Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – HRH Princess Hussa Bint Salman Bin Abdulaziz has announced a pioneering prize in the field of journalism in the Middle East. The prize for distinguished Saudi female journalists will be awarded by the Prince Ahmed Bin Salman Institute for Applied Media and will include three categories; best journalist; best writer and pioneering contribution in print media.
The princess affirmed that her father, HRH Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz does not require any encouragement when the matter is related to Saudi women journalists and resolving their problems. This is by virtue of the fact that he regularly and meticulously follows up upon all the developments that take place in the press.
HRH Princess Hussa revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that, “Prince Salman had taken the initiative to resolve the issues before I had read about them or even become aware of their existence. This is because he considers the daughters of his nation as his own daughters and is protective of them, but also because he recognizes the importance of women’s message in Saudi society where social relationships are contained within the framework of the rules of Islam.” She also pointed out that Prince Salman was fully aware of the gravity of gender segregation in culture in Saudi society and that he believes that they each have roles to play in the community.
HRH Princess Hussa spoke of the late Prince Ahmed Bin Salman’s (may his soul rest in peace) support for women and his dedication to grant them the opportunity to participate in the intellectual renaissance and added, “The true image [of women] for a man begins at home. Princess Lamia Bint Mishaal Bin Saud al Saud was his other half in the true meaning of the word; she was his eyes and ears for everything that was taking place in the world of working, educated and ambitious women. She used to keep him updated and relay her aspirations and ambitious vision.”
She added: “He personally took care of me and inspired me, giving me a boost of confidence while nurturing in me all that was interesting and thought provocative. He also invested in my childhood ideas when he backed my efforts to set up a small newspaper at my school.”
The late Prince Ahmed Bin Salman had a different vision for Saudi women, Princess Hussa said, “I remember when he joined the HH Saudi Marketing and Research Co. when ‘Sayidaty’ magazine was already in publication; he was one of the advocators of breaking the stereotypes that restricted women to fashion and beauty and was among the pioneering figures concerned with developing the magazine to represent women more comprehensively. Another contribution that aimed to highlight unique female personalities was when he envisaged a new magazine, he asked his mother to choose a name for it and she called it “Hia”; a name that embodies its content and spreads the female spirit of creative contribution.”
“My modest contribution to the institute through this prize,” the princess continued, “is integrated with the efforts of those who laid down the solid foundation, God willing, of the Prince Ahmed Bin Salman Institute for Applied Media: Al Yamama Press Establishment, HH Saudi Research and Marketing Group, Al Jazeera Press, Dar Al Hayat Press, Dar Al Yaum Press, Medina Press, Middle East Broadcasting Centre (MBC) Group, Dallah Media Production, and the family of Prince Ahmed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Bin al Saud.
She added, “I met the key players of Arab media and experienced this world through the presence of the vibrant Ahmed Bin Salman who was full of life. I have witnessed the work of these major institutions, and others that are based upon them, and their respective employees working with Prince Ahmed alongside with friends and acquaintances in the industry who are veterans from his generation. Together they worked to support culture, thought and women’s issues. And here they are today, participating in the dream that preoccupied Ahmed and for which he had strived to improve the capabilities and conditions for Saudi journalists, men and women alike.”
Furthermore, HRH Princess Hussa announced the establishment of two scholarships in journalism for women as part of a specific strategy that grants them to newcomers, in accordance with stipulated conditions and under the auspices of the Prince Ahmed Bin Salman Institute for Applied Media. The scholarships aim to cultivate the talents of female journalists or women who are new in the Saudi publication field to nurture and hone their skills in various media fields.
The prize in journalism that the princess is credited with establishing offers SAR 200,000 (approximately US $53,300) to the pioneering contribution in print media and SAR 100,000 (approximately US $26,600) each to be awarded to the best journalist and best writer.
HRH Princess Hussa aims to establish a supportive entity to fulfill this vision and to enable women to participate in building society within an Islamic Shariah framework and moderate social norms, whilst reinforcing the efforts of the Prince Ahmed Bin Salman Institute for Applied Media that aims to nationalize in Saudi journalism.