Saudi Arabia has appointed its second female ambassador, Amal Yahya al-Moallimi, to represent the Kingdom in Norway.
Al-Moallimi took the oath of office virtually on Tuesday before Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA),
The first woman to hold such a position is Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US.
But who is al-Moallimi, and how did she rise to follow in Princess Reema’s footsteps?
Background in human rights
Al-Moallimi is the general manager of international collaboration at Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission (HRC). She previously held the position of assistant secretary-general at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue.
The new ambassador obtained a bachelor’s degree in the English Language from Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University in Saudi Arabia.
She then studied abroad, gaining a postgraduate degree in Mass Communication and Media from the University of Denver in the US, as well as a fellowship from the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies in the UK.
Al-Moallimi had participated in a number of international and local conferences as a speaker.
“What is happening with Vision 2030 will have an impact, and these achievements and developments will impact the surrounding region at the Arab and Islamic levels,” al-Moallimi said at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) event in 2019.
“There is no longer a field that Saudi women cannot join,” she added.
She also delivered a speech during the inauguration of the King Abdullah International Center for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) in Vienna, Austria.
Al-Moallimi’s brother, Abdallah al-Mouallimi, is also an ambassador, representing the Kingdom at the United Nations (UN).
“I am proud of my sister Amal, who took the oath today in front of King Salman as the Kingdom's ambassador to Norway, and thank you to everyone who shared feelings of pride with us. May our father Yahya and my mother rest in peace, who raised us to love our country and be loyal to our ruler. Praise be to God,” Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi tweeted.
Proud of my sister Amal who took the oath of office today in front of King Salman as the new ambassador of KSA to Norway!— Abdallah AlMouallimi (@amouallimi) October 21, 2020
The appointment of Saudi Arabia’s second female ambassador is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program, which aims to empower Saudi women socially and economically.
Since the launch of Vision 2030 in April 2016, Saudi women have already benefited from a range of reforms, gaining the right to drive among other advances.