TheFace: Dr. Taghreed Alsaraj, a master educator and motivational speaker

Dr. Taghreed Alsaraj: Helping entrepreneurs start their own businesses. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 21 September 2018

TheFace: Dr. Taghreed Alsaraj, a master educator and motivational speaker

  • A drive to ensure her students excel in their education and careers keeps her passion for teaching alive

JEDDAH: Dr. Taghreed Alsaraj has traveled the world as a master educator and motivational speaker, but it’s here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that Alsaraj says lies her heart.

Growing up as a child in Washington DC, Alsaraj said she was used to moving countries from an early age since her father worked as a diplomat. From the US she moved to France and Pakistan, only to return to the country once again to pursue her master’s degree at the University of Miami in Florida where she began her career as a research assistant.

Once married, she moved to London to complete her Ph.D. at the UCL Institute of Education — the education school of University College London. Once done, she worked at Birkbeck, a public research university and a constituent college of the University of London.

Later, she worked at the University of California, Berkeley as a researcher and as vice-chair of the Berkeley Entrepreneurship Program thereby becoming the first Saudi to hold the two positions at the prestigious school.

With newfound experience and a confidence to match, she once again started traveling the world — this time not to learn but to teach, after being invited for talks by universities in Japan, Istanbul, the UK, the US, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Alsaraj said that a drive to ensure her students excel in their education and careers keeps her passion for teaching alive. It also led to the culmination of an online course on and helped her author The Anxious Language Learner: A Saudi Woman’s Story — an Amazon best-seller which was later translated into Arabic.

Now back in Saudi Arabia, Alsaraj works as a consultant to help entrepreneurs start their own businesses with the help of the “Nine Tenths” program, sponsored by the Saudi Human Resource Development Fund and managed by Takamol Holding. This is when she is not working as a director on the board of the University of Miami’s Alumni Association, the Madinah Academy School in Madinah and as vice president of the International Coaching Federation’s Saudi chapter. 

Saudi Arabia’s social protection system to ensure equitable distribution

Updated 17 min 57 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s social protection system to ensure equitable distribution

  • Al-Manzalawi: Saudi Arabia had finished developing a comprehensive strategy to deal with poverty
  • Integration of disabled people in labor market top priority, UN meeting told
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has told a UN meeting that it has developed a system of social protection to protect low-income families in cooperation with government agencies.
The system will give priority to eradicating poverty and raising the standard of living within three main areas: Social assistance, social insurance and labor market programs.
The news came in a speech delivered by the deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, Dr. Khalid Al-Manzalawi, during the general debate at the 57th session of the UN Commission for Social Development.
“The Kingdom is currently undertaking several economic reforms to reduce the fiscal deficit, stimulate non-oil revenues and reduce subsidies and tax legislation,” he said.
Al-Manzalawi added that poverty is one of the most important global problems, to the extent that the UN has made addressing it one of its priorities, developing 17 development programs that aim to lift societies out of such hardship.
“Looking closely, we note that the problem is not just economic, but is highly related to social, cultural, legal and political changes,” he said. “Therefore, poverty differs from one society to another, and so does the way of dealing with it. However, there are common strategic foundations that can be adopted by all societies to solve this problem, though they can be implemented in different methods and mechanisms.”
He said that the Kingdom had finished developing a comprehensive strategy to deal with poverty. This strategy includes initiatives and projects that will contribute to improving living standards.
He said that the Kingdom has taken many measures to promote social security for people with disabilities and achieve their social integration. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs also supervises the work of 38 rehabilitation shelters for people with special needs and the Kingdom is home to 44 specialized associations and 347 day-care centers that serve disabled people of all ages.
He said that the Kingdom has developed a national plan for people with disabilities. This covers 23 initiatives aimed at taking care of them, developing a standard classification for disabilities and national databases that constitute the reference point to follow up on related regulations and policies, along with leading the implementation of the work plan and empowering, raising awareness and providing support and consultation.
One of the 37 objectives of the National Transformation Program 2020 is to empower the integration of disabled people in the labor market.
In his speech before the UN, Al-Manzalawi said: “The Kingdom has promoted women’s place by developing their potentials and investment to activate their role on the local and international levels.
“Vision 2030 sheds light on the efforts needed to guarantee women empowerment in societal and economic development and present them as influential and effective members on all levels.”
He also highlighted the Kingdom’s commitment to investing in the education sector, where it has provided free education at all levels in the Kingdom, including higher education.
Al-Manzalawi ended his speech by stressing that the Kingdom will always work with the UN and the international community to achieve the objectives of Sustainable Development 2030 and a bright future for future generations.