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 20 June 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.


Art exhibition in Riyadh sees high turnout ahead of Saudi National Day

Updated 22 September 2018
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Art exhibition in Riyadh sees high turnout ahead of Saudi National Day

  • The Nation of Honor and Dignity Exhibition is taking place at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel until Tuesday.
  • The exhibition contains more than 140 works by 125 male and female artists.

JEDDAH: The Nation of Honor and Dignity Exhibition, organized by the Saudi Art Association (GSFT), saw a high turnout on Saturday on the occasion of the Kingdom’s 88th National Day.
The exhibition, which contains more than 140 works by 125 male and female artists, is taking place at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel until Tuesday.
GSFT Chairwoman Manal Al-Rowaished said the association works to promote Saudi fine arts and support artists by organizing exhibitions, interactive shows, workshops and cultural evenings.
The GSFT makes sure to participate in National Day celebrations, and the title of this year’s exhibition reflects the honor and dignity that the Kingdom provides locally and internationally, she added. The exhibited works reflect “the reality, culture and history of the Kingdom,” she said.
Al-Rowaished congratulated the king and crown prince on the occasion of the National Day, and thanked Prince Faisal bin Mohammed bin Saud, the GSFT’s honorary president and its main supporter.
Artist Saad Al-Hussein’s work highlights the Kingdom’s architectural heritage. Ghadi Mousaed Al-Zahrani, an artist with special needs, presented a live painting show for visitors, as did Abdul Aziz Al-Debl.
Artist Ghaliya Al-Mazeed encouraged visitors with special needs of all ages to paint or write something that expresses their love of their nation.
Nasser Al-Kherji’s work represents Saudi culture and heritage, and the security and services provided at the Two Holy Mosques.
Artist Fahd Al-Ammar presented an interactive painting that represents Saudi heritage, with authentic Arab horses and Arabic script.