In an incredible step forward recently the Saudi Arabian government finally placed Yoga on the list of approved sports. This is an amazing step for women generally and a greater one for a talented and courageous lady whose hard work and dedication helped bring about this Arabian change.
Nouf Bint Mohammad Al Marwaai is an entrepreneur, businesswoman, director of the Gulf Yoga Alliance and founder of the Riyadh-Chinese Medical Center in Jeddah just to mention a few of her great feats.
Nouf Bint Mohammed Al Maraai recently spoke to my friend Ganesh Radhakrishnan who agreed to allow me to publish his interview here.
Saudi Arabian Government has now approved Yoga. What was the situation in Saudi Arabia before this new decision came into existence?
The situation previously was different. Yoga was practiced there but in gymnasiums and at different places privately. There was no government approval or license for Yoga centres. Still, Yoga community was growing bigger day by day.
Was there any restriction against practicing Yoga before?
In fact, there was no such restriction. But there was no approval as well. There was no legal structure for it. And women sports were not allowed yet. It was mainly because a few people who campaigned against Yoga. They had created a bad image of yoga.
What is the importance of this government decision?
The importance of this decision is that Yoga is now a legal sports activity in Saudi Arabia now. It’s listed on the official website of the Ministry of Trade and Industry listed as a sports activity. As a result, License is now available for yoga centres and studios. See, it is a government decision and it is because of the new young leadership we have in the country. Yes, of course, it will bring a lot of change.
What are the changes likely to happen in the country by this decision?
What has happened now is that it is a government decision and it is a great moment for Saudi Arabia, especially when we are now working towards the Vision 2030. And honestly, we, in Saudi Arabia, are very proud of this vision. Because its focus is on development and investment. And of course, a major part of it is also focusing on health and wellness (mental, physical, psychological, social etc.). Princess Reema Bint Bandar Alsaud was chosen to be the Deputy of the General Sports Authority and she welcomed all leaders in any sports for women to approach her directly. Sports and driving are now allowed for women this year.
How do you view the new progressive policies of the crown prince?
Of course, the new policies of Saudi Arabia are very progressive and promising. Actually, it has a lot of potentials in it. We are also very motivated to work towards a better society. We all are part of vision 2030. And to be honest, the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman didn’t launch this vision, all these developments would not have happened in Saudi Arabia. The new leadership is changing the face of Saudi Arabia. They are open for youth. The government is now giving more importance to wellness and health. It aims at making a new generation and enabling them to grow to a better situation.
We would like to thank Nouf Bint Mohammad Al Marwaai, Ganesh Krishnan R and http://organiser.org/Encyc/2017/6/19/2233578.aspx for sharing with us. Go ahead and take a look at Organiser and their fascinating news stories. And we will certainly be keeping our eyes open for more about Nouf Bint Mohammad Al Marwaai