First women’s martial arts tournament concludes in Jeddah

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu championship is a form of wrestling consisting of one round that lasts for five minutes, whereas the amateur kickboxing championship consists of two rounds of light contact, each lasting for two minutes. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 18 November 2018

First women’s martial arts tournament concludes in Jeddah

  • In the jiu-jitsu lightweight division, Jude Al-Fahmi was the winner, Ma’wiya Zahed was second and Hanan Saber third

JEDDAH: The Legendary Heroes gym club in Jeddah organized the first women’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing tournament, with the participation of around 40 contestants.
This tournament is considered the first-of-its-kind women’s sports event in the Kingdom. It was held under the auspices of the General Sports Authority. The tournament aimed to stress the importance of women’s power in society and further promote martial arts values.
The tournament was characterized by the contestants’ enthusiasm and fierce competition. In the jiu-jitsu lightweight division, Jude Al-Fahmi was the winner, Ma’wiya Zahed was second and Hanan Saber third. In the kickboxing lightweight division, Alzhra’ Al-Qorshi was first and Mourouj Al-Amoudi second. In the jiu-jitsu middleweight division, Hounouf Sanari was the winner and Lyann Hadrami runner-up, and in the kickboxing middleweight division, Hadeel Ashour won and Maha Halwani was second. Mourouj Al-Amoudi won the jiu-jitsu heavyweight division, with Lynn Fira second, Arwi Tambousi third and Shahd Al-Shareef fourth. Sarah Nas won the kickboxing heavyweight division and Rana Hakim was runner-up. In the jiu-jitsu open weight division, Shahd Al-Shareef was first and Hanan Saber second.
Captain Mohammed Abbas, the founder of Legendary Heroes, said the championship competitions had a large audience and a broad attendance of women of various age groups. It also witnessed various sports such as audience arm-wrestling and martial arts shows such as karate, Taekwondo and Tai Chi.
Jumana Yusuf, executive director of the tournament’s organizing committee, said she was happy with the success of the tournament, which aims to spread martial arts culture and discipline, reflecting positively on promoting the country to be in the ranks of developed countries.
She added that throughout history, this culture has been a key factor in the revival and advancement of people and the defense of their homelands.
“The second goal is to lead by example in organizing and managing women’s martial arts tournaments so that all women’s clubs can organize such activities professionally and smoothly.
“The Legendary Heroes gym club’s management in Jeddah organized training and refereeing sessions for its working group and contestants in these two sports. The management also gave away a free booklet that includes the translated two sports’ arbitration laws. Captain Marouj Al-Ghamdi, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu trainer, was a fundamental factor in spreading these sports and organizing this tournament as one of the judges and as a contestant,” she added.
The tournament’s judges were international Saudi contestant Captain Farah Al-Zahrani, the holder of a blue belt practicing in Jordan, and international judges Amina Hatem and Rou’a Zareh.

Iraqi oil-reserve potential ‘could exceed’ Saudi Arabia’s

Updated 19 min 1 sec ago

Iraqi oil-reserve potential ‘could exceed’ Saudi Arabia’s

  • Crescent Petroleum’s CEO Majid Jafar told SALT conference Iraq's production has risen despite obstacles
  • 'Improving investment climate for private sector essential' to utilize Iraq's full energy-sector potential

ABU DHABI: Iraq’s oil reserves had the potential to exceed those of Saudi Arabia, a top Middle East energy company chief has told the region’s first SALT conference.

In spite of years of corruption, a lack of infrastructure, and the five-year war on Daesh in Iraq, the country had managed to increase its production of oil from 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) to 5 million, Crescent Petroleum’s CEO Majid Jafar revealed.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi on a panel session discussing power dynamics in the energy sector, he addressed Iraq’s position on oil production and the US’ recent move toward energy “independence.”

Referring to the rate of Iraq’s oil production today, he said: “This gives you some indication of the reserve potential in Iraq, which I believe can exceed Saudi Arabia’s.” And he added that parts of the country still remained “unexplored.”

To utilize the country’s full potential in the energy sector, he believed that improving the investment climate for the private sector was essential.

Jafar said this could be achieved by addressing the demands voiced in recent protests lead by Iraq’s youth, adding that “young people have had enough.”

Among their demands were the need for better services, electricity, employment opportunities and a governing system free of corruption and sectarian politics.

Yet, despite the instability, Crescent Petroleum was still optimistic. “As a group, we have invested $3 billion (SR11.25 billion) over the last 10 years, and the rate of investment is increasing going forward.”

Jafar pointed to the Middle East and North Africa region’s steep oil wealth, implying that more could be done to raise competition in the global energy market. He cited new reforms, such as Saudi Aramco’s partnership with the private sector, as a step in the right direction, considering that the region was home to five of the top 10 oil-producing countries.

However, he highlighted that in recent times the Middle East oil and gas industry had given up a significant amount of its market share to its American counterparts.

While the US moved toward “self-sufficiency,” Jafar believed the country’s “inter-dependence” would grow.

“Being an exporter of oil, you start to worry about the markets,” he said, making a projection on the impact of recent changes on the US economy. “With the US becoming one of the biggest producers in the world, its economy in terms of overall GDP does better if the oil prices are higher, and that changes all the calculations.”

Dr. Francisco Blanch, global head of commodities research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, highlighted that while the US had become “energy independent,” investors had lost a significant amount of funds to “supply the capital to make it happen.”

Blanch’s forecast was that the US would not continue to grow at the pace it had been doing in recent years. “I think investors are waking up to realize that Shell is a marginal-cost business.”

Supporting Jafar’s observations, he agreed that the US had become more interdependent on exports and imports. He pointed out that today, the US imported 6.5 million barrels of oil, and exported 2.5 million bpd.

“I think the capital market has become more skeptical about capital being allocated to the energy sector,” said Blanch, adding that the next five to 10 years would witness a focus on technology and healthcare.

Examining the geopolitical situation in the Arab region, panelist R. J. Johnston, executive adviser and managing director for global energy and natural resources at Eurasia Group, described the energy sector as a “geopolitical-driven story.”

He cited the drone and missile attacks earlier this year on two Saudi Aramco oil sites in the Eastern Province, pointing out the disruptions in supply did not generate an expected response and impact on oil prices.

“This maybe suggests something about how the geopolitics of the region are changing. Even with sanctions on Iran and the attack against the Aramco facilities, the world is more focused on a different kind of geopolitics; more on the demand side,” said Johnston.

He also referenced the upcoming US elections as well as other problematic structural trends in the region and around the world, such as the protests seen in the Middle East, Western Europe, and Hong Kong, as factors that created uncertainty for the growth of the global market.

He added that in the age of US President Donald Trump, America was “less committed to the region” than it had been in the past, a situation that would create a new set of realities.