TheFace: Enji A. Al-Ghazzawi, Executive Vice President of Operations, Riyadh Bank

AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj
Updated 23 December 2018
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TheFace: Enji A. Al-Ghazzawi, Executive Vice President of Operations, Riyadh Bank

  • The first lesson we were taught was to never prioritize anything over family; work was important, indeed essential, but family must always precede it

Enji A. Al-Ghazzawi: Quality time spent with family is sacred. This is a lesson my parents taught me from an early age. I was an only daughter, sandwiched between two brothers; my father is an employee of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, and my mother, a strong woman, strived to complete her education and degree with three children in tow.
The first lesson we were taught was to never prioritize anything over family; work was important, indeed essential, but family must always precede it.
I was raised as an equal to my brothers, and our parents believed we could accomplish anything we set our hearts to. What mattered, in order to achieve, was a readiness to learn. Growth, they taught us, required us to grab opportunities and not compromise our ethics. It was a life lesson I have clung to in my 20-year career at Riyadh Bank.
Starting off as a translator, I rotated around various departments, gradually gaining more experience. I was hooked, and it gave me the inspiration to drive my way up the company.
I jotted down four words on a note, “Executive Vice President of Operations” (EVP), the visual representation of the role I wanted to achieve, and kept it with me.
Without the drive instilled by my parents, my family’s support and the opportunities afforded to me by Riyadh Bank, I would never have reached it. For 12 years I worked in the operations department, before moving to corporate services, and eventually becoming the EVP of operations four years ago.
My own success is not my only motivation, though. Throughout my career, I made a point of supporting and mentoring fellow Riyadh Bank employees on their own career journeys. Pushing them to gain the right skills and to grow in the organization was a personal goal of mine; I wanted them to achieve their dreams too. To see a young generation reach their potential, to see their happiness and to know I had played a part, was as satisfying to me as seeing the joy of my own children reach theirs.
Despite this, my parents’ mantra, that work is important but family comes first, has stuck with me. Just before my marriage, my mother advised me to always prioritize my family over anything else. “You will be accountable before God for your family,” she said. “Always strive to temper your ambition; happiness will strike the right balance between both.”
My children are my best friends and my pride and joy. My eldest son Faisal is a medical student, and my daughter Lana, though only in 10th grade, is a pillar of support, alongside my husband. We both believe in leading by example, and while raising our children, we hope to install in them the same work and moral ethics our parents gave us.


MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

Updated 25 March 2019
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MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

  • Interns will work on entertainment mega-project
  • Program open to university seniors and new graduates

RIYADH: A new internship program for young Saudis has been launched in the Kingdom, following a partnership between Misk Foundation and the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC).

The program runs from June 16 to Aug. 31, 2019, and provides an opportunity for university seniors and recent graduates to be part of Qiddiya, an entertainment mega-project located 40 minutes from Riyadh.

Interns will have the chance to work at Qiddiya’s corporate offices alongside professionals from around the world and will be placed across 12 departments.

They will learn and develop skills that are required to succeed in their professional lives.

They will also gain exposure to QIC’s culture and learn from executives with over 20 years of experience across several sectors. 

QIC CEO Mike Reininger said: “We are contributing directly to the Saudi Vision (2030 reform plan) by creating a richer lifestyle for Saudi citizens while spurring innovation in the creative, hospitality and entertainment sectors. This unique opportunity allows students and fresh graduates to experience what it takes to be part of the change in Saudi by giving them the chance to work alongside a group of both local and international seasoned professionals. Thanks to this partnership with MiSK, we will be training the next generation of industry leaders.” 

Application to the program is open for those with fewer than two years of professional experience. Candidates must show strong academic credentials and submit a short video as part of their application.

King Salman led the Qiddiya ground-breaking ceremony in front of a global audience last April.

The project is aimed at helping to stem the $30 billion a year which Saudis currently spend abroad on tourism, and has the backing of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.

It targets local, regional and international tourists and will be Saudi Arabia’s preeminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination.

It is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030, with a total area of 334 square kilometers, surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida, which is only 110 sq. km.