Saudi pianist wants to inspire women to become musicians

Rowida Raffa was encouraged by her family to pursue her dream of becoming a pianist. (Supplied)
Rowida Raffa was encouraged by her family to pursue her dream of becoming a pianist. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 13 March 2022

Saudi pianist wants to inspire women to become musicians

Rowida Raffa was encouraged by her family to pursue her dream of becoming a pianist. (Supplied)
  • Raffa praised the Kingdom’s attention to music and for establishing a specialist commission, saying opportunities were available and that young talent should take advantage of these from a young age

RIYADH: Saudi pianist Rowida Raffa took to the stage last September at Expo 2020 Dubai and amazed everyone with her skills, performing on Saudi National Day and playing different kinds of music. She also had an encouraging message to all female artists who aspired to be in her position one day.
“Different media agencies contacted me to represent the National Day at the expo, and I never imagined one day that I would be here representing my own country abroad. And, as a Saudi woman, I am very happy that the Kingdom is setting new regulations for practicing musicians,” Raffa told Arab News.
Raffa said she was prepared when media agencies approached her as she enjoyed playing the piano and had been practicing for 20 years.




Saudi pianist Rowida Raffa took to the stage last September at Expo 2020 Dubai. (Supplied)

Coming from a musical family, she said she had been encouraged by them to pursue her dream of becoming a pianist.
“My grandfather was a violinist, and music was always something that connected the family together. My brother is also a violinist, and I chose to be a pianist because I found myself in it.”

As a Saudi woman, I am very happy that the Kingdom is setting new regulations for practicing musicians.

Rowida Raffa, Saudi pianist

As well as the expo, Raffa has also performed with the award-winning international composer William Ross, whose work has graced feature films, the recording industry, and TV. His projects include “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
“In 2018, I was invited to work with William Ross when the foundation stone for Qiddiya, (an entertainment megaproject to be built in Riyadh), was laid,” she said. “We did the opening song together and he is such a nice man. I’m glad my first participation in a national project was this significant.
“I played the opening of Alicia Keys’ concert in AlUla. The experience was amazing and working with international artists is a dream.”
She always played the piano for the passion and love she had for the instrument, and she strived to practice so that she could play more difficult music.
Raffa praised the Kingdom’s attention to music and for establishing a specialist commission, saying opportunities were available and that young talent should take advantage of these from a young age.
She believed that music was a universal language and a strong form of communication that enriched people’s lives, unified nations, and created cultural bridges.
“The Saudi people maybe led to a worldwide level by the Music Commission and other organizations and schools that teach you the essentials,” Raffa added.


4,291 Saudi health security trainees graduate   

4,291 Saudi health security trainees graduate   
Updated 10 min 22 sec ago

4,291 Saudi health security trainees graduate   

4,291 Saudi health security trainees graduate   

RIYADH: A fourth group of health security trainees graduated from the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday. 

A total of 4,291 male and female graduates will join the job market. 

Dr. Aws Al-Shamsan, secretary-general of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, said that health security plays an important role in improving healthcare services.

The program includes practical and theoretical training for three months, in addition to two weeks of field training in one of the health sectors, allowing trainees to benefit from hands-on experience.

Health security graduates receive a diploma allowing them to work in the Kingdom’s health sector.


Umbrellas raise Makkah pilgrims’ spirits

Umbrellas raise Makkah pilgrims’ spirits
Updated 34 min 31 sec ago

Umbrellas raise Makkah pilgrims’ spirits

Umbrellas raise Makkah pilgrims’ spirits

JEDDAH: Pilgrims sheltering from heavy rain in Makkah on Tuesday received a helping hand when the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques handed out umbrellas to visitors at the Grand Mosque.

Khaled bin Fahd Al-Shalwi, assistant for the general president for social, voluntary and humanitarian services agency, said that the “Umbrella of Mu’tamer” initiative is part of a range of services designed to help visitors perform their rituals. 

Programs and services come under the direction of the President for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, who strives to provide a safe environment to allow visitors to the Grand Mosque to complete their rituals with ease, he added. 

According to the presidency’s website, the presidency has also employed more than 200 supervisors, 4,000 female and male workers, and utilized more than 500 items of equipment to deal with the rain at the Grand Mosque through its environmental protection agency. 

Ahmed bin Omar Bilaamash, assistant to the general president for services and achievement of the environmental protection agency, said that prayer areas, entrances and exits, and the mataf — the circumambulation space around the Kaaba — are equipped to handle the rainfall. 


Jeddah to host 2nd Saudi International Maritime Forum in November

Jeddah to host 2nd Saudi International Maritime Forum in November
Updated 10 August 2022

Jeddah to host 2nd Saudi International Maritime Forum in November

Jeddah to host 2nd Saudi International Maritime Forum in November
  • Event will be attended by experts in maritime security from around the world
  • The event was a continuation of the Kingdom’s contribution to promoting international peace and security

RIYADH: The 2nd Saudi International Maritime Forum will be held in Jeddah from November 15-17.
Organized by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces and held under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the event aims to provide a platform for the exchange of views on how best to ensure maritime safety in a rapidly changing global environment.
Titled “Protecting Marine Units and Vital Coastal Sites Against the Threat of Unmanned Systems,” the forum will highlight the threat of such systems and present ways in which they can be dealt with.
Thanking the crown prince for his sponsorship of the event, RSNF Commander Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghufaili said it would also discuss the role individual nations and international organizations have to play in maintaining maritime security.
The event was a continuation of the Kingdom’s contribution to promoting international peace and security, he added.
“It also aims to enhance the role of the RSNF in cooperation with marine environment authorities at the national level, and what naval forces of brotherly and friendly countries are doing to support regional and international efforts, ensure the safety of maritime traffic and contribute to sustaining the global economy,” Al-Ghufaili said.
Military specialists and experts from the fields of technology, industry and academia will take part in a series of workshops during the forum, which will also be attended by representatives from government ministries and organizations and international corporations.
The event will also provide a platform for companies from around the world to display their latest equipment, technologies and systems related to maritime security.


Who’s Who: Hassan Al-Jeshi, CEO of an asset management firm Malaz Capital

Who’s Who: Hassan Al-Jeshi, CEO of an asset management firm Malaz Capital
Updated 8 sec ago

Who’s Who: Hassan Al-Jeshi, CEO of an asset management firm Malaz Capital

Who’s Who: Hassan Al-Jeshi, CEO of an asset management firm Malaz Capital

Hassan Al-Jeshi was appointed CEO of Malaz Capital in July this year.

Malaz Capital is an asset management firm operating under the regulations of the Capital Market Authority of Saudi Arabia.

The company obtained its CMA license in 2010, and is authorized to carry out asset management, dealing as principal and custody services in the Kingdom.

Prior to joining Malaz Capital, Al-Jeshi held several leadership positions in leading investment institutions and a group of national and international banks, including head of equity capital markets at Saudi National Bank Capital in 2021, the investment arm of SNB.

He worked at Samba Financial Group, holding two different positions including assistant general manager from 2017, and head of investment banking from 2020 at Samba Capital, the group’s investment arm.

From 2013-17, Al-Jeshi worked as group head of corporate finance at Alistithmar Capital, the investment arm of The Saudi Investment Bank.

In 2012, he worked in energy and infrastructure investment banking at Taylor-DeJongh, Washington, DC.

Al-Jeshi has extensive professional experience in the field of investment and capital markets locally, regionally, and internationally, where he has led through his positions multiple landmark and significant investment transactions.

At Samba he managed and oversaw the full cycle of investment banking deal-related activities, including deal origination, client management, building financial models, performing valuation, transaction structuring, and preparing to offer documents, reviewing transaction agreements and more.

During his early career, Al-Jeshi also worked as a business consultant to a number of small and medium enterprises at start-up and growth stages in areas related to preliminary feasibility study assessment, capital budgeting, valuation, and fundraising.

Al-Jeshi holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals which he received in 2005, and in 2013 he earned a master’s degree in finance from George Washington University in the US.


Saudi envoy to UN in Geneva, UNHCR chief discuss stronger cooperation

Saudi envoy to UN in Geneva, UNHCR chief discuss stronger cooperation
Updated 6 min 4 sec ago

Saudi envoy to UN in Geneva, UNHCR chief discuss stronger cooperation

Saudi envoy to UN in Geneva, UNHCR chief discuss stronger cooperation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Abdulmohsen Majed bin Khothaila, met with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Wednesday.

The pair reviewed a number of important issues and discussed ways to enhance cooperation with the agency.

Earlier, Khothaila met with the permanent representative of the Republic of Djibouti to the UN, Ambassador Kadra Ahmed Hassan.

During the meeting they discussed issues of common interest within the framework of international organizations.