Fatima Al-Banawi is a Saudi writer, actress, and performing artist. She is also the founder of The Other Story Project, a storytelling project that collects handwritten life stories by the people of Jeddah and turns them into creative productions.
She was selected in 2018 as a Next Generation Leader by Time magazine for her storytelling ventures. Al-Banawi was previously a social development and women’s empowerment consultant at the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
In 2016, she won international recognition for her debut in the award-winning Saudi feature film Barakah Meets Barakah.
She worked at the Family Protection Society, a private charity organization fighting violence against women and children. In 2010, she co-founded a community theater and later staged one of its plays at Harvard University.
She holds a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard University, focusing on issues of gender and identity in the contemporary Middle East. She also worked at the university as a graduate teaching assistant for intermediate Arabic.
Al-Banawi received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Effat University in Jeddah. She also attended an advanced oil painting course at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, US.
Works by three of Saudi artists, including Al-Banawi, were exhibited at South America’s most prestigious art show hosted at the Pavilion of Fine Arts at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina.
This event is “helping build bridges of understanding between cultures,” Saudi Culture Minister Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud said on Monday.