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The First Female Saudi Ambassador

Al-Okaz, Saudi Arabia, February 25

“I extend the most sincere thanks and gratitude to His Majesty the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and to His Highness the Crown Prince – may God preserve them – for this precious trust in my appointment as ambassador to the United States of America. And I will work, God willing, to serve my country and its leaders and all its people.” This is the message with which Princess Reema Bint Bandar al-Saud accepted her appointment as the new Saudi ambassador to the U.S. This historic precedent is an important milestone in Saudi history and the history of women rights in the Middle East, more broadly. Why? Because she is not merely the first female ambassador to be appointed in Saudi Arabia, but she is also being appointed to the most important ambassadorship abroad: that in Washington DC. Princess al-Saud has clear abilities and skills, especially in conversation, persuasion, and in the English language. She has served as a consultant in the Saudi Crown Prince’s Office, as well as a Planning and Development Secretary at the General Authority for Sport and Education. The new ambassador’s challenge is now to deal with the hostile American media that has become obsessed with negative coverage of Saudi Arabia, in part as an effort to get at U.S. President Donald Trump. This is a difficult task, but it is not impossible. She is armed with the support of the Saudi leadership and the immense talent that she’s bringing to the table. The time has come for a female fighter who would stand at the forefront of the Saudi diplomatic battle. –Mashry al-Zayidi