TheFace: Nada Kadasa, Saudi architect

Nada Kadasa. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 14 December 2018
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TheFace: Nada Kadasa, Saudi architect

  • Kadasa teaches art to beginners on Instagram, to hopefully help them become better artists

Nada Kadasa is an architect. Her father established a new real estate company by the name of Al-Ard Al-Salbah and asked her to head and manage it.
“I knew this was the place for me. In less than a year, we were finishing construction on four villas and renovating two multi-story buildings. It became one of the first few companies to be licensed by the Ministry of Housing in the country,” she said.
She said she would use the work ethic given to her by her family to achieve the company’s vision.
Kadasa said she tries to balance work and her personal life. She is a member of a charity called Kayan that is specifically for children of unknown parenthood. She also volunteers with animal shelters. She has fostered more than 40 cats, dogs, birds and even rabbits — taking care of them until they find a family to adopt them or sponsoring their medical care. Currently, she owns three dogs and eight cats. Most were rescued from the street and have different medical issues.
But her most loved animals are her four parrots. She helps raise awareness for bird care within the animal-loving community, since most people do not know how sensitive and intelligent birds are.
Kadasa also teaches art to beginners on Instagram, to hopefully help them become better artists. She had staged two art shows so far and is setting up her third event next month. “Even in my hobbies I like to set goals. Nothing feels more amazing that when you aim for something and reach it,” Kadasa said.
Kadasa said she grew up in a very intelligence-focused household. Her father established one of the first and strongest intellectual property firms in Saudi Arabia, representing brands such as Apple and Versace. Her mother was a social activistand is still a member of many charities
She already has a driver’s license because driving was one of the biggest issues that “upset me since I tried to drive a golf cart when I was eight without my family knowing. (I was caught right away).”
Kadasa said she loved art and analytical thinking so when it was time to get into college she chose a major that reflected that, and studied architecture. Initially, Kadasa’s family tried to pressure her to study law like the rest of her family. She refused and went with her heart.
While in college she also drove her professors crazy, asking “why” for every single design decision. That affected her grades during the year, “but I truly didn’t care and believed in myself, so at the end of each of those classes I would present a project so good it proved to my professors that I was not being ‘disruptive or disrespectful’ with my questions. I was truly wanting to grow and that got me the respect of most of the faculty by the time I graduated.”
Her final project was the largest in square meters in the university’s history at the time. If built it would break the largest dome-size world record and be the second largest indoor theme park in the world.
She received a lot of pushback for this project from her professors, but her stubborn nature helped her keep going and in the end they loved it! After her graduation, Kadasa worked in different companies from design to IP and designed a cafe in Riyadh called Symphony Lounge.


Visit to Pakistan, India and China proves strategic for Saudi Arabia

Updated 24 February 2019
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Visit to Pakistan, India and China proves strategic for Saudi Arabia

  • Benefits of three-country tour include billions in economic deals as well as security initiatives

JEDDAH: The three-country tour of Asia by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that came to a close this weekend was an economic and strategic success, experts say.

“Saudi Arabia might be seen by some as moving to the East,” Salman Al-Ansari, founder of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), told Arab News. “The correct way to put it is that it’s spreading its wings East and West.

“Economic diversification requires strategic diversification. This should not be seen in any way as Saudi Arabia giving the cold shoulder to its most trusted allies, specifically the US,” he said. “And as Joseph Parry said: ‘Make new friends but keep the old; those are silver, these are gold.’”

The tour, which saw Saudi Arabia’s crown prince warmly welcomed by the leaders of Pakistan, India and China, is in line with the crown prince’s Vision 2030, which plans to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy that relies on crude oil exports into a vibrant, diversified economy. The tour resulted in billions of dollars in economic deals as well as initiatives to increase security and combat terrorism.

“Saudi Arabia is the one and only country that can take the leadership position on the global efforts of combating terrorism, specifically in the ideological front,” Al-Ansari said.

Hamdan Al-Shehri, a political analyst and international relations scholar, said that China and Saudi Arabia have the same goals of security and stability. “China shares the Kingdom’s concerns and it knows that our continent has suffered from terrorism issues and international interventions and also troubles in the region.”

The two countries also improved on their mutually beneficial economic ties. As Al-Shehri pointed out: “China needs a huge energy source, and Saudi Arabia is one of these sources that can provide China with energy.”

One significant deal is the $10 billion refining and petrochemical complex, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Norinco, to be developed in the Chinese city of Panjin.

Also of great geopolitical significance is the $10-billion oil-refinery in Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, as it is one of the most important parts of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative, Al-Shehri said. “Global players are willing to invest in this project. The Kingdom’s investment in this field will serve Pakistan and will benefit the Kingdom as well as the (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor).”

And despite its historical relationship with Pakistan, Al-Shehri said that the Kingdom also found common ground with India. For instance, the two countries agreed to set up a working group on counter-terrorism. 

“India shares the Kingdom’s concern about instability in the seas, such as the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. These are all places of global trade,” Al-Shehri said, adding that he hopes the Kingdom will play a role in resolving border points of contention between Pakistan and India as it did between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

It wasn’t all just business. The crown prince’s tour included some other announcements, including that 2,100 Pakistani and 850 Indian prisoners will be released from the Kingdom’s jails, that the Chinese language will be introduced in the Saudi school curriculum and that Saudi Arabia will soon host several concerts featuring major Bollywood performers.

The crown prince also called for the creation of a health center in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province dedicated to the memory of a Pakistani hero who saved 14 lives in Jeddah’s 2009 floods.