TheFace: Haifa Aljedea, international relations professional

After 17 years in New York, Aljedea decided to return to Riyadh and contribute to initiatives under the Vision 2030 program. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 13 July 2018
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TheFace: Haifa Aljedea, international relations professional

  • In New York, Aljedea worked at the UN Counter-Terrorism Center
  • Aljedea is interested in the empowerment of Saudi women professionally

Haifa Aljedea is an international relations professional who was born in Riyadh and raised in New York City. 

Throughout her career, her work has revolved around creating strategic and effective international cooperation, by leveraging the strengths and capabilities of global stakeholders.

In New York, she worked at the UN Counter-Terrorism Center, which focuses on international capacity building with the aim of addressing and preventing violent extremism and terrorism.

She also worked on political and security issues at the permanent mission of Saudi Arabia to the UN, where she represented the Kingdom in the Security Council and the General Assembly.

After 17 years in New York, Aljedea decided to return to Riyadh and contribute to initiatives under the Vision 2030 program.

In her current role as the head of countries’ affairs to the chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development, the General Entertainment Authority, and the Saudi Arabian Military Industries Company, she is leading efforts to create and streamline strategic international partnerships that aim to enhance the impact of their work and achieve sustainable results.

“Saudi Arabia has a vast and strategic role to play in the international arena; my goal is to enhance this role while enabling our national objectives,” she said.

Outside of work, Aljedea is interested in the empowerment of Saudi women professionally, and is developing Track II diplomacy initiatives through the creation of economic and cultural ties between the Kingdom and countries such as Sweden, Italy and the US.

She has a master’s degree in conflict resolution and negotiation from Columbia University, a master’s in international relations from Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University. 


‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

Updated 23 March 2019
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‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

  • “First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah” Akon said 
  • He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits at the Asharqiah Music Festival

DAMMAM: American rapper Akon captivated a packed crowd at the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday, opening up the second night of musical festivities at Sharqiah Season with a special shout-out to Saudi Arabia.

“You have no idea, I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi for years, man,” Akon said, before launching into his song, “Gunshot.” Later, he told the crowd: “I’m seeing a tremendous change in Saudi Arabia here tonight."

At 8 p.m., under a bright moon on a beautifully cool night, Akon began his set, delighting fans who had spent over 10 minutes chanting his name in anticipation of his arrival.

He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits, including “Smack That,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Sorry: Blame It On Me.” And he wrapped things up with “I love you, Saudi... thank you for making me feel at home."

Backstage before the concert, Akon told Arab News how excited he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time. He was especially excited to visit one Saudi city in particular.

“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah.”