Three women, including Saudi’s first female director, have been appointed to this new board.

Just days after the announcement that Saudi Arabia will open its first public cinema this month, culture in the kingdom is making headlines again.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture and Information, Dr Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, has appointed a new board of directors for the General Authority for Culture — and several women have made the cut.

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The official body, which handles all cultural activities in the kingdom, was established by a royal decree in 2016 with the aim of developing the arts within the nation.


The board is made up of 13 members, including artists, filmmakers and government officials, according to state news agency SPA.

And it now counts Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female director, among its ranks.

The Wadjda star, who is in post-production on her third feature Nappily Ever After, will join art Mona Khazandar, the first woman and first Saudi to be appointed Director General of Paris’ Institut du Monde Arabe, and playwright Maysa Al-Sobehy on the board.

The authority will work on developing the cultural and arts sectors in the kingdom at a “competitive level”, according to the Saudi Gazette, as well as working towards Vision 2030.

The initiative, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to make Saudi a more modern, tourist-friendly destination.

Under the post-oil economy plans, King Salman issued a historic royal decree in September, allowing females the right to lawfully gain driving licences in the kingdom from June 2018.

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Women will be able to attend sports events in stadiums in three cities from this year, and female students in the kingdom are now allowed to carry their phones while on campus.

Additionally, more Saudi females have been appointed to top jobsa royal directive allowed women to use certain government services without a male guardian’s consent, and recent approval was issued for the go-ahead of women’s gyms.

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Images: Getty