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Saudi Arabia Princess Makes History As First Woman Ambassador To U.S.

By Sharelle Burt

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Saudi Arabia just appointed a woman as ambassador to the United States. Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud is the first woman ever to hold this position and has been an advocate for women’s rights for years.
The rising political star isn’t new to politics. She lived in Washington, D.C. for years while her father, Bandar bin Sultan al Saud, was the Saudi Arabia ambassador to the U.S. from 1975 to 2005. Reema also attended George Washington University during his tenure, where she found her voice for women’s rights.

RELATED: How One Day In Bahrain Made This Traveler View The Middle East Differently

Currently, the princess works with the Saudi General Sports Authority, promoting her initiatives on inclusion and encouraging women to live a more active lifestyle. She also worked with the Ministry of Education to make sure that there was a physical education program for girls in schools and campaigned to have a gender-integrated team at the Special Olympics. Her leadership skills are apparent as Reema served as CEO of Harvey Nichols Riyad and is the co-founder of Yibreen, a day spas franchise in Riyadh, the capital city.

While keeping women’s right a priority, she has other webs to weave through. The first, smoothing things over with the United States after Saudi Arabia had much to say about the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The country made international headlines after denying they had any involvement with Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Women in the forefront is a new agenda for Saudi Arabia. The government lifted the ban on women driving last year in June and also allowing women to enter sports arenas. “Yes—we would’ve liked to see it sooner, but the fact that we are doing it today for me, absolutely, it’s wonderful,” Al Saud said.

Princess Al Saud is set to replace Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

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