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Mother of Saudi killed preventing ISIS attack appointed to Shoura council

Her son Mohammed al-Essa and her nephew Abdul-Jalil al-Arbash were killed instantly while stopping an ISIS suicide bomber from entering a mosque

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Kawthar al-Arbash was named – along 29 other Saudi women – as a new member of the kingdom’s reformed Shoura council.

Arbash, who is a Saudi journalist and writer, is known to be an outspoken critic against sectarianism during the past year especially after the loss of her heroic son who stopped an ISIS attack on a mosque.

Her son Mohammed al-Essa and her nephew Abdul-Jalil al-Arbash were killed instantly while stopping an ISIS suicide bomber from entering a mosque in Dammam.

Kawthar is a graduate of business administration from King Faisal University and is a board member of the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts. She has become a prominent writer and critic against sectarianism and argues instead for the importance of national identity and unity.

She heard the news of her appointment to the Shoura council via a royal decree while she was visiting in the United States as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. She was presenting a paper during a workshop examining democracy in the Middle East.

While in the US, she has been explaining Saudi Arabia’s counter-terror efforts and spoke about her own individual efforts which consists of her establishing the Prince Mohammed bin Nayef program for rehabilitating former extremists back into society.

Saudi Arabia announced the reformation of their consultative Shoura council on Saturday through royal decrees that also named 29 women to the body.