Mona Al – Khurais has loved guns ever since as a young girl her father took her on hunting trips in Saudi Arabia and taught her how to shoot.
Five years ago, she turned that passion into her profession, receiving coaching in Saudi and abroad to become a licensed firearms trainer.
‘I am so happy to practice my passion and my hobby as a coach and a range safety officer’, Khurais said.
‘Hopefully, I can share my experience with Saudi girls, to encourage them to enter this difficult field that was previously reserved for men’.
Khurais was one of the exhibitors at the Saudi Falconry and Hunting show, an annual exhibitions in Riyadh showcasing manufactures specialising in hunting weapons.
Exhibitors displayed pistols, sniper riffles, hunting rifles and semi – automatic weapons as well as hunting paraphernalia. Visitors with gun licences can buy weapons on show.
Attitudes towards women have been changing in the conservative kingdom, with women making steady gains in the work force by taking up jobs in a range of professions.
Khurais, however, initially faced problems working in a male – dominated environment.
‘The difficulties that I faced were the criticism from women, which was surprising to me as I was expecting it from men’, she said.
As more girls and women learn to handle guns, Khurais their attitudes will change and that she can inspire them.
‘My goal is one day to participate in the Olympics’, she said.