Who’s Who: Dr. Reem A. Alfrayan, director at Soudah Development Company

Time: 07 April 2021

Dr. Reem A. Alfrayan

Dr. Reem A. Alfrayan is the newly appointed director of development and community partnerships at the Soudah Development Company, owned by the Public Investment Fund.

Previously, Alfrayan served as the executive director of G20 Saudi Secretariat, and in September 2014 was the first woman to be appointed as assistant secretary-general at the Council of Saudi Chambers.

Alfrayan received a bachelor’s degree in technical education and training, workforce development and education at Ohio State University in 2001.

In 2002, she earned a master’s degree in instructional technologies and media policy, and leadership from the same university.

Alfrayan obtained another master’s degree in educational leadership and organization, policy and leadership at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2013.

She completed a Ph.D. in educational leadership and organization at the same university in 2014.

After obtaining her first master’s degree, she joined the Arab Open University as instructional technology unit supervisor at its headquarters in Kuwait in 2003.

Between 2005 and 2006, Alfrayan served as a training specialist with a project launched by the General Authority for Tourism and Antiquities.

She then joined King Abdul Aziz Medical City as an administrative planning and processing development officer.

She also served as general manager of businesswomen’s affairs at the Council of Saudi Chambers from October 2007 to January 2010.

Alfrayan also actively participates in volunteer work.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Who’s Who: Sarah Al-Suhaimi, first woman member of Saudia’s Board of Directors

Time: 02 April 2021

Who’s Who: Sarah Al-Suhaimi

Sarah Al-Suhaimi has been appointed to the board of directors at Saudia airline as a representative of the private sector, following approval from the Kingdom’s Council of Ministers.

Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, the Saudi minister of transport, congratulated Al-Suhaimi as she became the first woman to hold such a position since the company’s inception 75 years ago.

“I wish her success and for our company continued progress and prosperity,” Al-Jasser wrote on Twitter.

Al-Suhaimi is also the chairwoman for the board of directors at the Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange (Tadawul), the largest stock market in the Middle East. In 2017, she became the first Saudi woman to hold that position.

Three years before Tadawul, Al-Suhaimi was the CEO and a board director at the National Commercial Bank, also known as Al-Ahli Bank.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from King Saud University in Riyadh with the highest honors and completed the general management program at Harvard Business School in 2015.

Al-Suhaimi served as the vice chair person of the advisory committee to the board of the Capital Market Authority between 2013 and 2015.

She worked as the chief investment officer at Jadwa Investment, where she led the asset management and wealth management business lines and was also a member of its management committee between 2007 and 2014.

Al-Suhaimi started her career within asset management at Samba Capital. She is a trustee of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation and a We-Fi Leadership Champion.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Who’s Who: Dr. Shuaa Al-Nifie, educational counselor at the Saudi Permanent Delegation to UNESCO

Time: 27 March 2021

Dr. Shuaa Al-Nifie

Dr. Shuaa Al-Nifie has been an educational counselor at the Saudi Permanent Delegation to UNESCO since March.
Starting in 2016, she served for four years as vice dean for the academic development deanship and for quality assurance and academic accreditation at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University (PNU).
She was also a strategic planning consultant and an assistant professor of educational leadership at the department of educational planning and management at the university’s College of Education.
Al-Nifie received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from PNU in 2005. Three years later, she was awarded a master’s degree in the same field of study from the Riyadh-based Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University. In 2012, Al-Nifie obtained a doctorate in educational leadership from Seattle University, US.
From 2005 to 2009, Al-Nifie served as an administrative coordinator and English teacher at the Asrary Montessori School, Riyadh. She administered and corrected TOEFL tests and managed the first trip for students at the school to visit oil company Saudi Aramco, in the Eastern Province.
For nearly a year and a half, she had the opportunity to work in collaboration with top executives at Seattle University. The experience enriched Al-Nifie’s organizational skills and student development background, especially with regard to quality assurance and strategic planning.
From 2012 to 2016, Al-Nifie was a faculty member at the College of Humanities and the institutional accreditation department at Prince Sultan University, where she also taught research writing to senior students.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Saudi Arabia ‘keen to protect women’s rights and enhance their role in social development’

Time: 27 March 2021

Mona Saleh Al-Ghamdi. (SPA)

Mona Al-Ghamdi: “She is the fundamental core of the family and society, as well as a key member in achieving Saudi Vision 2030 that reinforced reforms in the status of women and their empowerment to easily perform their national duties”

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia has affirmed its commitment to women’s rights and said that advancing their role locally, regionally and globally is a top priority for the Kingdom’s leaders.

Speaking at the closing statement during the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN headquarters in New York, Mona Saleh Al-Ghamdi, a member of Saudi Arabia’s delegation, said that the Kingdom sought to enhance women’s roles in social development through empowering them to participate in decision-making processes in all government and private sectors socially, economically and politically.

In her opening statement, Al-Ghamdi thanked the officers of the 65th session and the delegations for their efforts to achieve consensus throughout the five-week negotiation period of the final document of the year. This focused on the full and effective participation of women, their decision-making in public life, the elimination of violence against them, and the achievement of gender equality and empowerment for women and girls.

Al-Ghamdi said that the Saudi delegation participated in the negotiations consistently and constructively. It was also keen to achieve consensus whenever possible and in a way that did not conflict with Islamic law, regulations and national principles.

She confirmed the delegation’s interest in coming up with a document that reinforced the progress of historical reforms the Kingdom continued to achieve under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The leadership considers women as active members in all areas of national development,” she said. “She is the fundamental core of the family and society, as well as a key member in achieving Saudi Vision 2030 that reinforced reforms in the status of women and their empowerment to easily perform their national duties.”

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Who’s Who: Reema Al-Asmari, BNP Paribas head of territory for Saudi Arabia

Time: 22 March 2021

Reema Al-Asmari

Reema Al-Asmari recently joined BNP Paribas as head of territory for Saudi Arabia, reinforcing BNP’s corporate and institutional banking (CIB) presence in the Kingdom.
In her new position, Al-Asmari will oversee the bank’s national commercial strategy, with a focus on strengthening relationships with strategic clients, multinational companies and government-related agencies.
She will also be responsible for expanding the bank’s product and service portfolio in all CIB segments, including sustainable finance.
Al-Asmari joined BNP Paribas from Natixis, where she held the position of CEO for Saudi Arabia.
Before joining Natixis, Reema worked for nine years with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in the Kingdom. Her last role in the US bank was treasury services country head. Before that, she was treasurer for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Johannesburg.
Discussing her anew position, Al-Asmari said: “I am honored to join BNP Paribas with the mission to grow the bank’s presence here in Saudi Arabia. As a dynamic bank which continues to evolve alongside Saudi’s ever-changing business environment, I am enthusiastic about the opportunities to build upon its current success.”
Al-Asmari takes over from Jean-Francois Sibille, who will become head of compliance for BNP Paribas Middle East and Africa.
She will work alongside Ammar Pharaon, who heads the BNP Paribas Regional Investment Company (BRIC), also located in Riyadh. BNP Paribas has operated in the Middle East and North Africa region for more than 45 years, offering corporate and institutional banking, and international financial services.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

How Shaima Al-Husseini and Sports For All helped promote a healthy lifestyle in Saudi Arabia

11/03/21

Shaima Al-Husseini is the Managing Director of Saudi’s Sports For All (SFA) Federation. (Sports For All)

The positive impact Saudi Sports For All (SFA) had on a homebound population’s mental and physical wellbeing during a suffocating lockdown has been tangible
Programs such as “Baytak Nadeek” (Your Home, Your Gym), the Women’s Fitness Festival, and others attracted thousands, and often millions, of participants through social media channels
The year 2020 will forever be remembered for one thing, and one thing only. But from adversity came innovation, and a fierce fightback.

What the rest of 2021 and beyond will look like after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic abates remains to be seen, but the positive impact Saudi Sports For All (SFA) had on a homebound population’s mental and physical wellbeing during a suffocating lockdown has been tangible.

Programs such as “Baytak Nadeek” (Your Home, Your Gym), the Women’s Fitness Festival, and others attracted thousands, and often millions, of participants through social media channels.

“The lockdown of 2020 showed us how we can innovate and work around tight, necessary, restrictions.” Shaima Al-Husseini, managing director at SFA, told Arab News. “If we have another lockdown, we could build on the foundation of the successful programs we’ve put in place and innovate further as needed.”

While Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries are not short on major international sporting events, the SFA’s mission is to ensure that sports thrive at grassroots levels. It’s a bottom-up approach that has over the last three years seen the SFA sign a number of fitness initiatives at local communities across the country.

Among them is an agreement with the Ministry of Municipality and Rural Affairs and Housing to activate parks and public spaces in three cities, with multi-sport, running and walking programs, equipment rentals, and community academies being introduced to impact healthy long-term behavior.

In November, the SFA signed a memorandum of understanding with Majid Al-Futtaim under which the sports group will produce community programs at future Majid Al-Futtaim malls, while receiving guidance on how to ensure SFA facilities are aligned with international standard green building requirements.

There are other plans, on a more global scale.

“We also developed and strengthened partnerships both locally and internationally with parties such as the World Health Organization (WHO), PepsiCo, the Global Goals World Cup, The Association for International Sport for All, Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports, and many others,” Al-Husseini said.

“Our collaboration with the WHO will see the SFA host global events in the Kingdom, including the Riyadh edition of Walk the Talk,” she added. “The SFA’s strategy will also receive technical assistance from WHO which will keep it aligned with the global action plan of physical activity.”

Since its establishment in 2018, the SFA has become an integral part of the Saudi sporting scene, but for Al-Husseini, there is much work still to be done and no time to sit back and admire what has already been achieved.

“The SFA’s focus is to take a holistic approach to healthy living under several pillars that benefit all sectors of society. So, it’s difficult to be proud of one (particular) step, when we have achieved so much in different areas,” she said.

“With 2020’s lockdown restricting movement, we had to innovate to bring ‘at home’ solutions to Saudis throughout the Kingdom, and we were able to deliver a number of digital offerings to keep people active. We continue to work towards our goal to have 40 percent of all people in Saudi active by 2030.”

The level of engagement during the lockdown prompted SFA President Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal to say: “I’m awestruck by the power of our healthy and active community.”

Crowning a hectic 2020 for the SFA was the launch of the Women’s Football League (WFL) in November, with 24 teams taking part in the competition across Riyadh, Jedddah, and Dammam.

“The establishment of the WFL has been a landmark achievement in Saudi’s sporting history,” said Al-Husseini.

What perhaps went unnoticed beyond its cultural significance was the sheer scope of logistics needed to get the WFL off the ground, with the competition originally mooted for the start of the year but delayed by COVID-19.

“Having the WFL kick off in three parts of the country allowed for a wide scope of players to come forward and sign up, and we had 607 players in 24 teams that had all-female organizational and technical teams,” said Al-Husseini, adding: “The players’ enthusiasm for the game and their sheer talent were remarkable. It’s exciting to think about how the SFA can continue to develop the League, both in terms of enhancing the infrastructure for women in sports and offering training opportunities for local referees.”

On Dec. 17, Challenge Riyadh defeated Jeddah Eagles to take home the WFL Champions Cup and the prize money of SR150,000 ($39,975). The league is set to return for a second season.

Its success bodes well for the future of other organized sports competitions.

“If the interest in the WFL is any indicator, women’s sport in Saudi Arabia is likely to expand exponentially,” Al-Husseini said. “We are working towards developing sports across all sectors and women’s sport is certainly included in that.”

Despite her busy schedule, Al-Husseini herself continues to regularly play tennis and squash, and is an avid follower of basketball and American Football. And while she has no particular favorite individual athletes, she points to several inspirational Saudi female role models.

“HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud is a role model for any young female Saudi,” she said. “Not only is she the former Chair of the SFA, but she is also currently the Saudi Ambassador to the US.

“In July, she was confirmed as a member of the International Olympic Committee, which further cemented her commitment to continue endorsing the ongoing endeavors of the SFA, where she remains a member of the board, to reach its Vision 2030 goals.”

Al-Husseini believes that while the SFA’s role is to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle at community level, it can also be a catalyst to promoting the nation’s high-achieving athletes towards professional careers in sport.

“We are working with different bodies to develop the necessary infrastructure to keep raising the caliber of sporting talent in the Kingdom,” she said.

“As different sports continue to receive the necessary support in terms of funding and facilities, and as athletes continue to be given the right environment, training, and encouragement to achieve their best, Saudi Arabia will continue to produce competitors that will make their mark in the international and Olympic arenas.”

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Saudi woman racer sets sights on British F3 Championship

25/02/21

Reema Juffali confirmed she will join Douglas Motorsport as the team returns for a sixth consecutive season in the BRDC British F3 Championship this year. (File/AFP)

Reema Juffali confirms move to Douglas Motorsport at Diriyah circuit ahead of Formula E season opener
RIYADH: Reema Juffali, Saudi Arabia’s first female racing driver, has confirmed that she will join Douglas Motorsport as the team returns for a sixth consecutive season in the BRDC British F3 Championship this year.

“I’m looking forward to taking this next step of my career with Douglas Motorsport,” Juffali said in statement. “I felt right at home with the team during the test and really enjoyed driving the British F3 car. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel again.”

The move comes after a successful season for Juffali in the Formula 4 British championship, with the 29-year-old previously having taken part in the TRD 86 Cup and MRF Challenge.

The announcement was made while Juffali was at the Diriyah circuit in Riyadh ahead of the start of the 2020-21 Formula E season on Friday.

“It’s going to be a big step for me driving a faster car, a better car, so that’s really exciting,” she told Arab News. “In terms of the future, I’m open to any opportunity that comes my way. I definitely want to race at the top level of motorsport, whether its in a Le Mans race, Formula E — it’s all on the cards.

“In terms of opportunity and were I see myself, I try not to plan too far ahead. I take it one step at a time with everything that I do,” she added. “But if the chance presents itself and I can do a good job at it, I’ll definitely do it and I would love to represent my country and, hopefully, inspire others.”

The BRDC British F3 Championship is the highest category of single-seater racing in the UK, and Douglas Motorsports has been taking part in the series since 2016, with 14 wins and over 60 podiums to its name.

“We’re looking forward to having Reema Juffali race with us this season,” said Team Principal Wayne Douglas. “She showed fantastic progress across her two seasons in British F4 and impressed us with her speed during our first British F3 test together. We’re excited to see what she can achieve this season.”

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

INTERVIEW: Female Saudi driver feels right at home at Diriyah E-Prix

21/02/21

Saudi driver Reema Al-Juffali

Formula 4 driver Al-Juffali has high aspirations as 2021 Formula E season gets underway
RIYADH: Ahead of the 2021 Diriyah E-Prix double-header on Friday, Arab News caught up with Reema Al-Juffali, one of Saudi Arabia’s rising stars in motorsports. Al-Juffali, 29, talked about Formula E, sustainability and her dream race.

Q: You made history in Diriyah by becoming the first female racer to drive competitively in the Kingdom during the Jaguar I-Pace. What did that moment mean to you?

That was a day of many firsts for me and one I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was my first time racing in an electric car and my first time racing in an international event on home soil, so it was truly a historic moment for me and my country. I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to race in front of home fans and it was the highlight of my career so far. Hopefully, there will be many more opportunities like this in the future.

Q: The Diriyah Circuit has become one of the more iconic circuits in Formula E. What do you think makes it so special?

The circuit has been hailed by many drivers as a very unique and challenging track to drive. I think part of this is because we have the world’s most modern motorsport taking place on a site that honors the Kingdom’s past. It is a very special combination. Racing in the heart of Diriyah gives you a very strong feeling of connection to our Kingdom’s history. For me, having never raced on a street circuit before, I had to adjust to being closer to the walls while driving an electric car but it is something I love and will never forget.

Q: Now in its third year, we have seen Saudis become more engaged with the Diriyah E-Prix. Can you tell us about the excitement you are sensing ahead of this year’s race?

The passion for motorsport in the Kingdom runs deep. Bringing events like Formula E to Saudi is very exciting for racing fans who are not familiar with street racing. I am also very proud of the first Formula E night race to take place at the circuit on home soil, which will be an incredible moment for the country and the sport. It is fantastic to see the organizers making the most of the global spotlight that motorsport brings. It will showcase some of the beauty of our land and our capacity to put on brilliant, world-class events.

Q: Formula E stretches beyond just sports, it also aims to promote a sustainable and clean future, which is in line with the Saudi government’s initiatives. How important is it for a sport to promote the sustainability message in the Kingdom and beyond?

Our country is on a journey toward sustainability. Formula E’s message for promoting a clean future complements the aspirations of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. As a driver, I feel a responsibility to spread awareness regarding the need for a more sustainable approach to everyday life. I am honored to be a part of this journey towards a more environmentally conscious future.

Q: You are currently competing in Formula 4. What are your aspirations for the future?

One of my ultimate goals in life is to race Le Mans with some of the best drivers in the world. But more than anything I just want to excel in my field, regardless of the category or the event. I want to feel proud of my performance. The sky is the limit.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Dr. Iman Al-Mansour, assistant professor at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University in Dammam

24/01/21

Dr. Iman Al-Mansour is an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC), affiliated with Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), in Dammam.

Al-Mansour led many research projects from conception to execution at the department of epidemic diseases research at IAU and supervised graduate students and junior scientists.

She acted as the principal investigator on a number of key research projects related to the development of nucleic acid-based vaccines, the establishment of several virus bioinformatics databases and analysis resources, and virus immune monitoring studies.

Al-Mansour believes that investment in vaccine research is an important step to combat epidemics and pandemics caused by new viruses. This is followed by the localization of the manufacturing of vaccines and biological medicines.

She served as a Ph.D. researcher at the nucleic acid vaccine (NAV) lab at the University of Massachusetts, US, where she conducted rigorous research in the design, generation, and testing of DNA vaccines expressing HA’s of influenza (H1N1) strains.

Al-Mansour’s research is focused on cutting-edge technology to develop prophylactic vaccines against emerging and re-emerging viruses.

She earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and biotechnology from the University of Massachusetts, US, and a master’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences from the University of Rhode Island, US.

Al-Mansour received her bachelor’s in medical laboratory technology from IAU.

She is also an academic member at the European Virus Bioinformatics Center (EVBC), Germany, and a member at the International Society for Global health (ISoGH), in the UK.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Dr. Ola Abusukkar, executive director of King Salman Center for Disability Research

22/01/21

Dr. Ola Abusukkar has been executive director of the King Salman Center for Disability Research (KSCDR) since 2019.

Abusukkar is also the training and programs director of KSCDR. The center works to implement, fund and conduct field research in all areas of disability science and disseminate knowledge through training and publications.

Abusukkar is the founder of new direction programs for youth and adults with autism in Riyadh and the founder of the youth and adults with autism summer camp.

She became chairman of the scientific committee of the developmental and behavioral disorder program at the Ministry of Health in 2017. She was the educational diploma program project coordinator at the Saudi Health Council during the same year.

In 2020, Abusukkar was awarded the 21st Middle East Leadership Excellence Award for community service sectors, held in the UAE.

She was also honored with the Harry Watkins Outstanding Achievement Award for striving for excellence in higher academic achievement at Ball State University in the US in 2013.

Before her work for KSCDR, she was a consultant at the Saudi Health Council from 2017 to 2018.

In 2015, she became the special education department chairman at the College of Education at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University until 2017.

Abusukkar holds a doctoral degree in special education for autism spectrum disorder, a partial doctoral degree in applied behavior analysis and a minor in early intervention gained from Ball State University in 2014.

In 2013, Abusukkar completed a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis on autism from the same university.

She also gained a master’s degree in behavioral disorder, special education, from the University of Akron in the US in 2010, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from King Abdul Aziz University in 2005.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home