Jeddah’s Effat University celebrates a ‘female success story’

Effat University is a pioneer in creating world-class educational opportunities for Saudi women. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 10 February 2019

Jeddah’s Effat University celebrates a ‘female success story’

  • Prince Turki Al-Faisal said: “The university will continue to pursue the excellence that is worthy of the name Effat”
  • 1,100 new graduates win honors as top-class institution marks 20th anniversary

JEDDAH: Effat University celebrated 20 years of educational achievement on Feb. 7 under the patronage of Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and governor of Makkah Region.
On its 20th anniversary, Effat university also celebrated the graduation of 1,100 students.
The ceremony was attended by many members of the royal family, including Prince Turki Al-Faisal and Princess Lulwa Al-Faisal, vice president of the board of trustees and the general supervisor of Effat University.
Princess Lulwa opened the proceedings with an inspiring speech about the story of her mother, Queen Effat Al-Thunayyan, and about her work in supporting women’s education in Saudi Arabia.
Effat University is a pioneer in creating new educational opportunities for Saudi women.
“Today we celebrate a purely female success story,” said the princess.
Addressing the graduates, she said: “The question (that was asked 70 years ago) was: Why teach women? Why give them jobs? The answer is: We were preparing for this day, for the era in which Saudi women have their natural position in public life, in building the country and developing it. Where women stand completing the row next to men, their brothers, where they stand as an impenetrable wall for their country.”
The princess said that women in Saudi Arabia are finally able to bridge the gaps that could not be filled before.
“You are the answer to this question that has been asked for 70 years. You are answer to the call of the present time. Congratulations! I feel I can see Queen Effat putting her pen cap back on and smiling. Triumphantly, Effat Al-Thunayyan answered the call with her words and deeds, perseverance and patience.”
Next, President of Effat University Haifa Jamal Al-Lail delivered a speech addressing the importance of this celebration, since Effat was the first private female college. It was established in 1999 and became a university in 2009.
She said: “The goal of the celebration is to highlight the role of the university in the process of national development, to celebrate the achievements of the university and to strengthen the identity of the university locally and internationally.’’
During the ceremony, there was a video presenting the most prominent Effat graduates and showing how Effat has paved the way for them to pursue their careers.
Assistant professor and provost Malak Al-Noori told Arab News how Effat helped to prepare females for a bright future: “Effat was established to offer women empowerment opportunities and special majors that are not offered by other universities.’’
She added: “We also help our students to get not only the academic aspect of an education, but most importantly a well-grounded personality.”
Effat University was founded by Queen Effat Al-Thunayan, wife of King Faisal.
She was a pioneer in the education and empowerment of Saudi women, and started Dar Al-Hanan School, the first school for girls in the Kingdom in 1955, opening doors for Saudi women to be educated right to this day.
Prince Turki Al-Faisal said: “The university will continue to pursue the excellence that is worthy of the name Effat.”
He told the graduates: “You are the future and the hope to achieve the aspirations of leadership of your country.’’
The happiness of this day would not be perfect without family support, said Hala Al-Zahrani a first honor architecture major graduate and a mother of one, speaking to Arab News.
“I am really thrilled. I cannot believe that I finally made it to this day. I appreciate all that Effat university taught me and the way my family supported me led me to this success.’’


Wait is almost over for music fans eager to learn who will headline E-Prix concerts

Updated 13 November 2019

Wait is almost over for music fans eager to learn who will headline E-Prix concerts

  • Organizers promise this year’s line-up of international stars at Diriyah event will be bigger than ever

RIYADH: The first of the major international music acts that will perform at the Diriyah E-Prix this month will be announced on Wednesday.

There were incredible scenes at the event last year when David Guetta, One Republic, the Black Eyed Peas, Amr Diab, Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo rocked the UNESCO World Heritage site. About 40,000 fans flocked to the Diriyah Circuit, on the outskirts of Riyadh, for the after-race concerts, the first unsegregated music events in Saudi Arabia

The stage is set for even bigger and better things this year, with the promise of another two nights of unmissable music on Nov. 22 and 23 as the E-Prix racing returns.

“If you were one of the 40,000 who were lucky enough to be part of that watershed moment (last year) for the Kingdom, believe me, you have not seen anything yet,” said Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Faisal Al-Saud, chairman of the General Sports Authority.

“Last year we told people before we announced (the acts) they should get their tickets early to avoid disappointment. Once we revealed who was coming, the tickets sold out incredibly quickly. This year will be the same but even bigger, so for music fans who want to enjoy the biggest concerts in Saudi Arabia, the smart move is to get your ticket now.”

The Diriyah E Prix kicks off the sixth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s premier all-electric motorsport series, with a double header of races. It also marks the start of Diriyah Season, a month of sport, entertainment, art, cultural festivities, food and retail experiences. Tickets for the Diriyah E Prix, which include entry to the after-race concerts, are available at www.diriyahseason.sa.