By Heba Fahmy / Daily News Egypt September 21, 2010, 2:44 pm
CAIRO: Egypt and Saudi Arabia are joining forces to launch the first women’s security center in the region, offering training for female security guards.
Princess Basma Bint Saud Al Saud, head of the Sada Al-Hayah International Saudi Center, signed an agreement with Sherif Khaled, head of Falcon group companies, last week to establish the first women’s security center and the first center to provide integrated services for Arab communities in Egypt.
“We started training women to be security guards at our security company in Falcon group around four years ago, we started with only 22 female guards and now we have around 650,” Khaled said.
“But this is the first time it’s done on a wide scale as an independent center in the Arab region, it’ll be almost like an academy for training female security guards,” he told Daily News Egypt.
“These women are usually required to work in malls, hotels, factories and other facilities to search the women entering these facilities without causing them any embarrassment,” he said.
It isn’t unusual to spot female security guards at the entrances of malls and hotels around Cairo.
It’s even more common in Saudi Arabia, where wearing the full face veil is considered obligatory for many women in several areas; this requires having female security guards at the airports and universities to check the identity of the women entering and search them.
However, such security guards are appointed by the government, which makes this the first private center for female security guards in the Arab region.
“The Saudi community has witnessed in the past five years a sincere desire to give women a role in line with Islamic Sharia and Saudi society,” Al Saud told online newspaper “Al Watan.”
“Unemployment among women has become a problem in Saudi Arabia, this center will help develop these women’s qualifications and provide them with job opportunities in security especially in banks and airports,” she added.
The first center will be established in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and then in Cairo.
According to Khaled, this center will teach women martial arts, self-defense and train them on how to deal with different scenarios they might be subject to in their line of duty.
The center will also offer clients a variety of services including any information regarding hotels, the best schools for their children and the best vacation spots.
It will also be authorized to issue its clients driver’s licenses.
“We already offer this kind of service to Egyptians who don’t want to go through the process of issuing a drivers’ license for example, so we are authorized by the government to do it for them,” Khaled said.
“Any Arab citizen who comes to Egypt usually doesn’t have information about how things work here, including schools for children, hotel bookings, issuing a driver’s license and many other things,” he added.
The agreement also includes the launch of “Bab El-Bahr” project, a cultural center established with the cooperation of the Nile Multimedia company, one of the companies under Falcon Group, and the information department at Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
“This city [Alexandria] was the center of world culture and was famously known for its library which enriched the human culture and for its school of divinity and philosophy,” said a statement issued by Nile Multimedia.
The center is expected to be established in three governorates, Alexandria, Al-Arish and Marsa Matrouh.
This cultural center offers the youth the appropriate atmosphere and opportunities to explore their talents especially in arts and culture, including literature and poetry. It also encourages dialogue between different cultures and has an exchange program.
According to Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nile Multimedia Ahmed Ragab, the European University has already agreed to participate in this project.
The university along with Nile Multimedia will launch a website that provides technical analysis of the stock market for small investors looking for advice.
“Hussam Wessam Asaad, a prominent analyst known in the stock market will be part of our website team in addition to a group of experts of his choice,” Ragab told Daily News Egypt.
The website will also cover business news and analysis in a bid to increase economic development in the region.
According to Sherif and Ragab, this agreement aims to help develop the Arab region in different fields including culture, economy and security and fight ideas of extremism to bridge the gap between the Arab and western world.