RIYADH: Rahaf Al-Harbi became the first Saudi contestant at the Miss Europe Continental pageant in Napoli last year, an experience that brought her widespread recognition and prompted the fashion industry to take her more seriously, she told “The Mayman Show.”
Al-Harbi said it was difficult to be accepted into the competition, as one of the prerequisites was prior experience in similar local and regional activities, which did not exist in Saudi Arabia at the time. Now, she has bigger ambitions.
“I think I've reached the full potential in Saudi (Arabia), because we don’t have (a) runway here,” she said, adding that she hopes to participate in the Miss Universe beauty pageant next.
Al-Harbi tries to get in as many photoshoots and collaborations as possible. During the last Saudi Cup, a global horse racing event held at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, she formed a partnership with Saudi designer Pavone. Her photos from the event went viral as she wore an outfit made from natural silk and pearls inspired by Al-Ahsa, also known as “the city of a million palm trees.”
She said of the Saudi Cup: “It’s like the Met Gala, but in our way.”
Now, she is involved in the upcoming Riyadh Fashion Week through the Saudi Fashion Commission.
Hailing from a family of doctors and boasting a degree in medicine herself, Al-Harbi found in modeling a creative outlet, starting part-time while still studying. At the present time, she is focusing more on her acting career. After her role in the successful Saudi series “Eyal Nouf,” which was nominated for the Joy Awards, she is preparing for another series starting in October.
On juggling all three ambitions, she said: “I think it’s all about time management. I work from 8 until 3 p.m. and then photoshoots are very flexible. So, me and the team, we sit down, we agree on a date and time that suits us all. And usually, a shoot is only one to three hours, so it doesn’t take that much time. It’s like going to the gym.”
Aside from her multifaceted professional pursuits, Al-Harbi has always been a strong believer in the law of attraction, which she describes as “believing in God, believing in yourself and setting a goal. And then after that, everything you want in life is going to come to you.”
The law of attraction continues to be a guiding principle in her life, she told “The Mayman Show,” emphasizing the importance of listening to positive affirmations that can improve health and well-being and bring wealth, happiness, and love into a person’s life.
“It’s really good to listen to something while sleeping because your brain goes (into) alpha waves, which is before deep sleep … and it absorbs anything that’s put into it. So, if you want to focus on something, try this,” she said.
Al-Harbi said that American motivational speaker Jim Rohn has been a great source of inspiration and has benefited her throughout her career.
“This was a turning point in my life, COVID, watching his videos. I was going through my final exams. I was obviously depressed. Everyone was depressed in COVID. We were in lockdown. I had a final surgery exam. It was Ramadan, and it couldn’t get any worse,” she said.
Guided by one of Rohn’s principles, which advises people to cultivate a range of skills, Al-Harbi began practicing the piano and took up horse riding lessons.
“Go for it,” she encouraged listeners, “because if someone (else) can do it, so can you.”