Culture And Media

Saudi Arabia: Library opens its doors to women

Riyadh, 4 August (AKI) - Women in the Saudi coastal city of Dammam are able to use its library from Monday unaccompanied, according to the local 'al-Watan' newspaper.

"Female students no longer need to be escorted by a male relative," said the library's director, Saad al-Harithi, quoted by the paper.

"The library is a public place open to everyone and this rule was preventing women from coming.

"It is a safe place for everyone, and especially for women, who use a special area just for them," al-Harithi said.

Besides encouraging women to use the library more, al-Harithi said he also wants to create sections for children, to introduce them to literature.

Most of the library's users are university students preparing for exams, al-Harithi said, adding that it is difficult to estimate how many people use the library each day.

The library holds books in Arabic and English, while there are no volumes in other languages "as there have never been any foreign readers who have requested these," al-Harithi said.




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