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Princess Reema to head sports federation in Saudi first

In a first for Saudi Arabia, one of the Saudi Princesses, Princess Reema has been named as the potential head of a mixed multi-sports agency in Saudi Arabia. This comes just over a year after Princess Reema, one of the daughters of the former Ambassador to Washington, Prince Bander bin Sultan, was appointed to a senior post with the Saudi equivalent to the Sports Ministry. This comes at a strong time for women in Saudi Arabia, with women being appointed to senior positions in finance, relaxation on the rules governing women driving and perhaps most pertinent to the Princess, that physical education classes for girls would commence in Saudi schools.

The Princess spent a lot of her childhood in the United States, including passing an Arts degree in Museum Studies at George Washington University. However, since her return to Riyadh, she has proved herself to be quite an entrepreneur in her own right, whilst also championing women. But she has also been keen to point out that this is evolution not Westernisation of Saudi Arabia. Her time at Harvey Nichols Riyadh has seen not only an increase from nothing to dozens of female staff but also working on childcare and travel arrangements for the ladies. No doubt to achieve these successes the Princess has shown traits that will come in very handy in her new role.

It was, however, one of her philanthropic activities in 2012 that saw the Princess engaged in an endurance sporting role. She was one of the founding members of the Zahra Breast Cancer Awareness Association, and to raise awareness she led a party of women to the Everest Base Camp. The eleven climbers took twelve days to complete their trek up to the Everest Base Camp which lies at 5,364 metres above sea-level. We have seen the Football World Cup heading for the Arabian Gulf in Qatar, and I wonder if the Princess has set her eyes on making sure the sports her new agency represents being to the fore if the Olympics ever come to Saudi Arabia.

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