AlUla photo contest aims to expose budding Saudi snappers

AlUla photo contest aims to expose budding Saudi snappers
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The competition, which will run until Sept. 23, aims to unearth five talented local photographers from pictures taken of AlUla in the categories of nature, monumental, people, design, and adventure. (Photo/Supplied)
AlUla photo contest aims to expose budding Saudi snappers
2 / 3
The competition, which will run until Sept. 23, aims to unearth five talented local photographers from pictures taken of AlUla in the categories of nature, monumental, people, design, and adventure. (Photo/Supplied)
AlUla photo contest aims to expose budding Saudi snappers
3 / 3
The competition, which will run until Sept. 23, aims to unearth five talented local photographers from pictures taken of AlUla in the categories of nature, monumental, people, design, and adventure. (Photo/Supplied)
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Updated 20 August 2020

AlUla photo contest aims to expose budding Saudi snappers

AlUla photo contest aims to expose budding Saudi snappers
  • Winners will be awarded SR10,000 commission from RCU to provide 50 images to be used for its marketing activities as part of the reopening of AlUla from October

ALULA: A photography competition to capture the historic and natural wonders of AlUla has been launched exclusively for budding Saudi snappers residing in the area.
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), in collaboration with Sony, on Wednesday made the contest announcement to coincide with World Photography Day.
The competition, which will run until Sept. 23, aims to unearth five talented local photographers from pictures taken of AlUla in the categories of nature, monumental, people, design, and adventure.
The RCU and a panel of judges, including Sony ambassadors, will select the winners from shortlisted candidates over the contest’s duration.
Each winner will be awarded a SR10,000 ($2,666) commission from the RCU to provide 50 images to be used for its marketing activities as part of the reopening of AlUla from October, along with a Sony Alpha 6600M camera.
RCU spokesperson, Saad Almatrafi, said: “Saudi photographers residing in AlUla are encouraged to submit up to 10 photos in each category during the period of submission — they can be taken from a photographer’s recent collection or be captured especially for the competition.
“Participants should submit their work on the official Experience AlUla (@experiencealula) Instagram account by using the hashtag #capturealula and #experiencealula, to be shortlisted to win.
“Judges will be looking for technique, creativity, and storytelling. The Experience AlUla channels will showcase some of the most impressive entries over the course of the four weeks.”
Phillip Jones, chief destination management and marketing officer at the RCU, said: “We love the idea of having the stories of AlUla told through the experiences and eyes of local residents. Who better to help us in our marketing efforts than the proud locals of AlUla who know the destination better than anyone?”
For details on the terms and conditions of the competition visit https://experiencealula.com/en/Discover_AlUla/Arts_Culture/Pages/Capture...
When it reopens its doors to visitors in October, AlUla’s attractions, including the Kingdom’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be accessible year-round.
Walks, treks, and trails will be available, guided by a local Rawi (Arabic storyteller) or self-guided, for visitors who want to delve deeper into the stories and customs of the region.
“We are developing immersive, light-touch experiences that harness the power and silence of the landscapes, experiences such as guided stargazing in a desert night sky that has inspired science, religion, philosophy, art, and literature for millennia,” Jones added.


Meet Shihana Alazzaz, the PIF executive making Saudi women proud

Meet Shihana Alazzaz, the PIF executive making Saudi women proud
Updated 25 January 2021

Meet Shihana Alazzaz, the PIF executive making Saudi women proud

Meet Shihana Alazzaz, the PIF executive making Saudi women proud
  • At 16 Shihana Alazzaz fought in the courts for her family's inheritance
  • She says she hopes her success can be seen by other women as motivation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s stance on women and their place in society remains firmly under the spotlight – with many questioning if anything has changed - that’s despite the countless female engineers, managers and boardroom directors that the Kingdom so proudly boasts of.

Still not convinced?

Then consider Shihana Alazzaz, the general counsel and Secretary-General to the board at the Public Investment Fund PIF – you might recognize her.

She was the woman sitting across from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as he addressed a historic meeting on Sunday night.

Women’s status in Saudi society has been on the up since the launch of Vision 2030 in 2016, enabling them to pursue professions and positions of power they had only previously dreamt of – and Alazzaz’s story acts as a beacon of this achievement.

Impressed by her  credentials, many took to social media to voice their appreciation of her presence at the otherwise male-dominated table.

Twitter user @ibrahimaljallal described her as “An excellent model for Saudi women. Her competitiveness at work is the same as any man.”

Alazzaz first joined PIF as the head of transactions in the legal division in 2017.

She is now a member of the management committee at PIF, as well as other executive committees in the fund.

Alazzaz also chairs and serves on several boards and board committees of PIF portfolio companies. 

Her rise to success was not an easy one.

Her father’s death in 2002 saw her in the Saudi courts at just 16-years-old where - filled with grief – she fought for her family’s inheritance.

Armed with a handwritten note by her father, she fought long and hard to fulfill her father’s final wishes - that their guardian be her mother’s brother.

Despite her hardships, she refused to be a victim, instead choosing to chase her goals, pursue her education and make her life a success.

With her mother’s support she travelled to the UK, where she achieved her bachelor’s degree in law at Durham University.

Years later in 2019 the Kingdom’s guardianship laws saw a major overhaul as part of the ongoing Vision 2030.

The changes allowed Saudi women over 21 to be allowed to apply for passports and travel freely without the permission of a male guardian.

Other changes issued in the decrees permitted women to register a marriage, divorce, or child’s birth and to be issued official family documents – and most relevantly to Alazzaz – women were equally allowed to be their children’s guardian.

Alazzaz continued with her studies and achieved her license to practice law at the Supreme Court of New York and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice.

This in itself was major achievement as women lawyers were only allowed to be granted a license to practice from 2013 by the Ministry of Justice.

Non-conformity seems to have run in her family.

Her father, Saleh Alazzaz, chose an equally unconventional career path for a Saudi, as a photographer and author – both fields previously deemed taboo in the Kingdom - having dropped out of college where he was studying engineering.

He was diagnosed with cancer when he was 40-years-old – previously seen as a healthy man - his illness shocked the family – his death 18 months later left them devastated.

Saleh was celebrated for originality, his keen eye and passion - some of his most acclaimed pieces were conceived when he was ill.

Prior to joining PIF, Alazzaz was a practicing lawyer for nine years at various international law firms where she gained exposure to legal advisory services, transactions, and litigation across multiple sectors.

She has received recognition for her work locally, regionally and internationally.

She made Forbes Middle East’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2020, and received multiple awards including Finance Monthly Deal Maker Awards 2016, and the Women in Business Law award presented by the International Financial Law Review (IFLR).

In an interview with KRCL RadioActive in 2017 Shihana said, “My role is to ensure that I’m not the only one. And to ensure that I encourage a lot of other females to pursue this convoluted path.”

 “I think we’ve accomplished quite a lot in a very short period of time,” she added.