accept Women Driving

I just wrote a guest post about the women's driving issue for the site called SAUDI WOMEN DRIVING, which offers news and thoughts pertaining to the issue of - you guessed it - Saudi women driving.  

I was prompted to write this in response to a recent statement by the man who is a son of the current king of Saudi Arabia and who is also second in line to the Saudi throne, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.  Last week he unveiled Saudi Vision 2030, a comprehensive plan outlining the future course and goals for Saudi Arabia.  A very small part of that plan dealt with the women driving issue, and here is what I have to say about it in my guest post on SAUDI WOMEN DRIVING: 


That's me - driving in Saudi Arabia!

A few days ago Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, second in line to the throne, was quoted as saying, “Saudi society, not the government, will determine whether women will be allowed to drive cars.”

To that I would ask: Exactly how loud does society have to yell in order to be heard? 

Women have been demanding the right to drive here in Saudi Arabia since 1990 when a few dozen women organized and drove in the streets of Riyadh.  They were severely punished – by the government – with the ramifications affecting their lives for many years.  Since then, many other women have driven on their own - and those who were caught have also been arrested and punished.  In fact, women who drive in KSA can now be charged with terrorism, open to the government’s interpretation.  


But wait a minute! If the government isn’t responsible for keeping women from driving in Saudi Arabia and punishing them if they do, then who is?  Society?  Really?