FaceOf: Samar Al-Mogren, journalist, writer and novelist

1 / 2
Samar Al-Mogren. (Supplied photo)
2 / 2
Samar Al-Mogren. (Supplied photo)
Updated 25 June 2018
0

FaceOf: Samar Al-Mogren, journalist, writer and novelist

  • She was a columnist for Emirati magazine Bint Al-Khaleej, and wrote articles for international news agencies
  • Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to work, running errands and relishing a new era in which they are allowed to drive and no longer need to rely on men to move around

Saudi journalist, writer and novelist Samar Al-Mogren on Sunday became one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

“I never in my life imagined I would be driving here. On this road. Driving,” she said on Riyadh’s King Fahd Highway.

On her first drive, she took her youngest son, aged 4, to his grandmother’s house.

Al-Mogren received her bachelor’s degree in pre-elementary education in 2001 from King Saud University in Riyadh. In 2017, she received her master’s in public relations and media, on the role of Saudi women writers in ushering social change in the Kingdom, from the National University in Bahrain.

Al-Mogren used to head the community section of Al-Watan newspaper, becoming the first female to head a daily section that is not fully dedicated to women in a local newspaper.

 She was a columnist for Emirati magazine Bint Al-Khaleej, and wrote articles for international news agencies.

She also produced “Imra’a wa Akthar,” a program dedicated to discussing concerns that Saudi women face on a daily basis.

Al-Mogren launched a media campaign to stop men from working in women’s lingerie stores. She published interviews and reports on the struggles facing Saudi female prisoners, and women facing violence and discrimination.

Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to work, running errands and relishing a new era in which they are allowed to drive and no longer need to rely on men to move around.

A longstanding ban on women driving was lifted on June 24, ushering in a historic moment.

The ban had relegated women to the backseat, restricting when they could meet friends, where they could spend their time and how they could plan out their day.


Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 12 December 2018
0

Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”