Saudi female weapons trainer inspiring girls to learn how to shoot

Mona Al Khurais coaches at firing range in Riyadh where more women are joining her classes

Saudi weapons trainer taking charge in a male-dominated field

Saudi weapons trainer taking charge in a male-dominated field
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Mona Al Khurais has loved guns ever since she was a little girl – now the Saudi weapons trainer is teaching others to fall in love with firearms.

The 36-year-old teaches shooting at a firing range in Riyadh, where more and more women are joining her classes.

Ms Al Khurais has been passionate about shooting ever since her father’s lessons during hunting trips in the kingdom.

Five years ago, she turned her passion into her profession when she became a licensed firearms trainer.

After coaching in Saudi Arabia and abroad, she now coaches others at Top Gun firing range in the Saudi capital.

Now she wants to encourage Saudi girls to follow her lead.

She said: "I am so happy to practise my passion and my hobby as a coach and a range safety officer.

"Hopefully, I can share my experience with Saudi girls to encourage them to enter this difficult field that was previously reserved for men."

Ms Khurais was one of the exhibitors at the Saudi Falconry and Hunting show, an annual exhibition in Riyadh for manufacturers who specialise in hunting weapons.

Pistols, sniper rifles, semi-automatic weapons and hunting rifles were on display at the show. Visitors with gun licences could buy the weapons displayed.

Attitudes towards women have been changing in the kingdom, with women taking jobs in an increasing range of professions.

But Ms Khurais said it was not men who gave her difficulties when she first entered her line of work.

"The difficulties that I faced were the criticisms from women, which was surprising to me because I was expecting it from men," she said.

As more girls and women learn to handle guns, she hopes attitudes will change and she can inspire them.

Updated: November 02, 2021, 10:45 AM