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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Saudi official Sarah Al-Tamimi recognized for her anti-human trafficking efforts

Time: 29 July, 2020

Vice-chair of the Saudi National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, Sarah Al-Tamimi, is reviewing the exhibit which includes works of local Saudi artists who volunteered to create works of art around trafficking that can be utilized in their campaign, which was done through the volunteer unit at Human Rights Committee. (Supplied)
  • The report, globally recognized as the most comprehensive analysis of anti-trafficking efforts

RIYADH: Coinciding with World Trafficking Day, the vice-chair of Saudi Arabia’s National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, Sarah Al-Tamimi, has been nominated by the UN Office in Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for her efforts in raising awareness against human trafficking in the Kingdom.

This year, UNODC’s campaign focused for the first time on profiling people that work in human trafficking. Nominations came from various offices around the world and Al-Tamimi was the only person from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to be chosen.

“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.

The US State Department upgraded Saudi Arabia’s ranking in its latest annual Trafficking in Persons Report.

The report, globally recognized as the most comprehensive analysis of anti-trafficking efforts, raised the status of Saudi Arabia from “tier 3” to “tier 2 watch list.”

It highlighted improvements in inter-ministry coordination, greater transparency and data-sharing and “significantly increased” numbers of prosecutions and convictions under the Kingdom’s anti-trafficking laws.

Al-Tamimi said that this is “an achievement we are proud of. Our goal is to reach tier 1.”

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

In March, the Kingdom launched its first National Referral Mechanism. The mechanism coordinates the responsibilities of all relevant Saudi authorities in the protection of victims and the prosecution of trafficking-in-persons crimes.

“Overseeing the National Referral Mechanism is the best practice to tackle this crime,” she said.

In February, she was appointed the committee’s vice-chair. Her work includes coordination with various ministries and authorities that work together as a national team.

She oversees training programs at the committee with partners at the UNODC Office for the GCC region and the International Organization for Migration as part of her capacity-building strategy, along with coordinating protection responses for victims and potential victims of trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a crime that knows no borders, therefore neither can we who fight it,” said Al-Tamimi. “Combatting human trafficking, therefore, requires the participation of a variety of international and local actors that goes far beyond the public sector and operates in many areas –ranging from cyberspace to private-sector supply chains.”

The Kingdom’s work on countering human trafficking falls under the “four Ps of anti-trafficking”: partnerships, prevention, protection and prosecution.

“The most vulnerable are the ones who are most likely to be victims,” she added.

This article was first published in Arab News

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