Reem A. Alfrayan, executive director of G20 Saudi Secretariat

20/09/20

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

Dr. Reem A. Alfrayan has been the executive director of G20 Saudi Secretariat since January 2019.
Commenting on women’s empowerment in the Kingdom, she recently said on a TV show: “We’ve passed the stage of dreaming; with the help of Vision 2030, they’ve become a reality, we need new dreams now.”
She was the first woman to be appointed as assistant secretary-general at the Council of Saudi Chambers in September 2014.
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 did a Ph.D. in educational leadership and organization from 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

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Meet the Taylor Swift-loved Saudi VFX producer behind her hit videos

19/09/20

 

 

LOS ANGELES: Jumanah Shaheen is one of the first Saudi women to work in visual effects in Hollywood. Her most recent project was the music video to Taylor Swift’s new single “Cardigan.”

 

This marks Shaheen’s second time working with the artist, the first being the 2017 hit “Look What You Made Me Do.”

“What I thought was amazing about this project is that Taylor Swift actually directed this video,” Shaheen told Arab News. “It was great to see her in that role and see how she was able to take her knowledge and put that into the video.”

As a woman succeeding in the film industry, Shaheen is proud of her work and is looking to provide opportunities to other women facing the challenges she faced.

At the same time, she is proud and excited to be Saudi in a time when the Saudi film industry is taking off.

“Now we’re getting to hear a lot more stories that come from Saudi, that come from my culture, from our traditions,” she said. “It’s amazing to see all these amazingly talented people – writers, directors, producers (and) artists – all having this ability and opportunity to share their stories.”

Shaheen said she is glad to be a role model for Saudis and women that share her dream of working in the film industry. She encourages them not to simply imitate people like her, but to recognize the positive qualities of others and use them to be the best version of yourself.

“What I’m hoping with my experience here and be able to kind of provide those services for these new upcoming directors and artists to find that outlet with them,” the post production producer said. “So if you have an independent film I’m hoping that I can be your right hand in being able to make your vision come to life.”

 

This article was first published in Arab News

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Moudhi Al-Jamea, general manager of digital technology at STC Academy

19/09/20

Moudhi Al-Jamea

  • Al-Jamea has bachelor’s degree in computer & information systems from King Faisal University, a master’s in information technology & e-business from the University of Greenwich, and a doctorate in computer security & informatics from King’s College London

Moudhi Al-Jamea has been the general manager of digital technology at STC Academy, Saudi Telecom Company’s technology and leadership academy, since February 2019.
She has a bachelor’s degree in computer and information systems from King Faisal University, a master’s in information technology and e-business from the University of Greenwich, and a doctorate in computer security and informatics from King’s College London.
After graduating in 2006 Al-Jamea took on the role of CEO at Superior IT Services for seven years. In 2013, while studying in the UK, she became the vice president of the Scientific Society for Saudi Students.
From 2015 to 2016 she was a member of the board of trustees behind the first “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Prize” for Saudi Students in the UK, aimed at encouraging them to participate in creative thinking.
She then worked as a security consultant partner at Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy, liaising between its offices in the UK, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
She has retained a career in education while completing her studies and acting as CEO. She started as a lecturer in 2010 at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University in Dammam. In 2017 she became an assistant professor while also being president of the entrepreneurship and incubator unit.
She is certified in ethical hacking from the EC-Council and completed the women’s leadership program at Prince Mohammed bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship in 2017.
Last year Al-Jamea did the MIT Sloan Executive Education program specializing in cybersecurity for managers.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi singer gives voice to world’s musical diversity

11/09/20

Haneen Saleh, 24, has mastered singing in four languages — Arabic, English, Korean and Urdu. (Supplied)

“(I have a) serious commitment to improving my singing abilities by singing Korean songs,” she said. “Training myself with this genre has (sharpened) my abilities to master singing in other languages.”
“Finding a training opportunity with a professional instructor was and still is a challenge in Saudi Arabia, especially for singers like me — my style in singing is not very popular in the regional industry.”
Saleh has produced a couple of original songs while singing over the past four years. She has cooperated with various private sector organizations doing songs for commercials and national day specials.

Her fanbase is between 16 and 35 years of age and hails from across the Arab world.
In the future, Saleh said that she hopes to create cross-cultural songs that can incorporate cultural insights into her music and reach every human heart.
She can be followed on Instagram: @7anensaleh.

This article was first published in Arab News

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The Saudi photographer doing it her way

31/08/20

Lina Mo says she does most of her shoots for fun, so much so that most of the times her friends are the ones modeling in her photos. (Supplied)
  • The COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on many, but with such creativity it was hard to keep the photographer from pursuing innovative projects

JEDDAH: Lina Mo has become a rising Saudi star by combining fashion photography and experimentation with the surrounding elements.
“I’m inspired by many things that surround me, grab my attention, and in no time I find something and twist it, reshape it and make it my own while staying away from copying previous works by other photographers,” she said.
“I’m making my mark in the photography world, my way.”
Born and raised in Jeddah, Mo had a love of photography from a young age but told Arab News that she had a difficult start before the introduction of DSLR cameras.
“I used to always worry about film and developing it but in 2010 I received my first DSLR and that is when I started experimenting and learned photography as a hobby. It wasn’t until 6 years later in 2016 when I started taking it seriously, learning by reading books and watching YouTube videos.”
Mo has set herself up as a rising photographer who not only thinks outside the box but finds beauty in the subject she is photographing.
She does not like limiting herself to a certain style but tries to work with whatever comes to her creatively, drawing new inspiration from different things.
Mo said her learning experience was challenging, however she found it easy to shoot using the outdoors as her playground. “It wasn’t very difficult for me to shoot outside. I hear a lot of people say that it is difficult to shoot outside but that wasn’t the case for me; I suppose I got lucky as you have a lot to work with in a vast space.”

I haven’t achieved my biggest achievement yet and there are a lot of things in my mind that I want to do and pursue.

Lina Mo

She said that she does most of her shoots for fun, so much so that most of the times her friends are the ones modeling in her photos.
“I usually test on my friends and they are usually my models, and one of those experiments was featured in the Riyadh Season to represent Riyadh City, and we were just having fun.”
Mo also worked on the “Under the Abaya” book that showcased Saudi women in their “street clothes” — the photographer was able to show the beauty of the women wearing the simple garment as a reflection of their personalities.
The photographer said that it was her favorite achievement. “Being a part of the international project ‘Under the Abaya’ was very important to me. It was fun, it was different and meeting all these women was the best part of the whole project. You get to meet colorful people and each one is a personality that wildly differs from the next, a reflection of how our community is, cultured, traditional in a sense and at the same time varied.”
“The fact that it is nonprofit, international and not just local — and the best thing about it is that it is about women in Saudi Arabia and shows how we really are — made this my favorite achievement so far,” she said.
It is difficult to pin down a photographer who is so constantly on the move. The COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on many, but with such creativity it was hard to keep the photographer from pursuing innovative projects.
While under lockdown, she was able to organize a shoot with a colleague in the US via Zoom, and though it took some planning they were able come up with a photoshoot that delivered the results they both wanted.
“I haven’t achieved my biggest achievement yet and there are a lot of things in my mind that I want to do and pursue,” she said.
Mo said that photographers would face their own difficulties in the future. However, they should not give up but continue to do what they love, and with determination they could achieve what they wanted.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Queen Rania flaunts Saudi label for her birthday

28/08/20

The Queen wore a long-sleeved crepe gown with embroidery and button detail in one of the shots. (Instagram)

DUBAI: Queen Rania of Jordan turned to Saudi couturier Mohammed Ashi of Beirut-based label Ashi Studio for her 50th birthday look.

The Queen, whose special day is on Aug. 31, wore a long-sleeved crepe gown with embroidery and button detail in one of the shots.

View this post on Instagram

Her Majesty Queen Rania chose to wear Ashi Studio long-sleeved crepe gown with embroidery and button detail for her 50th Birthday press release photos! “I am very honored for Her Majesty Queen Rania chose to wear this regal dress, which was designed to radiate power. I wish her Majesty a Happy Birthday”, Mr. Ashi. Since yesterday, the Paris-based designer has been sharing a series of images of powerful women that are inspiring change in this new challenging life that we are living in. Everyone needs a muse to act as a catalyst for strength to move forward in life, and that has been the focus by the designer, to keep sharing the “light” through a series of women that embody grace and power for change in the world. The official images of Queen Rania have truly come at a perfect time, as she also symbolizes this source of inspiration and power. #AshiStudio #QueenRania

A post shared by Ashi Studio (@ashistudio) on

The designer took to Instagram to express his gratitude and to send the mother-of-four his warm wishes. “I am very honored for Her Majesty Queen Rania chose to wear this regal dress, which was designed to radiate power. I wish her Majesty a Happy Birthday,” he wrote to his 833,000 followers.

The designer recently made headlines when Beyonce wore one of his creations, earlier this month, in her latest visual release, “Black is King.”

The look, which took 70 hours to make, consisted of a black bustier embellished with exotic black feathers.

Just last week, British pop sensation Ellie Goulding wore one of the designer’s eye-grabbing creations in her latest music video “Love I’m Given.”

The 33-year-old star, who gave us “Love Me Like You Do,” “Burn,” and “On My Mind,” wore a floor-length gold gown with puffed, off-the-shoulder sleeves.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Ohoud bint Abdullah Al-Faris, general supervisor at the Saudi Ministry of Education

23/08/20

Ohoud bint Abdullah Al-Faris

Ohoud bint Abdullah Al-Faris has been appointed general supervisor of the General Administration of E-learning and Distance Education at the Saudi Ministry of Education.

In the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, education authorities in Saudi Arabia have switched to online platforms to ensure continuity of education at all levels.

Following her appointment, Al-Faris called on all stakeholders to take full advantage of distance learning programs.

Al-Faris obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics at Keele University, Britain. She did a master’s in computer science and data engineering from the same university.

Al-Faris did a diploma in development practices in higher education from Brunel University, London. She did a Ph.D. in computer and information sciences from the same university.

Al-Faris has served in different capacities at King Saud University such as the vice dean of e-learning and distance education, head of the development and quality unit at the College of Computer and Information Sciences, head of the quality and academic accreditation committee at the Department of Information Technology, head of the manpower committee at the same department.

She also worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Information Technology.

Al-Faris has also worked at Prince Nourah bint Abdulrahman University. She was the assistant general supervisor of the General Administration of Information Technology, dean of e-learning and distance education, and dean of the College of Computer and Information Sciences.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Reem Al-Frayan, executive director of the G20 Saudi Secretariat 

17/08/20

  • Al-Frayan obtained her bachelor’s degree in technical education and training from Ohio State University in 2001

Dr. Reem Al-Frayan has been the executive director of the G20 Saudi Secretariat since January 2020, and its senior adviser since January 2019.
She has also been a women’s committee member of the Council of Family Affairs since January 2018, and advisory committee member of the Deanship of Community Service and Continuous Education since January 2018.
Al-Frayan obtained her bachelor’s degree in technical education and training from Ohio State University in 2001. She did a master’s in instructional technologies and media policy and leadership at the same university in 2002.
She pursued a second master’s degree in educational leadership and organization at the University of California in 2013. Al-Frayan did a Ph.D. in the same field from the same university in 2014.
Prior to her current position, she worked as instructional technology unit supervisor at the Arab Open University in Kuwait between 2003 and 2004. Al-Frayan also worked as a training specialist for the National Project for Tourism Human Resources Development at the General Authority for Tourism and Antiquities between 2005 and 2006.
She worked as an administrative planning and processing development officer between October 2006 and October 2007 at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City.
Al-Frayan was a member of the supervisory board at the Chambers Election Committee between 2008 and 2009.
She worked as the general manager of businesswomen’s affairs at the Council of Saudi Chambers between October 2007 and January 2010 and as its assistant secretary-general between September 2014 and October 2018.
In 2013, she was selected by the Saudi-US Trade Group to serve as a student ambassador for the 2013 US-Saudi Business Opportunity Forum in Los Angeles.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi education minister appoints first women cultural attaches

02/08/20

The appointments are part of a move to promote Saudi Arabia’s educational and cultural presence internationally. (Photo: MOE/Twitter)

RIYADH: Three Saudi women have been appointed as cultural attaches, another first for the Kingdom.

Education Minister Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh appointed Dr. Amal bint Jameel Fatani as cultural attache in the UK, Fahda bint Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh as cultural attache in Ireland and Dr. Yusra bint Hussain Al-Jazairi as acting cultural attache in Morocco. The three newly appointed women are all educators.

Other appointments included Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Al-Furaih as cultural attache in Egypt, Dr. Issa bin Fahd Al-Rumaih as cultural attache in Jordan and Dr. Saad bin Mohammed Al-Shabana as cultural attache in Kuwait.

The appointments are part of a move to promote the Kingdom’s educational and cultural presence internationally, activate areas of joint cooperation, exchange scientific and research experiences, coordinate scholarships for students wishing to study in the Kingdom, supervise Saudi students studying abroad, facilitate their educational journey and harness their capabilities and take part in its future development.

Appointing Saudi women as cultural attaches is a first in this important sector, which has a pivotal role in building relations, coordinating efforts and promoting cultural partnerships between countries.

This highlights the leadership’s keenness to empower Saudi women, enabling them to serve their country in all sectors and expresses its confidence in the importance of their role throughout the Kingdom’s journey.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Sarah Al-Tamimi, vice chair of Saudi Arabia’s National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking

Time: 31 July, 2020

Sarah Al-Tamimi

Sarah Al-Tamimi has been the vice-chair of Saudi Arabia’s National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking since February 2020. Her work includes coordination with ministries and authorities working together as a national team.

As part of her capacity-building strategy, Al-Tamimi oversees training programs at the committee with partners at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for the Gulf Cooperation Council region and the International Organization for Migration, as well as coordinating protection responses for victims and potential victims of trafficking.

Al-Tamimi holds a BA in international relations from Tufts University, an MBA from MIT, and a master of public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

She joined the committee’s fight against human trafficking in October 2019. One of her responsibilities was developing the committee’s strategy.

Coinciding with the World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, Al-Tamimi has been nominated by UNODC for her efforts in raising awareness of the issue. UNODC’s campaign this year focused for the first time on profiling people that work in human trafficking. Nominations came from offices around the world and Al-Tamimi was the only person chosen from the GCC countries.

“Enhancing quality of life for all is a key pillar of Vision 2030, which is a goal we also strive for at the committee,” she said.

“Human trafficking is a crime that knows no borders, therefore neither can we who fight it,” said Al-Tamimi.

“Combating human trafficking requires the participation of a variety of international and local actors that goes far beyond the public sector and operates in areas ranging from cyberspace to private sector supply chains.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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