TheFace: Sima Malak, Saudi interior designer

Interior design is an incredibly rewarding profession says Sima Malak. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 01 March 2019
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TheFace: Sima Malak, Saudi interior designer

With meticulous attention to detail and thoughtful use of materials, I am known for my contemporary design aesthetic and for weaving in traditional architectural details that give my work a rare sense of permanence.

I have three decades of experience in interior designer and consider a project successful when I return to it after several years and find it as relevant as when first designed.

Interior design is an incredibly rewarding profession. It challenges you and drives you to create something enduring and timeless.

I was born and raised in Riyadh, and from a young age my creativity was evident, which is surprising given my parents worked in the medical field. Interestingly, it was their commitment to helping others that inspired me to pursue my own passion for art and design.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to study and work abroad. I was exposed to different cultures and influences that helped to expand my view of the world, allowing me to gain broad industry knowledge that influences my work to this day.

I returned to Saudi Arabia after receiving my BA and MA degrees in interior design from San Francisco State University, and it is now common to see female interior designers in Riyadh and other parts of the Middle East.

I have trained with some leading interior design and architecture firms in the US, and after returning to the Kingdom, I partnered with another Saudi female architect to launch and head our own firm before starting my own business in 1996.

My determination and work ethic won the respect of my peers and clients as I took on complex residential and commercial projects, transforming them into elegant living and working spaces that are as functional as they are beautiful. 

With Riyadh as my base, I have completed projects in the US, France, Singapore, Hong Kong, Egypt, Lebanon and Bahrain. 

I am proud to say that my firm, Sima Malak + Alssamoure Design Associates, won the prestigious IIDA (International Interior Design Association) Award in the Large Corporate Space category, as well as an honorable mention for the groundbreaking design of the Arcapita Mosque, in Bahrain Bay.

It is a testament to me and my team’s abilities that we have such a diverse clientele.

Although design is my primary passion, I am also an ardent animal lover and I volunteer to raise awareness about animals in need.

I encourage people, particularly the younger generation, to take responsibility for their pets. Working with relevant groups, we hope to start a rescue center that will provide neglected, abandoned animals with the care and attention they deserve. 

My mission is to support other professional women and help them excel in the field of design. I have met many talented, creative Saudi women throughout my career. If I can play even a small part in setting them up for success, I consider that an absolute privilege.

I have a duty to give back and pass on the knowledge I have gained to others, so we can collectively drive the industry forward. 

 


Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 42 min 46 sec ago
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Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.