TheFace: Rogaia Alshuaibi, a Saudi psychologist

Rogaia Alshaibi. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 25 January 2019

TheFace: Rogaia Alshuaibi, a Saudi psychologist

Rogaia Alshuaibi I was born and raised in Riyadh before moving to the US with my husband. We lived in Washington, DC, and I attended George Washington University, earning a degree in psychology.

Suburban life in DC was wonderful; there were lovely houses, schools, shopping centers, medical centers, all of which were deliberately planned to serve the needs of the community. 

Coming from a family of engineers and architects, and having been inspired by residential suburbs in the US, I wanted to bring the same concept back home, building communities just as they have there. 

When we returned to Saudi Arabia, therefore, I aimed to work in real estate development, though initially I entered the nonprofit sector, becoming director general of Al-Nahdha Women’s Association, the oldest, biggest female non-profit organization in the Kingdom. 

Then, in 2008, I established my company Mosaic, the first real estate development firm in Saudi Arabia run by women. Working as a broker at first, I then moved on to real estate development. I was surprised with the ease I had in winning over new developers, but ultimately I believe it was because they trusted my professionalism, and liked my ethics.

Mosaic is now one of the leading real estate development firms for luxury houses in the Kingdom. We are currently working on a state-of-the-art “smart homes” community in the north of Riyadh, and are constantly teaming up with female investors, as well as male, to create beautiful projects and realize beautiful visions by Saudi women, for Saudi women. •

Hana Abdullah Alomair, Saudi film director

Updated 30 May 2020

Hana Abdullah Alomair, Saudi film director

Hana Abdullah Alomair is the director of Netflix’s first Saudi thriller original series, titled “Whispers,” which is due to begin streaming in 190 countries on June 11. 

A Saudi writer, filmmaker, and movie critic, Alomair won the Silver Palm Tree Award for best script at the Saudi Film Competition in 2008.

She gained a bachelor’s degree in Arabic-English translation from King Saud University in 1992 and four years later a master’s degree in the same field of study from Heriot-Watt University, in Scotland.

Her documentary “Beyond Words” was screened during the Gulf Film Festival in 2019 and was selected for the main competition in this year’s Muscat International Film Festival.

A member of the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts, she has worked as a head writer in writing workshops for several TV series. She was a jury member at the Saudi Film Festival held by Rotana in 2013. Her second
flick, “The Complaint,” was selected in the main competition of Tessa’s Festival for Asian and African Films in Morocco in 2014 and it won the Golden Palm
Tree Award for best short fiction film in the Saudi Film Competition in 2015.

In 2016, Alomair, together with Hind Al-Fahhad, scooped the prize for best script for the short film “Peddlers” at the King Fahd Center Short Film Competition.

She recently published a book about the Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa, and in 2017 wrote a play called “Qat Oqat.”

Last year, she wrote and directed her latest short film “Swan Song,” which won the Golden Palm Tree Award for best actor in the Saudi Film Festival.