Thursday, November 29, 2007

Saudi authorities alarmed by 3,000 runaway girls

translated by Sonia Farid from Al Arabiya (UAE)

The Saudi Ministries of Interior and Social Affairs, in collaboration with the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, are conducting a study on runaway girls, press reports said Wednesday. The move comes as the number of girls who ran away from their families hit 3,000, according to Saudi newspaper Okaz. Other local papers have reported that 850 of the runaways were under the age of 14. Psychiatrist Mohei Abdullah Al-Qurani, who heads the psychotherapy center in the southwestern governorate of Baljorashi, attributes the girls' behavior to the absence of devout religiosity and to family problems. According to Qurani, the solution is to raise children in accordance with Islamic principles and constantly monitor their behavior and circle of friends ... The social affairs director in the Mecca Region, Ihsan Tayeb, warned in earlier press statements that a lack of monitoring and negligence on the part of parents are the main reasons behind the phenomenon.

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