FaceOf: Dalma Rushdi Malhas, Saudi equestrian

Updated 19 September 2018

FaceOf: Dalma Rushdi Malhas, Saudi equestrian

  • Malhas is the first female athlete from Saudi Arabia to compete at an Olympic-level event
  • Malhas has been riding since she was four

Equestrian Dalma Rushdi Malhas is the first female athlete from Saudi Arabia to compete at an Olympic-level event. She rode at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singapore, winning a bronze medal.

She was born in 1992 in Ohio, US. Her mother, Arwa Mutabagani, is also a prominent equestrian. Mutabagani has been a board member at the Saudi Equestrian Federation since 2008, and was the first female appointed to the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee in 2008.

Malhas has been riding since she was four. At 12 she moved with her mother from Saudi Arabia to Rome to train with her under Italy’s former showjumping national coach, Duccio Bartalucci.

After spending a few years in Rome and obtaining her International Baccalaureate, she moved to join a two-year professional training program at the Forsan Equestrian Center in Chantilly, France.

She participated in Singapore in the 14-18 age group, becoming only the third Saudi Arabian athlete to land an Olympic medal, winning bronze.

After she participated in several competitions abroad, the International Olympic Committee invited her to represent Saudi Arabia.

However, she was disqualified from the Games for failing to meet the minimum eligibility standards, according to the International Equestrian Federation. Also, Caramell KS, Malhas’ horse, suffered an injury in May 2012 and was not expected to recover for the Games in London. 

Malhas participated in the Horse Hurdles Individuals category at the World Equestrian Championships in the US city of Tryon, North Carolina, on Wednesday, alongside more than 60 female equestrians from all over the world.


US Consulate General in Dhahran celebrates 244 years of independence, 75 years of US-Saudi partnership

Updated 20 February 2020

US Consulate General in Dhahran celebrates 244 years of independence, 75 years of US-Saudi partnership

  • Consul General Rachna Korhonen: I want to say thank you to the amazing people of Sharqiya who remind me every day how warm, wonderful, welcoming, hospitable, and kind Saudis are
  • Although US Independence Day is July 4, the consulate traditionally celebrates the occasion in the spring due to the pleasant weather this time of the year

DHAHRAN: The US Consulate General in Dhahran hosted its 2020 National Day reception on Feb. 19 to celebrate 244 years of American Independence, and the 75th anniversary of the historic meeting between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Saudi King Abdul Aziz aboard the USS Quincy.

Consul General Rachna Korhonen and her husband Juha Korhonen welcomed the deputy governor of the Eastern Province, Khalid Al-Battal, and deputy governor of Alkhobar, Abdullah bin Ali Al-Seef, as the guests of honor.

Although US Independence Day is July 4, the consulate traditionally celebrates the occasion in the spring due to the pleasant weather this time of the year.

“Seventy-five years ago, two great leaders met aboard the USS Quincy. President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz met to chart the future of our bilateral ties. This first encounter between a US president and a Saudi King laid the foundation for the broad strategic partnership the US and Saudi Arabia share today. Beyond partnership, President Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz forged a personal friendship that is at the heart of the strong ties our two countries share today,” said Korhonen.

She added: “As the first woman to be consul general here, it has been an exciting journey for me. I arrived to Dhahran in August 2017, to a country undergoing remarkable changes.  Vision 2030 has opened new possibilities, tourism opportunities are growing, women are driving and attending sporting events. I have said this many times and it is still true: I have the best job in the best place at the best time.

“Most of all, I want to say thank you to the amazing people of Sharqiya (Eastern Province) who remind me every day how warm, wonderful, welcoming, hospitable, and kind Saudis are. I have made friendships that I know are going to last me a lifetime. When I leave here this summer, I will certainly leave a piece of my heart here but I also plan to take a little piece of your heart with me.”