Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 25th 2015 Contents A36
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Two women in Saudi Arabia made
history last week when they became
the country s first registered female
voters, according to local media.
"The participation of the Saudi
women in the municipal elections as
voters and candidates was a dream for
us," Jamal al-Saadi, one of the women
who registered, told the Saudi Gazette.
She added: "I was quite ready for this
A handful of women, including an
18-year-old, registered in Medina and
Mecca, where the process began early.
Voter registration opened up in the rest
of the country on Saturday, and can-
didates can begin signing up August
30. Men and women will vote in sep-
arate polling places.
Activists welcomed the opening up
of polls to women, but many said that
it fell short of levelling gender inequal-
ities in the ultraconservative country,
which adheres to a strict interpretation
of sharia law.
Women in Saudi Arabia cannot legal-
ly drive and need a "male guardian s"
permission to travel or work, restrictions
that leave Saudi women extremely
dependent on men.
Saudi women register
to vote for the first time
There s a mood of exhausted
chaos at the roadside near Roszke.
More than a hundred Afghans, Syr-
ians and Iraqis stretch out on the
Some build fires in the early
morning to keep warm. Small chil-
dren munch apples they picked on
the way from Serbia.
Hungarian police stand guard,
their smart blue uniforms and red
caps in sharp contrast with the rags
of the refugees.
The late summer sun pushes the
temperature close to 30ºC (86ºF). A
police bus arrives and people line
up to be taken to their first refugee
processing centre nearby.
Just across an open field, Hun-
gary s new "wire barrier" glistens in
the sunlight against the tall stalks
of maize. It consists just of coils of
razor wire for now---the real fence
comes later---and some migrants
have just pushed it down or thrown
blankets or sleeping bags over it, to
lessen the danger of injury.
But at this point on the border
most take the easier option. They
simply walk down a rarely used rail-
way line, which cuts a path through
There, more policemen stand to
welcome them in English---serious,
but not unfriendly:
"Carry on down the track---one
A bizarre contrast has emerged in
Hungary s handling of the refugee
crisis. While the government rages
against "illegal migrants" and state-
run media warn of the infectious
diseases they may be carrying
(hepatitis and syphilis are the most
mentioned), the police on the border
continue to work under procedures
in full harmony with their country s
obligations under the 1951 UN
"Hungary police good. Serbia
police good. Turkey and Iran police
bad," explains a Syrian man in broken
Up the track in Serbia, an 18-year-
old man from Afghanistan rests with
his family. His grandmother is in her
70s. Her wheel chair rests in the
long grass beside her.
He has pushed her all the way
from Afghanistan, he says. She looks
exhausted, but still dignified in her
black headscarf. She declines to be
This double-sided Hungarian
response is as evident in the capital
as at the border. Budapest has three
major stations. They are all almost
overrun with asylum seekers.
Some are doing what they have
been told, and travelling between
refugee camps with documents that
expire within 48 hours. But most
are looking for trains, buses, taxis,
or car-drivers who will take them
to Austria or Germany.
Budapest s city council has pro-
vided running water and toilets. Vol-
unteers move through the crowds
distributing food, clothes, and even
combs for the ladies. A woman
dressed as a clown entertains the
However, Hungary still continues
to build the fence along its border.
It is well past the halfway mark, with
110km of the 175km fence now in
Migrants rush into Serbia over the border with Macedonia near the village
of Miratovac, Serbia, yesterday. The more than 5,000 migrants who
reached Serbia overnight faced an overcrowded refugee centre where they
have to apply for asylum---the paper that allows them three days to reach
Hungary. AP PHOTO
Hungary surge as fence slowly rises
A boy transports his sheep on a banana raft in the flood affected Morigaon
district of Assam state, India, Sunday. Flash floods, triggered by heavy rains
in the past few days, have affected nearly 300,000 people in 13 districts of
Assam state with some 1,000 villages submerged in water. EPA PHOTO
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