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Written by Nora Al-Taha
As Saudi Arabia evolves, the young Saudi population has been revved to progress and excel in creating brands and inspiring entrepreneurial goals. The majority demographics of the nation is made up of youth under the age of 30. And with youth comes new ideas and initiatives, with creativity and energy buzzing through the country. As Ithra celebrates International Youth Day, we pay homage to the young Saudi creators in all the fields. With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the virtual and digital world took center stage.
Ahead of the fad, many Saudi creatives have been using the digital world to create their success and careers. These creators are the foundation of the new power within Saudi Arabia.
With youth using their tech-savvy skills and worldly outlooks, the Kingdom has been a place to inspire content creators and ambitious entrepreneurs. Here are a few who we meet as examples of determination and creativity.
LOUD is a Jeddah-based graphic design firm that works with its clients to shape their businesses with edgy and innovative designs. With a name that stands out, co-founder Allaa Awad gives Ithra her optimistic perspective on Saudi's growing entrepreneurial sector. There is an urge to seek change and to “chase, more than just climbing the corporate ladder,” said Awad. This desire has pushed Saudi youth to build their entrepreneurial goals. Awad shares her perspective: "We strive and crave more as we regenerate to accelerate and come up with new business ideas." As Saudi Arabia supports entrepreneurs, the youth fuel the Kingdom with innovative and new projects. To encourage future Saudi aspiring entrepreneurs, Awad shares motivating words, "Don't wait, and don’t postpone your ideas. Start now… Waiting or holding your projects off will cause more distress and demotivation. Once you get that incentive, go for it.” One of the main ways youth are building their careers and presence in the world arena is through social media.
Like, share, comment. Food, fashion, and selfies. Social media has given us a smooth and ready-to-go approach to share our lives and dig into others. With the right dose of inspiration and dash of style, some Saudi creators use social media and other virtual platforms to share primary motivating content. As Saudi Arabia creators continue to evolve and inspire, meet these few game-changing online pioneers within the cultural and lifestyle scene for inspiration.
Raoum with Sukkari Life
Young and vibrant, Raoum, a Saudi female, shares her vegan lifestyle on her Youtube channel Sukkari Life and her blog. She is a certified yoga instructor, sharing vegan recipes, travel, and more through artistic videos that give a flavorful (plant-based) taste of Saudi life. Raoum (which means mother kindness in Arabic) sheds a sense of hope for Saudi vegans.
Raoum (which means mother kindness in Arabic) sheds a sense of hope for Saudi vegans. She roams the Saudi street market to find organic and vegan ingredients to cook up delicious plant-based meals. She also promotes traditional Saudi recipes—perfect for anyone who wants to try a cultural dish! Through her yoga, she supports a peaceful lifestyle, not to mention giving us heaps of inspiration to get off our chairs and stretch. She also publishes vlogs when she goes on adventures around Saudi Arabia, travels the world, and more with her family and friends. Since 2009, Raoum has been publishing YouTube content, giving the world an inside look at Saudi life. Raoum shares fascinating insight into what a young Saudi woman's lifestyle is to over 13 million viewers. Raoum has since set up her online store brand, Sukkari Store, where you can find Earth-friendly products. She delivers an outlook for foreigners to discover Saudi life and for locals to expand their horizons.
Mariam Mossalli with Under the Abaya
Marriam Mossalli is a businesswoman and a leader. She is a big name in the fashion industry. With her luxury consulting agency, Niche Arabia, she is, without a doubt, a busy woman. Her busy schedule, however, did not falter her visionary creations. Under the Abaya is a visionary coffee table book produced by Niche Arabia. The unique book shines as a beacon of hope for Saudi females. A buoyant accessory as décor, to flip through for leisure and consume for a dose of inspiration. Under the Abaya highlights and celebrates the diverse Saudi female, uncovering the ambitious Saudi women underneath her abaya garment. The book showcases a collection of photographs submitted by the women themselves. Under the Abaya is a unique connection from Saudi women to Saudi women, giving a sense of belonging and a strength that lies within Arab women. Through her Instagram, Under the Abaya shares photographs and stories that spark female resilience.
Fatima Al-Banawi with The Other Story Project
A creative writer who sought stories in her home town in Jeddah, Fatima Al-Banawi, is the founder of The Other Story Project. Today, Jeddah had evolved with creatives in comparison to 2015 when she first started her project. Al-Banawi began her journey when she collected real-life stories from people.
Craving to write, she set up kiosks with blank sheets of paper and pens to anonymously have people write their stories. Later, she dove into the stories to create more in-depth conversations. She turned the one-page submissions into performance pieces and shared them on Instagram. With The Other Story Project, she collected 5,000 real-life stories from strangers. She transformed many of them into productions, such as A Blink of an Eye. As social media is widely used as a creative platform for growing businesses and sharing photographs, Al-Banawi has a unique outlook on how to utilize it. She uses her creative writing and direction to transform true stories into captivating films and stimulating posts. With anonymous submissions, The Other Story Project started by one original Saudi female to a powerful storytelling channel for everyone to engage in.
"Saudi Arabia’s leading travel author." reads the bio of Saudi traveler who is down-to-earth, as he travels from one country to another. Abdullah Al-Jumah has been named Saudi Arabia's leading travel author by Esquire Middle East. If you're looking for a great Instagram travel page with humbleness and unique destinations, his account @aaljumah is one to check out. This Saudi traveler published his book Tales of a Saudi in Europe and continues to globe-trot for more creative content to write his next work. He reveals his travels on social media as he explores diverse cultures and shares his with the world. Through his adventures, he doesn't forget to post important messages, inspiring (and knowledgeable) content, and encouraging his followers to step toward their dreams.
With so many tools available and fertile land of opportunities, the Saudi youth are sure to break new barriers. With support in the Kingdom, they create and contribute to the bigger Saudi success story.