Young Saudi singer stuns internet with powerful opera performance

Basma Al-Otaibi. (Supplied)
Updated 03 February 2019

Young Saudi singer stuns internet with powerful opera performance

  • Al-Otaibi has participated in school singing functions and competitions both in Saudi Arabia and the US

JEDDAH: An 18-year-old Saudi woman has wowed audiences — and the internet — with her performance at the Miss Arab USA contest in Arizona on Feb. 1.
Basma Al-Otaibi sang opera at the pageant, performing Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro,” which won her multiple plaudits at the event and earned rave reviews online.
Al-Otaibi, though having only turned to singing professionally at 16, is no novice, however.

Award
She has already established her own recording company, to promote her work on YouTube and iTunes, and won an award at the 2016 Akademia Music Award in Los Angeles, California, for her music.
Al-Otaibi has also participated in school singing functions and competitions both in Saudi Arabia and the US, and decided to enter Miss Arab USA because, though strongly influenced by her time in the US, the competition chimed with her Arab roots, and also judged individual talent, rather than just beauty.


Dr. Sultan Al-Saleh, director at the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society

Updated 06 June 2020

Dr. Sultan Al-Saleh, director at the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society

Dr. Sultan Al-Saleh has been the director of the heritage department at the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society (SHPS) in Riyadh since August 2018. 

Founded in 2010, the SHPS was established to monitor and encourage public and private initiatives that focus on the preservation of Saudi heritage.

Al-Saleh directs work that focuses on identifying undeveloped and overlooked areas of Kingdom’s cultural legacy, including projects to promote public awareness about the importance of the country’s cultural heritage for present and future generations.

Al-Saleh has both an educational and a practical background in heritage management, at both national and international levels.

As part of his duties at SHPS, Al-Saleh supervises and organizes documentation projects for UNESCO’s heritage lists. He has also represented the Kingdom as part of the Saudi team at several UNESCO meetings. 

In addition to his current post, he has been an event consultant at lastminuteSA in Riyadh since May 2019. He also served as a credit officer at Samba Financial Group in Riyadh from 2005 to 2008.  

He has been a lecturer at King Saud University in Riyadh since 2008, the university where he received his bachelor’s degree in languages and translation in 2005. 

He is also a project management professional with practical knowledge of heritage management methods. He obtained a master’s degree in 2011 in tourism and heritage, focusing on heritage event management, from Université Lumière Lyon 2 in Lyon, France.

He obtained another master’s degree in 2012 from the same university in tourism and heritage management, focusing on engineering and the management of sites and development.

Al-Saleh recently obtained a doctorate in tourism and heritage from Université Libre de Bruxelles (The Free University of Brussels), which is a French-speaking private research university in Belgium.