Medina forum targets SME growth in Saudi Arabia

ALULA: Fresh from her sold-out concert on Friday at the Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla, singer-songwriter Alicia Keys joined Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud, the first female Saudi ambassador to the United States, and a group of other creative Saudi women in an intimate conversation under the theme “Women to Women”.

The informal dialogue, organized by Good Intentions, a creative consultancy based in Saudi Arabia, was held town hall style, where members of the public asked questions, made comments and interacted with the panel. It felt like an extension of the hit Friday show.

Recognizing the forum’s location at Madrasat Addeera, AlUla’s premier center for art and design, Keys told attendees how excited she was to learn from the Saudi women at the table – and those who were beyond in the public.

“I am here to learn and I would like you to teach me and continue to be allies together. We are all very special and very important in this room and no one is more important than anyone from other. We’re all on the same level,” Keys told the audience.

Princess Reema said: “A lot of the women you see, whether they’re on stage or maybe sitting to your right or your left, are women of one generation who are born to women of one generation to who said “no”.

“Those of us who insisted on a ‘no’ being a ‘yes’ were filling in the cracks, filling in the corners, filling in the holes and shoving ourselves everywhere we couldn’t find someone else to stand. stuff. So we seem to have crazy CVs. We seem to have had erratic career paths – but it’s not erratic. The singular unifier of all of us is the fact that we needed another woman to support us and fill the space – but we couldn’t find her.

Saudi women from all walks of life spoke, expressed their opinions, asked questions and shared their knowledge.

“If you weren’t inspired, be the one who inspires. If you didn’t have a mentor, be the mentor. If you didn’t have the resources but you have access to them, donate them. Because your generosity and kindness of spirit is what will make the community we all deserve. And that’s how the transfer of power from women to women happens and that’s how men recognize that when they create space for us, the magic happens,” Princess Reema said.

Keys’ husband, Grammy-winning producer Kasseem Daoud Dean, known professionally as Swizz Beatz, said: “We are convinced that Saudi Arabia is exactly the right location for the headquarters of our new consultancy. In creation. We are ready to move forward with Good Intentions and collaborate with the powerful creative talents of the region,” he exclusively told Arab News.

The AlUla concert was presented by Good Intentions, co-founded by Dean.

The agency aims to amplify the voices of women across the Kingdom, with the AlUla Town Hall being just a first step in that direction.

Perhaps the simplest but most thoughtful solution came from Saudi actress Fatima Al-Banawi, who said, “Never give up, never give up. And always support each other with no hidden agenda.