Cinema in KSA will help women tell their stories, says filmmaker

Director and co-writer Hajjar Al-Naim
Updated 13 December 2017

Cinema in KSA will help women tell their stories, says filmmaker

JEDDAH: Hajjar Al-Naim was one of the first women in Saudi Arabia who jumped into the field of filmmaking. Her country lacked cinemas and she studied abroad to fulfill her passion.
Al-Naim is the director and co-writer of a film called “Detained,” which was screened at the 2017 Dubai International Film Festival this week.
The movie is about a young Syrian refugee who fights to proclaim her innocence when the US Homeland Security detains her after her father is identified as the suicide bomber in a terrorist attack at a London airport.
After the screening of her film in the US and at the Dubai festival, Al-Naim told Arab News: “It represents the two perspectives — the American and the Middle East perspective. I am happy because I showed my movie to people in the US and the Middle East. I want the American audience to understand our struggle as Middle Eastern and Muslims.”
“There was a huge wave of questions; they were like, why would I make this type of movie? My answer was: ‘It’s because the media in the US and Middle East are representing both perspectives in a wrong way and my goal was to wipe these wrong perspectives away'," she said.
“My film was funded by Saudi individuals and institutions and I think these people deserve to see the movie they funded and helped to make happen in their country.
“I am so excited about the news… I can’t imagine that we will have cinemas in Saudi Arabia. Such a decision, I believe, will encourage the government itself to open institutions and to teach more filmmakers to become professional. I hope by this news more women will get their stories filmed,” the Saudi filmmaker said.
“As a Saudi female director and filmmaker, one of my goals is to teach filmmaking in Saudi Arabia and help female directors to film movies. I know that a lot of producers will control the content but I think it is our job now as directors to do our best to control the content and let the audience control it too,” she said.
“We want people to understand that we are trying to get better and we will take few steps, but at the beginning it might be a slow process because the culture might not accept the idea fully and immediately,” the filmmaker added.


Saudi ministry launches training program on education policy

Updated 12 sec ago

Saudi ministry launches training program on education policy

  • The five-day program is aimed at people interested in research and studies on education policies

RIYADH: The Saudi Education Ministry has launched a training program titled “Effective reform foundations for education policies: Research and policymaking,” presented by the Education Policy Research Center in cooperation with the World Bank. 
The five-day program, taking place on Dec. 9-13, is aimed at people interested in research and studies on education policies.
The program’s topics include managing an effective education system, supporting teachers, promoting concepts and means to finance education, building foundations for early childhood education, and strengthening students’ evaluation and curriculums. 
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Bidyawi, the ministry’s undersecretary for planning and development, inaugurated the program.
He said it aims to introduce trainees to the most important issues of education policies to qualify them as researchers in the field, thus contributing to building capacities in the field of improving educational policies and decision-making.
He also shed light on the partnership between the ministry and the World Bank, which aims to implement programs to develop the education system in line with the Saudi leadership’s aspirations and ambitions.