TheFace: Sana Al-Jabr, Saudi entrepreneur and piano teacher

Sana Al-Jabr. ( AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 13 June 2019

TheFace: Sana Al-Jabr, Saudi entrepreneur and piano teacher

The eldest of three siblings, I graduated with a degree in business studies from the University of Sharjah in the UAE. When I graduated from high school, my father told me that studying abroad was the first step toward shaping a person’s personality. He encouraged independence and always trusted my judgment.

In addition to my academic studies I also enrolled in a music institute to learn to play the piano. My mom was very supportive of this as she plays the violin, as does my sister. One of the most enjoyable times for us is when we play a piece of music together.

At first I thought of it as a hobby that I wanted to learn and improve, no more than that. Then one of my teachers gave me some good advice: if you are going to spend time, money and effort in learning anything, you might as well get a proper qualification. So I did. I took theory and practical exams and was certified at each level.

After I graduated from university, I got a job with a National Commercial Bank where I worked as a private banker for nine years. I loved banking and feel it is one of the best work environments in which to learn.

During the last year of my banking job, I started a small manufacturing business that specializes in dyeing leather. I juggled both careers for a while until I decided to focus full time on my new business. It was a major shift for me. As an entrepreneur, I have to wear many hats — including accountant, quality control, HR, marketing — especially at the beginning.

What attracted me to the business was the idea of restoring and reusing valuable leather items. It changes the consumption mindset: Instead of buying a replacement whenever something is damaged, the existing item can instead be restored and its useful life extended. Currently, the business is expanding from dealing in personal items such as leather bags, wallets and clothing to include leather furniture and car seats.

I also decided to find time to teach the piano. Watching Saudi women learn and get excited to play music is certainly very rewarding. One of my most difficult experiences was teaching a sight-impaired child. As I am used to teaching by demonstrating on the piano, I had to instead find a way to explain in words what I normally show by example.

The recent announcement that a music institute will be opening in the Kingdom is life-changing news. I aspire to see the culture of music spread in Saudi Arabia and hope I can be part of it. 


Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

Updated 14 October 2019

Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

  • King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcome Russian leader at Al-Yamamah Palace
  • 20 deals of cooperation were signed between the two countries

DUBAI: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Riyadh on Monday on his first visit since 2007, and was welcomed to Al-Yamamah Palace by Saudi King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar earlier personally welcomed the Russian leader as he disembarked from his aircraft at King Khalid International Airport.

An official welcoming ceremony was held in honor of Putin and various agreements were signed between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Russia including an oil cooperation pact.

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READ MORE: Dedicated Arab News ‘Putin in Saudi Arabia’ spotlight

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Some 20 agreements were signed between the two countries, in a ceremony overseen by the king, crown prince, Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF and Saudi Arabia's SALIC signed an agreement to team up in searching for investment projects in the Russian agricultural sector, RDIF said in a statement on Monday.

A string of multi-million-dollar investment contracts were also signed in the aerospace, culture, health and advanced technology sectors.

Putin’s “long-awaited” visit will include discussions on “further cooperation to stabilize prices on the world carbohydrate market” as well as the situation in Syria, the Gulf and Yemen.

The Russian leader, in an interview with Arab broadcasters and aired on Sunday ahead of his arrival, described the “very good relations” with the Saudi leadership.

“We consider Saudi Arabia a friendly nation. I have very good relations with both the King and the Crown Prince,” Putin said, and noted the improved bilateral relations between both countries.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Vladimir Putin visits Saudi Arabia

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Putin in the interview likewise condemned the Sept. 14 attacks on Aramco facilities, and said “such actions do not bring any positive results to anybody, including perpetrators,” as they do not have a strong effect on the market.

“We condemn any such actions, end of story. This is the official position … regardless of who stood behind the incident,” the Russian president commented.

A forum attended by Saudi Arabian and Russian business leaders and government officials earlier Monday resulted in the signing of several agreements between companies of both countries.

(Developing)