As Saudi Arabia celebrates it 91st National Day, we discover some of the incredible women who are leading the way for future generations in The Kingdom and inspiring those around the world.
1. Reema Juffali
Reema Al Juffali is the first Saudi female racing driver to officially compete in The 2021 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship as well as the Formula 3 championship. Born in Jeddah, the young racing driver has taken the world of motorsport by storm in a country where only a few years ago, women weren’t allowed to get behind the wheel of a car. The 29-year-old is quickly moving up the ranks and looking forward to taking on new challenges not just in the region but on a global scale.
2. Arwa Al Banawi
Saudi fashion designer Arwa Al Banawi spend her young years learning about fashion from her parents who inspired her to follow her passion for fashion in 2012 after moving to Dubai Al Banawi decided to set up her own fashion line which debuted in 2015 with a collection of ready to wear shirts and suits. Today her vision is to create sustainable fashion for women on the go and bridge the gap between high-end fashion and streetwear.
3. Emon Shakoor
Tech entrepreneur Emon Shakoor launched her company Blossom Accelerator as Saudi’s first tech-inclusion and female-focused accelerator. The company encourages women to set up their own businesses and provides founders access to community, network, educational resources as well as curated investment opportunities. Shakoor has gone against the odds after suffering from severe health problems throughout her life to lead the way for other women in The Kingdom and beyond.
4. Mishaal Ashemimry
Mishaal Ashemimry was the first female aerospace engineer in the GCC as well as becoming the first Saudi woman to join NASA. Through her journey, she has changed the perception of women in the industry and carved out a path for many women to follow. At the age of 26, she founded her company MISHAAL Aerospace which aims to design and build rockets to launch small satellites (500 kg) or less to Low Earth Orbit.
5. Raha Moharrak
In 2013 Raha Moharrak became the first Saudi woman to scale Mount Everest. She has climbed many of the world’s tallest mountains and reached nine key summits around the world. She continues to achieve her dreams by encouraging other young women to follow in her footsteps and chase their dreams.
6. Dr Mariam Bin Laden
In order to help raise awareness of Syria’s refugee crisis, Dr Mariam Bin Laden became the first-ever woman to swim the entire length of London’s River Thames (around 177km). She has dedicated her life to helping the needs of others by breaking records and achieving the unthinkable to raise awareness and shed light on some of the struggles faced by those in Syria. In 2016 Dr Mariam inaugurated her first dental centre at the IMC Hospital site in Al Azraq Refugee camp in Jordan. The camp is home to over 55,000 refugees. As part of her vision to help as many Syrian refugees as she possibly can, and spread the word as strongly and widely as possible, Dr. Mariam joined hands with the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and other major non-profit organizations that share her vision and dream.
7. Haifaa Al Mansour
Saudi film director Haifaa Al Mansour is one of the country best-known filmmakers and one of the few to share her talent globally. Discovering movies at a time wherein Saudi Arabia, there were no movie theatres Al Mansour went to school in Cairo and Australia and began her film making career with short movies. She has dealt with many controversial issues surrounding women in her stories and has been recognised for her work globally Her latest project with Netflix will launch in the coming years.