Saudi’s first female weapons trainer breaks gender barriers

Riyadh: A 36-year-old female weapons trainer breaks down barriers in a male-dominated sector, for the first time in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s history.

Mona Al-Khurais has been fond of guns since she was a little girl from a time when her father took her on hunting trips in Saudi Arabia and taught her to shoot.

She turned her fondness into a career five years ago and received training in Saudi Arabia and abroad to become a qualified weapons trainer.

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She teaches Top Gun shooting in Riyadh, and her classes are increasingly attended by women.

Mona Al-Khurais, teaches a Saudi girl the safe use of weapons at the Top-Gun shooting range in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Al Arabiya

“I am so happy to practice my passion and my hobby as a coach and a range safety officer,” Al Arabiya quoted reporting Khurais.

This year, 2021, has been a turning point in her career since the government finally allowed women to buy guns.

However, Khurais initially had problems working in a male-dominated environment. “The difficulties that I faced were the criticisms from women, which was surprising to me as I was expecting it from men,” Khurais told Al Arabiya.

Her goal is to one day participate in Olympics.

Mona Al Khurais, teaches a Saudi boy. Photo: Al Arabiya

Attitudes toward women have changed in the conservative kingdom, with women making steady gains in the workforce by taking jobs in a range of occupations.

These steps are taken as part of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision 2030 plan to diversify the country’s economy. One of the goals of the program is to increase women’s participation in the labour force to 30 per cent, a goal the Kingdom claims has now been achieved.

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