Rasha Al-Turki, CEO of Alnahda Society

09/11/20

Rasha Al-Turki has been the CEO of Alnahda Society since 2013. Prior to this role she was the society’s chief projects officer for more than three years, overseeing the running, development and evaluation of projects in the fields of finance, education and social development, professional and vocational training, and employment.
She was appointed in 2016 by royal decree to the board of trustees at the Human Rights Commission where she serves on a part-time basis. Her career interests lie in positively contributing to Saudi Arabia’s development, with a particular focus on women’s empowerment.
Al-Turki is a founding board member of CellA+, a women’s professional network aimed at empowering professional women in the Kingdom.
She has a bachelor’s degree in history from Wellesley College and a master’s in Middle Eastern studies from Harvard. She has also done extensive research into the history of female entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia.
In 2019, Alnahda gained consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council and was appointed by royal decree to lead the Women 20 (W20) Summit and its related activities as part of the Kingdom’s G20 presidency.
During an interview with Arab News, Al-Turki said that Alnahda provided a space to be creative, to try out new things and to come up with new solutions without the heavy burden of bureaucracy.
“I think for people who are dedicated to a cause, it’s important to be in such an environment that fosters new ways of thinking and encourages employees to be nimble and to react to changing realities or become proactive with solving issues,” she said.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Bubbles as Saudi Arabia holds its first women’s golf tournament

09/11/20

Players will be kept entertained by a bowling alley and gyms at their hotels. (Supplied)

More than 1,500 coronavirus tests to be carried out during the events
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is welcoming back international live sports with safe zones as it prepares to hold its first professional women’s golf tournament.

“Bubbles” and a biosecure environment at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) will be in place throughout the elite-level European Ladies Tour golf tournaments that are starting from next week.

The $1 million Aramco Saudi Ladies International, presented by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, runs between Nov. 12-15, while the $500,000 Saudi Ladies Team International takes place between Nov. 17-19.

The bubbles will be home to between 500 and 600 people across three weeks, and the tournament will see more than 1,500 COVID-19 tests conducted, including at least three each for the events’ 110 players. There will also be testing for caddies and tournament staff.

Ladies European Tour players, event staff and personnel will have COVID-19 tests upon arrival in KAEC, before being permitted to enter the safe zones ahead of the tournament, where they will be in hotels for the event duration.

These measures have been implemented to ensure the health and safety of everyone, with all aspects of player and staff safety watched over by independent specialists who are experts in risk assessment and COVID-19 best practices. They include Dr. Andrew Murray, key adviser to Sport England and a technical advisor to the World
Health Organization.

There will be daily symptom checking on everyone within the bubbles, with contingency plans in place.

Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, said: “We have been building a safe and secure zone to bring back international sports to the Kingdom while adhering to COVID-19 precautionary measures. The area is designed to ensure that we can provide a secure environment to host Ladies European Tour golfers, but also protect the wider community. The landmark event will allow us to showcase that Saudi Arabia is ready to once again host major global events, while also developing the great game of golf and inspiring the next generation of young Saudis and Saudi golfers.”

The tournament is at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, which has been adapted to suit COVID-19 precautionary measures and will be sanitized throughout the run-up and duration of both events.

A 2-meter physical distance must be maintained at all times, with players and caddies the exception to this rule.

Away from the golf course, players will be kept entertained by a bowling alley, games room, cinema screen, gyms and swimming pools at their hotels.

Both tournaments will attract many of the world’s best golfers, with the Saudi Ladies Team International set to be the first time in women’s golf history that professionals — themselves competing in the Kingdom for the first time — will partner with amateurs in a points-earning Tour event.

The tournament marks the return of major international sporting events to the Kingdom, with the country aiming to inspire the next generation under the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Amal Yahya Al-Moallimi, Saudi ambassador to Norway

Time: 23 October 2020  

Amal Yahya Al-Moallimi
Amal Yahya Al-Moallimi has been recently appointed as the ambassador to Norway — making her the Kingdom’s second female ambassador. Princess Reema bint Bandar was Saudi Arabia’s first woman to hold such a position when she was appointed as the Kingdom’s ambassador to the US. Al-Moallimi took the oath of office in an online ceremony on Tuesday, along with several others before King Salman and in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Al-Moallimi obtained a bachelor’s degree in the English language from Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh. She then studied abroad, gaining a postgraduate degree in mass communication and media from the University of Denver in the US, as well as a fellowship from the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies in the UK. Al-Moallimi began her career more than 23 years ago in education, training and social development. She worked as a teacher for five years and as a mentor for eight. She also worked for one year in the Educational Training Department at the Ministry of Education. She  worked as assistant secretary-general at the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue. The ambassador also served as general manager of international cooperation and organizations at the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC). Earlier, she told Arab News: “The Kingdom’s journey toward empowering women has taken wider and quicker strides and continues to open up new doors every day.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Arabia appoints second female ambassador

Time: 22 October 2020  

Amal Yahya Al-Moallimi takes the oath to office as the Saudi ambassador to Norway. (Twitter)
  • Amal Yahya Al-Moallimi is the ambassador to Norway
  • Her appointment makes her the second female Saudi ambassador

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has appointed Amal Yahya Al-Moallimi as the ambassador to Norway – making her the Kingdom’s second female ambassador, state news agency SPA reported.

Princess Reema Bint Bandar was Saudi Arabia’s first woman to hold such a position when she was appointed as the Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States.

Al-Moallimi took the oath of office in an online ceremony on Tuesday, along with several others before King Salman and in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

She started her career over 20 years ago in the fields of education, training and social development.

Al-Moallimi worked as a teacher for five years and as a mentor for eight. She also worked for one year in the Educational Training Department at the Ministry of Education.

The ambassador served as general manager of international cooperation and organizations at the Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) since 2019.

Earlier in 2019, she told Arab News: “The Kingdom’s journey toward empowering women has taken wider and quicker strides and continues to open up new doors every day.”

She was one of six women appointed to the SHRC, representing 25 percent of its membership. They are the first women to participate on the commission.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Dr. Heidi Alaskary, Saudi speech-language pathologist

Time: 07 October 2020  

Dr. Heidi Alaskary is the lead co-chair for the T20 Task Force 6 on economy, employment and education in the digital age.
She is US-educated and a trained speech-language pathologist based in Riyadh.
Alaskary is currently the CEO of the Special Olympics Saudi Arabia. Prior to this position she was acting deputy of planning and development at the General Sports Authority. As a director at the Human Resources Development Fund she used her experience to directly impact the lives of people with disabilities by working on legislation and programs that led to suitable and sustainable employment.
She has been director of research affairs at the King Salman Center for Disability Research (KSCDR), where she was an educator, researcher, and advocate for people with disabilities. The position gave her an opportunity to develop her leadership, administrative, and networking skills.
Before joining the center Alaskary was a speech-language pathologist with the Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing. She was a lecturer at King Saud University while working part time at the Disabled Children’s Association in Riyadh before becoming an assistant professor in speech-language pathology following the completion of her doctorate.
At KSCDR she was initially coordinator for the National Communication Disorders Program, then associate executive director for research and development before assuming the directorship. She maintains professional certifications and affiliations to support her participation in important projects that impact the lives of people with disabilities.
On Tuesday Alaskary spoke at a T20 Task Force 6 webinar about the economy, employment and education in the digital age.
“The beauty of the topics we’re talking about is that it is not something reserved for politicians, governments, or researchers,” she said. “Many of the topics you’re going to hear touch each and every one of us. Whether we’re children, people with disabilities, women, men, older, younger, or even parents learning to be teachers, trying to teach our children and keeping them safe.
“My call to action for everyone listening is that this isn’t just about policies, this is about the issues impacting you as an individual. What is your role in contributing to the voices that come together that help shape policy? Your voice matters, your thoughts matter. We look forward to hearing them.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Dr. May Alobaidy, the first Saudi woman to be appointed an adviser to a minister

Time: 06 October 2020  

Dr. May Alobaidy
  • Alobaidy is a Harvard alumnus and a UK graduate with a Ph.D. in business management and health care administration

Dr. May Alobaidy is the first Saudi woman to be appointed an adviser to a minister. Over the years, she has worked as a senior adviser to three ministers in addition to her role as CEO of the Strategic and International Partnerships and Initiatives Center, which she established at the Ministry of Higher Education.
Alobaidy is a highly regarded expert with a plethora of international and local experience in strategies, management and leadership. Throughout her career, she worked in various leadership strategic roles and executive positions in many ministries and nongovernment organizations. She was appointed as adviser to vice ministers and governors where she provided consultations on many pivotal issues and projects.
Alobaidy is a co-founder of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC) in the Kingdom, where she was appointed vice governor of planning and development.
She also served as the deputy governor for external relations and international cooperation and deputy governor for research and development, where she established both sectors, besides her role as the executive director of the female sector at ETEC.
Over the years, she collaborated and worked on several high-level projects and initiatives with various international organizations and universities such as the UNESCO, WHO, UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank, the OECD, and Harvard University.
Alobaidy is a Harvard alumnus and a UK graduate with a Ph.D. in business management and health care administration. She received a master’s degree from the US and obtained a second master’s degree from France in management and strategic planning.
Dr. Alobaidy is an expert strategist with a professional history in strategic planning, policies, research and development, education, and health care management. She served at many advisory boards and is a member of many committees including the G20. Her Twitter handle is @mayalobaidy.

This article was first published in Arab News

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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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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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Social worker helps women athletes find a league of their own

30/08/20

Photo/Supplied
  • Rejection and acceptance are a natural phenomenon, but the persistence of the Saudi woman is great, and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 requires the participation of all segments of society in the labor market

MAKKAH: A new female voice advocating for the health and well-being of women in sport has joined a football club to guide and support players.

In a move aimed at ensuring that athletes use their experience of sport and work to meet their needs, Mada Bazaid, a newly appointed social worker at Saudi Arabia’s Al-Wehda Football Club, is part of the board of directors’ efforts to improve the club’s status during the next phase, and to attract elements that will bring development and progress to the organization.

As sports is often a hook to captivate the attention of the community, advocating for different social causes, a tool to promote health and more due to its diverse nature, it takes a village to create change. With the help of inter-professional collaboration from various members in the sports scene, social workers can now assist in the process.

Bazaid, who holds a masters in sociology, is the first woman to be appointed to one of the Saudi professional league clubs. She is expected to create mathematical psychological transformations in the coming days in her sports field, a decision that reflects the positive role women are playing in many sectors, including sports. This decision also shows the Kingdom’s support for the empowerment of Saudi women.

Speaking to Arab News about the impact of social service in sports, Bazaid said that it promoted the development of human societies and the expansion of human activities.

“One of the most important areas that needs the presence of a social worker is the field of sports, in order to achieve the psychological and social balance of players according to advanced professional methods,” Bazaid said.

As a Saudi woman, Bazaid highlighted the most prominent challenges and obstacles and the means to overcome them.

Saudi women have reached advanced stages in several areas

Mada Bazaid

“Saudi women have reached advanced stages in several areas. Rejection and acceptance are a natural phenomenon, but the persistence of the Saudi woman is great, and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 requires the participation of all segments of society in the labor market, especially as we are talking about a vital society in which men and women need to participate in a way consistent with the aspirations of this society,” she said.

Asked about ways to create balance in the sports field between the sexes, Bazaid said that based on the vision of managing the development of age groups in Al-Wehda Club, “We aim to create a distinguished player in a safe environment. My role as a social worker for the age groups is to contribute within the framework of the objectives of social service (therapeutic — preventive — developmental).”

Saudi women’s participation in sport is not simply confined to areas such as the field, the benches or the administration.

With this new appointment, social workers are an emerging speciality, integrating social work practices into all aspects of athletics for the well-being of individuals and the community. This brings attention to the needs and challenges of athletes, supports athletes’ strengths and advocates for case coordination and counseling when needed.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi foreign ministry appoints first woman as director-general

Time: 25 August, 2020

Yankasar will hold the position of director-general of the general department of cultural affairs. (Supplied)
  • She will hold the position of director-general of the general department of cultural affairs

RIYAHD: The Saudi foreign ministry has appointed Ahlam bint Abdulrahman Yankasar as the first woman to serve as a director-general in the ministry.
She will hold the position of director-general of the general department of cultural affairs.
Yankasar previously worked as part of the team at the office of the deputy minister of foreign for political and economic affairs.
She was deputy head of the economic and cultural section of the Saudi embassy in London and served as an official in charge of the economic and cultural file in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs North America Department.
Yankasar also worked as a diplomatic coordinator at the general secretariat of the Saudi ambassadors’ committee in Europe.
She delivered the Kingdom’s speech at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly during the general debate on women’s advancement.
She hold a master’s degree in international business administration from the University of London.

This article was first published in Arab News

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