Financial literacy is key to women’s liberty, Princess Reema bint Bandar says

Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar was taking part in the Rockefeller Foundation campaign. (The Rockefeller Foundation)
Updated 11 July 2019
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Financial literacy is key to women’s liberty, Princess Reema bint Bandar says

  •  “My goal is to educate women on financial literacy,” the Saudi diplomat said
  • “I truly believe that liberty for a woman comes from the ability to make the financial decisions for her life”

DUBAI: Financial literacy and self-sufficiency can empower women in many ways, Saudi Ambassador to the US, Princess Reema bint Bandar said in a video campaign by the Rockefeller Foundation.

“Today more and more women are entering the workplace, but they still don’t have the education to make the correct financial decisions for themselves,” she explained.

The princess was appearing in video released on Tuesday, as part of the Rockefeller’s “Solvable” campaign, involving experts and leaders from all around the world talk about a specific issue they are passionate about, and what they are doing to solve it.

She said that during her time in retail, many of her female employees would approach her about their financial issues, prompting her to realize that something had to be done “to give women access to the right tools and training” to overcome these problems.

 “My goal is to educate women on financial literacy,” the Saudi diplomat said, talking about Alf Khair, a social enterprise she founded in 2013 to “educate, train, and develop the skills” of Saudis.

At the organization, they teach women how to be self-sufficient through workshops and seminars.

“I truly believe that liberty for a woman comes from the ability to make the financial decisions for her life,” she said.

Princess Reema is the Kingdom’s first female ambassador, and had been the vice president of women’s affairs at the General Sports Authority before her appointment. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in museum studies from George Washington University.

Watch the video here:


Middle East's love affair with the moon and space

Updated 5 min 31 sec ago
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Middle East's love affair with the moon and space

  • The UAE and Saudi Arabia are inaugurating a new era of Arab space exploration
  • Saudi Prince Sultan entered the history books when he journeyed into space on Discovery in 1985

RIYADH: It was a sleepy afternoon in Saudi Arabia, just days before schools were due to start after summer vacation. 

Fifty years ago today, Saudis joined the world in gathering around TV sets to watch a live broadcast of what was once thought impossible: American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took man’s first steps on the moon. 

Armstrong famously said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” True to his words, advancement in space has skyrocketed since the Apollo 11 mission, opening up doors for space scientists to reach for the stars.

It was only 16 years later that Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman became the first Arab, Muslim — and royal — astronaut to travel into space. Before traveling to Houston for the Apollo mission anniversary, he sat down with Arab News in an exclusive interview to talk about his NASA mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in June 1985.

Prince Sultan, recently appointed chairman of the Saudi Space Commission, was only 13 when he watched the historic moon landing on TV. The picture quality might have been poor and the sound garbled, but footage of the landing captured his imagination.

“Humans made airplanes and made advances in industry, but for humans to leave their own planet, that’s really something else,” Prince Sultan told Arab News. 

Most Saudis and residents living in the Kingdom watched it on Saudi channels 1 and 3, owned by Saudi Aramco.

Hessah Al-Sobaie, a housewife from Al-Dawadmi, recalled watching the moon landing from her grandparents’ backyard as an 11-year-old. “It felt weird watching a human walk on the moon,” she told Arab News. “I remember the endless questions I asked as a child.”

It has been more than 30 years since space last had an Arab visitor (Syria’s Muhammed Faris became the second Arab in space on board USSR’s Soyuz spacecraft in 1987). But this September, the first Emirati will become the latest Arab visitor when he joins a team of astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS).

Hazza Al-Mansoori will travel to space on board a Soyuz-MS 15 spacecraft that is due to take off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sept. 25.