Saudi fashion designer puts local women in the driving seat

The video features Saudi entrepreneur Bayan Linjawi, co-founder of Blossom MENA, an online platform that promotes technology entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia.
Updated 04 March 2018
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Saudi fashion designer puts local women in the driving seat

JEDDAH: A leading Saudi fashion designer has released a short film celebrating the changing role of women in the Kingdom.
The film, entitled “sa’aqood,” or Arabic for “I will drive,” was produced by Hatem Al-Akeel, founder and creative director of the Toby label. It highlights women’s ability to drive and lead, both physically and metaphorically.
Al-Akeel has been showing support for women’s empowerment through his innovative designs for some time.
“The driving concept is very symbolic,” he said.
“Seeing a woman drive shows how we’re heading toward a more progressive and moderate Saudi Arabia. Women now are more empowered and are moving forward with respect to the culture and traditions.
“My whole ethos has been to show the tremendous potential and capabilities of Saudi Arabia. The video’s message is to empower women and also show the levels of excellence, luxury and sophistication Saudi women can strive for,” he said.
The video features Saudi entrepreneur Bayan Linjawi, co-founder of Blossom MENA, an online platform that promotes technology entrepreneurship in the Kingdom.
“It’s not about driving a car, it’s about having the choice as a woman to participate in social, economic and political activities. It’s steering one’s life,” said Linjawi.
The video sends a message that women are ready to take on leadership roles and tackle any challenge.
“I am a firm believer in creating messages, and they have always been that Saudi Arabia can hold its own against any culture — we have so much to offer,” said Al-Akeel.
The fashion founder wants to show the positive side of tradition with designs that have transformed the common abaya into a style statement, for example.


FaceOf: Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, Saudi ambassador to Russia

Raed bin Khaled Qarmali
Updated 17 June 2018
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FaceOf: Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, Saudi ambassador to Russia

  • In 2011, Qarmali was appointed deputy director of bilateral relations and head of the general directorate of the US at the Saudi Foreign Ministry

The Saudi Embassy in Russia, headed by Saudi Ambassador to Russia Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, has confirmed that there were no Saudis injured in the accident in central Moscow on Sunday.

The embassy added that they were immediately in touch with the competent Russian authorities to ensure that no harm befell any Saudi citizens, and also expressed their wishes for a speedy recovery to any injured individuals.

Russia has lately been the center of attention with the World Cup happening in its midst. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Moscow on June 14 prior to Saudi Arabia’s opening World Cup match.

He was received by Saudi Ambassador to Russia Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, and accompanied by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Mohammed Al-Mutairi, the Saudi military attaché in Russia.

In 2011, Qarmali was appointed deputy director of bilateral relations and head of the general directorate of the US at the Saudi Foreign Ministry; he became the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Greece in 2012. By March 2015, the king appointed him as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Rome.

Qarmali was sworn in before King Salman in November 2017, to maintain his fealty to the Kingdom and not betray its state secrets and to fulfill his duties as ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Russia, replacing his predecessor Abdurrahman Al-Rassi.

He attended the inauguration of  the General Culture Authority’s Saudi Cultural Exhibition in Russia on June 15. 

The exhibition aims to shed light on Saudi Arabia’s culture and arts to enable visitors to get to know the rich heritage of Saudi culture and enhance their awareness about the talented creative minds in Saudi Arabia.