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 Doroob.sa 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.