Princess Reema to head sports federation in Saudi first

Above, Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud is seen speaking at the Saudi MiSK Foundation’s Tweep Forum. (Video grab)
Updated 15 October 2017

Princess Reema to head sports federation in Saudi first

RIYADH: A princess has been named to head a Saudi multi-sports federation, in the latest of a string of such appointments in the Kingdom.
An official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan has become “the first woman to lead a federation” covering sporting activities for men and women.
In August 2016, the princess scored another first for women in Saudi Arabia when she was named by the Cabinet to a senior post in the Kingdom's equivalent of a sports ministry.
A daughter of a former Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Princess Reema is a graduate in museology from an American university.
Several women have this year been appointed to top jobs in Saudi Arabia, which is undergoing a huge program of reforms which includes moves to encourage more women into work.
In February three women were appointed to top jobs in Saudi Arabia’s male-dominated financial sector in the space of just one week.
Sarah Al-Suhaimi was named chair of Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, the Tadawul; Rania Nashar became the CEO of Samba Financial Group; while Latifa Al-Sabhan was appointed chief financial officer of Arab National Bank (ANB).
Other changes introduced this year include the announcement that physical education classes for girls would be introduced in schools, and a review of the guardianship system.
The Kingdom announced last month that it will lift a ban on women drivers from next June.
A poll by Arab News and YouGov found that half of Saudi women who said they want to drive plan to use a car to get to work more easily.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”