There is an ongoing discussion about how to combine the Saudi values of Islamic heritage, with the modern values of working and success.
Knowledge is fundamental to development. Power and wisdom are forces that can lead to positive change and improvement.
I am fortunate that my parents instilled a thirst for knowledge and hard work in me. I managed to undertake health care research work for my Ph.D. and also work as a deputy CEO of a leading teaching hospital.
I was brought up in a family that values education, intellect and hard work. I have two siblings, a sister and brother, who are equally successful in their lives. I am from Al-Jouf, which is in the Northern Region of Saudi Arabia, and was raised in the US.
Reflecting on my childhood, I recall my parents reinforcing the importance to excel in school. I was not only competitive in my studies, but also in sports. My parents taught us the importance of being respectful, compassionate, helpful and polite, to be independent, responsible and accountable for our own actions.
The values my parents instilled in their children are clearly being nurtured and passed onto our next generation. I am a proud aunt to one niece and five nephews. It is amazing how much you can learn from youngsters.
As I progressed through school, my interests centered around creative writing, literature and communication. I thought I would become a journalist or a writer. I ended up studying medical technology. Since “education breeds confidence,” I went on to study for two graduate degrees and a postgraduate degree in health care.
My career started as a junior employee in a clinical laboratory. I worked my way up the corporate ladder and took on various leadership roles in the public and private sectors.
While reflecting on where I am today in my career, I have been asking myself whether I got here by mere chance, by making the right decisions, or because of the prayers, love and support of my family?
We are going through a period of unique and exciting transformation. I am honored and proud to be a part of the economic, social and cultural changes that will pave the way for future generations. I hope to continue contributing to the accomplishments of my country and become a mentor to the next generation.