Saudi women: Evolving to excel, empower

Updated 12 June 2014

Saudi women: Evolving to excel, empower

Local women can now learn the latest skills in fashion designing in the Kingdom instead of going abroad leaving their loved ones behind, a Saudi woman entrepreneur said here.
“Future designers have the opportunity to discover, shape, attain, transfer and apply knowledge to become the best design creators in any of the following majors: Fashion design, Jewelry design, Visual communication (graphic design), Fashion marketing and merchandising,” Hala Halwani, director of Raffles Design Institute in Riyadh told Arab News on Monday.
This global educational experience has been brought to the Middle East starting in Riyadh, she said. “The Raffles Design Institute Riyadh is cooperating with the Singapore-based Raffles International Corporation (RIC) in an exciting joint venture,” Halwani said.
“The RIC is internationally recognized for being the No 1 design specialized undergraduate and graduate school in the Asia-Pacific region since 1990 with over 20,000 graduates and current applicants,” she said adding that the new center in Riyadh will allow applicants to benefit from the specialized training without having to leave the country or their loved ones.
Raffles KSA is committed to promoting design as an industry and designers as creative artists who seek their passion and aspire to excellence, hence the Raffles Riyadh initiative, she said, stressing its motto ‘Evolve to Excel, Inspire to Empower.’
Empowerment of women, she said is a cause Raffles KSA takes seriously by providing female applicants the required knowledge and skills to become entrepreneurs and professional players in the design world through its diverse certificate options.
There is a lot of flexibility and choice, she said, where applicants can choose between acquiring an associate bachelor degree between Riyadh and any Raffles international college, a high school diploma program, a diploma program, or a short diploma in the fundamentals of design.
“The full time study and incorporated international modules along with the inspiring and horizon broadening environment reflects the attained results of delivering a well-rounded student with unique exposure to the global design movement and culture,” Halwani said.
The Raffles Riyadh campus is impressively designed with large spacious classrooms infused with natural light; the walls are decorated with beautiful artwork and inspiring quotes from famous thinkers which make the stroll a pleasant journey to a new dimension of creativity and imagination.
“Starting Aug 31, with the beginning of its new semester, Raffles KSA promises the Riyadh community a new wave of talent manufacturing contributing to the overall refinement in design culture where all applicants will pour their talents into its vision of being the ‘Saudi Design Hub,” Halwani said.
She said that programs are also chalked out in coordination with the Technical Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC). She hoped that those who pass out from this institute would readily find jobs in the market since fashion designing is in vogue at the moment. She also pointed out that Harvey Nichols have already consented to take some of the successful candidates from the institute for employment in their outlets.

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.