Inspiring Success… Saudi Women Gain Int’l Recognitions and Awards

Saudi women have proven their capacities in various sectors to be active partners in the country’s development process.  Several female researchers and scientists achieved award-winning successes to steer the development and progress ahead, either on their country’s level or internationally. In this regard, there is a group of Saudi women who have a long-standing impact on the international level, namely: Hana Alarifi, Dalal Alezi, Sheikha Ayad Al Al-Mutairi, and Ruba Al-Masry.

Hana Alarifi received the international Who’s Who Award, which is granted to iconic figures, as she was nominated for this award while she was a visiting scholar at the University of Nevada in the U.S.A.  Later, she successfully deployed her expertise gained from scientific research and international conferences, in her country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  She utilized the virtual environment simulations for autism behavior therapy.

In 2008, She was an international university student in the USA, graduating with a bachelor’s degree with honors in computer science and computer engineering.  Then, she earned a fellowship in California to earn her Master’s degree in computer science. She dedicated her learning to help her son who was diagnosed with autism.  Her graduation research was about using multiple machine learning algorithms to predict autism in children. She focused on utilizing this technology to support individuals on the autism spectrum working with a specialized team and youth incubator. This is in addition to establishing a research lab to be the first of its kind lab to bring state- of – art technologies to cure autism. She broke through the shock that her son was diagnosed with autism by supporting this segment. Alarifi proudly lauded the Saudi Kingdom’s keenness to harness the quality of life for its citizens and invest in human resources, highlighting that the students should bear the responsibility to give back to their country.

One of the Saudi exemplary scientists is Prof. Dalal Alezi who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical science from King Abdulaziz University to be appointed as Chemistry Research Assistant. She has remarkable achievements in scientific research and patents. She received various awards, as she was ranked on the Nature index for her positive impact on KSA. She was nominated among the top 45 scientists to receive Reaxys Ph.D. prize, from a pool of 450 excellent candidates. In 2022, she received MIT Ibn Khaldun Fellowship for Saudi women. Her research abstract is about metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to address industrial and environmental challenges in Saudi Arabia and abroad.

On the other hand, the inventor Sheikha Ayad Al-Mutairi registered two patents in engineering at Saudi Property Authority and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). The first one is a simulation model of an emergency separatist vessel, as a 3-dimension solution for shipwrecks.  The second one is related to cost-efficient components to be installed in the wheelchairs to facilitate steering them on various types of rough ground.   She also praised the support she has been receiving from her country until she was granted a patent.

In sports,  the Saudi female fencer Ruba Al-Masri. Received various medals, including the gold medal in the first women champion held in the kingdom in 2018.  She was awarded the bronze medals in the Arab Champion in Tunisia in 2018 and under -20 champion in Kuwait in 2019. Ruba revealed that fencing is the passion that motivated her to gain the spirit of challenge and persistence to reach her goals. She expressed her gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and to His Royal Highness for empowering women to have roles in various sectors, especially sports, with a surge in female participation in sports by 150% during the last five years, according to the statistics issued by Sports Ministry in Riyadh.