HRH Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz al Saud
Her Royal Highness Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz al Saud was born on 1 March, 1964 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In 1976, due to the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon, HRH moved between London and America with her mother. In 1979, she graduated from high school at the Leaders College in America. Her Royal Highness then travelled between several European capital cities and the US, where she studied at various universities, before moving with her mother to Syria in 1983. These universities included Richmond in the UK the American University in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she studied the social sciences.
In 1984, she received BSc (Hons) Degree in Sociology from the National American University, then in 1986, went on to achieve MSc Degree in Social Economics and Political Science.
Her Royal Highness is the youngest daughter of King Saud and her mother, Princess Jamila bint Asad Ibrahim Marei, is from Latakia. Princess Jamila came to the Kingdom at the start of the twentieth century and learnt the Quran and studied under the late King Abdulaziz. She then married King Saud as his seventh wife, becoming mother to Prince Khaled, Princess Jawahir, Prince Abdel Majid, Princess Fahda, Princess Sheikh and Prince Abdel Malik.
Princess Basmah spent the first twenty years of her life studying and travelling the world, contributing towards her success as a talented, strategic and analytical leader. By virtue of those years of diverse Arab identity, HRH succeeded in refining her character, bearing a unique strategy of character building and concern for the individual.
In 1987, HRH married Al Sharif Shojaa bin Shahin Al Sharif from the city Al-Manora and gave birth to five children, Sara, 1988, Saud, 1990, Souhoud, 1992, Samaher, 1995 and Ahmed, 1998. After her separation in 2006, she studied literature, Islamic History and Shariah Law for over two years. She then moved to Britain.
Intellect and Media
HRH commenced her career in media and journalistic writing in 2006, when she started writing humanitarian and social affairs articles for the newspapers Al-Madina, Al-Hayat, Al-Ahram Al-Masri and the magazine Al-Sayadity. She also featured in articles for international outlets such as the Independent, Berfabl, Argeninin, Yo Donna magazine, Vanity Fair and the Huffington Post.
Her articles have focused on local and Arab social affairs. HRH is very much interested in the concerns of citizens, social problems and developed ideas to solve these issues within her articles.
The number of articles published by HRH within the Arab newspapers exceeds 500 articles. She has also published dozens of research projects on her websites.
Humanitarian and Research Institutions
During her residency in Britain, from 2011 to 2014, and after a period of research and strategic studies into humanitarian problems and concerns, HRH launched the Fourth Way Law. The Fourth Way Law received official accreditation from the EU Parliament in 2014 as an alternative constitution able to succeed in the twenty-first century. This came after visits to Africa, Europe, Asia and America to make the initiative more realistic and applicable to reality. This constitution aims to fight the causes of poverty, the roots of tension and division, and to address global public laws. It is designed to evolve and keep up with modern developments. It incorporates legislation on social communication, which will be effective across the globe. It facilitates the way towards human development, taking a leading role in the movement for change and creating the appropriate conditions to improve opportunities and distribute them fairly, enabling us to come out of the crisis that has shaken the world since the beginning of the twenty first century.
During her time in London, Her Royal Highness established a global humanitarian foundation, The Lanterns, which brings together the most important international figures from each intellectual, social, economic and scientific field and acts as a platform for global relationships, serving humanity and addressing the major issues of today. Through the Lanterns, Global United Research and Analysis (GURA) was founded, a research centre specialising in developing long-term solutions and strategies for businesses and institutions in both the public and private sectors, and providing global connectivity in the business, tourism, antiquities and heritage sectors.
In 2013, Her Royal Highness concentrated her efforts on humanitarian activities. HRH visited several locations in the Middle East such as Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon, shedding light on the lives of the Syrian refugees and helping to find solutions to their crises.
In the Arab and International Communities
HRH has participated as a speaker at several local, Arab and international conferences and seminars, such as the Global Forum on Human Rights, Jeddah, the Anti-Corruption Conference, Riyadh, Women in Leadership Forum, Yale Club, New York, European Policy Centre, University of Cambridge, Madeleine Albright Foundation, Oxford University, Cambridge University, Faculty of Middle Eastern Studies, University of St. Andrews, National Republican Women’s Club, University of California and Los Angeles, Oman University, Arab Bridge Centre for Human Rights, the Security Conference, Munich and Berlin, Enriching the Arab Economic Future, Qatar, 4th Conference of Education in the Gulf, Annual Meeting of the United Nations, for four consecutive years, Forum for Women in Leadership at the UN, Sexual Violence Summit, London, Future of the Women in the Middle East conference, London, Saudi-British Investment Forum and University of Sorbonne as well as participating in placing the foundation stone for the establishment of the Ministry of Women in Paris. HRH was a guest of honour at the North-South prize of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
In the Media
During the past ten years Her Royal Highness has appeared on a number of global media channels such as the BBC, Sky News, CNN, ANB Lebanon, Bloomberg, France 24, Al Hurra, Fox TV, Radio Jordan, The Voice of the People and Sheffield Live. During the interviews, HRH discussed humanitarian projects and the vision of reform and development in Arab societies to address global challenges.
HRH has founded a group of companies and specialised institutions:
- Inseed Holdings, specialising in restaurants, entertainment and marketing
- Enviro, environmental solutions
- Saudi ECHO centre
- The Basmah Comprehensive Centre for Training on Women’s Security
- Global United Lanterns, Britain
Her Royal Highness Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz al Saud is a member on many of boards of directors for companies within the Kingdom, as well as commercial memberships on boards and councils in the rest if the world, including countries such as Turkey, Canada, Japan and Britain.
Intellectual and Research Memberships
- Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UCLA
- Clinton Global Initiative
- Chatham House member and conference speaker
- Cherie Blair Foundation
- TASAM Center for Geopolitical Studies and Research in Turkey
- Arab Bridge Foundation for Human Rights in Jordan
Key Dates in HRH’s Life
- 1 March 1964 HRH Princess Basma bint Saud bin Abdulaziz al Saud was born in Riyadh.
- 1973 HRH received a Lebanese Youth Award for high jump.
- 1975/1974 chaired the Scout Group for the mountainous region (Hazmieh) in Lebanon.
- 1975 moved to live in Britain.
- 1981 moved to Syria to be with her mother.
- 2006 began writing journalistic articles.
- 8 May 2009 Conference: Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari Global Forum for graduates of Al-Azhar at the invitation of Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, conference supervisor and Sheikh Al-Azhar, the new head of Al-Azhar University and former Mufti.
- 2009 commenced initial studies for the Basmah Comprehensive Centre for Training on Women’s Security.
- 2010 received approval from the Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz for the Security Training Centre initiative and turned to the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences to grant the necessary permits, which was headed by Dr. Abdulaziz Sager.
- September 13, 2010 protocol for joint cooperation signed between “International Echo of Saudi Life” Centre and the Egyptian group of companies “Falcon”.
- September 2010 visit Al-Azhar Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb.
- 21 September 2010 meeting with the head of Al-Ahram editor Osama Saraya in Cairo and a group of writers from Al-Ahram newspaper.
- 24 September 2010 adopted the leadership of a national campaign to fight poverty and distributing donations to those in need.
- 24 February 2011 the opening of the elite exhibition in Jeddah for the artist Mariam Abu Hassan.
- 17 March 2011 the opening of exhibition for the Syrian artist Ayesh Tahimr at the hall in the Saudi Centre for Fine Arts in Jeddah.
- December 2011, received by Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria and the Patriarch of Saint Mark.
- 10 October 2012 delivered a speech at the British University of Cambridge.
- 4 January 2012 a lengthy interview with the Independent newspaper from her home in London.
- 23 September 2012 a guest of honour at the South-South award ceremony in New York City.
- 16 November 2012 participated in a seminar on the art of dialogue between East and West in London.
- 5 December 2012 participated in the Women’s Rights conference in London.
- 22 December 2012 the French Senate gives HRH a medal of honour in recognition of her efforts in the humanitarian field.
- 12 January 2013 gave a lecture at the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College in Boston, America.
- 1 February 2013 gave a lecture on international politics at the University of St. Andrews.
- 14 May 2013 gave lecture on cultural discourse in the Arab Bridge Center for Human Rights in Jordan.
- 14 May 2013 the Arab Bridge Center for Human Rights in Jordan gave HRH a seat on the board.
- 15 April 2013 discussed the Fourth Way Law and practical implications, emphasising importance of security, freedom, education and equality at the University of California and Los Angeles.
- 30 April 2013 gave a speech at Chatham House about the reality of women and power in the Middle East.
- 15 May 2013 ran a seminar on the Fourth Way Law and women’s rights in the Arab world at the Jordanian University.
- 16 May 2013 visited Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees during the humanitarian program of visits in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
- 18 May 2013 visited Syrian refugees staying in camps in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, donated humanitarian aid and listened to the situation in the camps.
- 19 May 2013 participated in the Doha Forum and the Conference, Enriching the Economic Future of the Middle East in Qatar.
- 31 March 2014 participated in the 4th Gulf Educational Exhibition.
- 14 October 2013 the official launch the Fourth Way Law in the Arab press.
- 30 March 2014 opening speech and comprehensive review of the Fourth Way Law, for the future of global education in the 4th Gulf Education Conference in London.
- 9 May 2014 submitted a working paper at the conference of principles and ethics, London.
- 20 May 2014 guest of honour at the British Saudi Investments Forum, London.
- 30 January 2014 won the late Yusuf Ali Award of Excellence for the Arab Council of Arab media.
- 11 June 2014 participated in the conference against sexual violence in conflicts, London.
- 13 May 2014 participated in Enriching the Economic Future of the Middle East Forum in Qatar.
- 6 May 2015 participated in the 3rd International Middle East Conference in Hatay, Turkey.
- 8 May 2015 presented a paper entitled “Sects and Ethnicities and Conflict Resolution” in the Middle East conference, Bhattaa Turkey.
- 20 June 2015 launched the initiative and competition “Comfort Us” in the Kingdom, a global initiative for the Quranic imams of mosques in Ramadan, under the supervision of the world body for the memorization of the Quran in Mecca.
- 29 June 2015 officially opened the 9th “Touch Queen” Exhibition in honour of ideal mothers at the Land Society in Jeddah.
- 31st December 2015, sponsoring a ceremony honouring volunteer care teams at the Equestrian Club in Jeddah
- 13th January 2016, sponsoring and attending a festival, “under Bayrak Sayyidi” at the Hilton Hotel, Jeddah on the first anniversary of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the reign of King Salman
- 23rd January 2016, HRH Princess Basmag bint Saud received the 2016 International Trumpet Award for human rights and humanity in Atlanta, USA
- 22nd February 2016, participating in the programme, “We are the Nation”, at King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Centre for the care of disabled children in Jeddah
- 25th February 2016, meeting with intellectuals and students and students at Taibah University in Medinah at the Grand Conference Hall for a media initiative organised by Taibah University of Medicine to strengthen intellectual security, national cohesion and the fight against extremism.
- 17th March, the Fourth Way Law is officially launched at the Riyadh International Book Fair.
- 26th March 2016, the American World University awarded HRH Princess Basmah bint Saud with an honorary doctorate certificate in humanitarian leadership.
- 3rd April 2016, signing ceremony for the first edition of the Fourth Way Law at the Bahrain International Book Fair
- 27th April 2016, delivered a speech at the 4th International Middle East Congress, Hatay, Turkey, entitled, “Multidimensional Security Building”
- 30th April 2016, signing ceremony for the first edition of the Fourth Way Law at the 26th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair as part of the Saudi Arabia exhibition.
The Fourth Way Law
Through the research centre, GURA, based in London, the Fourth Way Law was registered and documented by the European Union in 2014. Her Royal Highness received a prize in recognition for internationally monitoring human rights, geopolitical changes, international developments, establishing training centres in various fields related to the culture of the Fourth Way Law on a global scale, such as security, economic and administrative. It has been noted that a lot of countries, such as America and Britain, have been taking recommendations from the Fourth Way Law when making decisions on intellectual, environmental and economic security which other specialist international research centres had not discussed.
One of these recommendations was the decision of the American President Obama in 2014 to implement a law to monitor social network sites and develop specialised laws for it. This idea was raised when HRH Princess Basmah suggested it at the research centre at the University of Yale in New York in 2011. Heads of the boards of directors from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft had attended her lecture.
Many sections from the Fourth Way Law specialising in human rights have also been adopted in Britain after HRH gave a famous lecture at the University of Cambridge in 2012. In July 2015, the British government took up all the recommendations offered by HRH in the Fourth Way Law during her residence in Britain (2011-2014) and permanent membership at Chatham House.
The first issue of the Fourth Way Law was issued in March 2016.
HRH Princess Basmah bin Abdulaziz al Saud is also preparing for a series of publications from a joint venture between an Arab publishing house, a well-known western publishing house and GURA. In 2016 these numerous books will be published containing HRH’s vision of political and social events, a book on her journeys, and another which includes all the dialogues that HRH has had over the past five years.
Global United Research and Analysis (GURA)
GURA will be opening a new branch in 2016 in Jeddah, which will offer social, developmental and economic research. Radical, social and realistic solutions will be provided to tackle the previous challenges which have hindered the path of social and economic development, which is shaking the Arab region in general and the Kingdom in particular.
- The Princess was born in Riyadh on 01.03.1964. Around that time her father, King Saud, was overthrown by his brother Prince Faisal. That same year she and her Syrian-born mother left Saudi Arabia and settled in Beirut where the young Princess attended a Catholic nuns’ school until 8th grade.
- Civil war breaks out in Lebanon. Princess Basmah and her mother leave for the UK where she passes her O' and A' Levels at the Oxford International College.
- Princess Basmah studies one year of Sociology at Richmond College and two years at the American college of Leysin in Switzerland.
- Princess Basmah moves to Syria with her mother Jamila Merhi. Studies medicine, Psychology and English literature at the Beirut Arab University.
- Marries and has 5 children
- Divorces and embarks on her business ventures and journalism career. She writes for Al-Medina Weekly Newspaper, Al-Hayat, Al-Ahram, Nisf al-Dunya and Sayidaty English magazine.
- Establishes Inseed company with four brands, 3 in catering and one in media:
- Craze Abstract Art Cafe: café and gallery
- Kaa’kati: Authentic Lebanese sandwich bar
- Fish Me: Fast food fish chain
- Global Media Ecco: media
- Princess Basmah moves to London, continues with her writing and media appearances.
- She starts developing a project very close to her heart, The Lanterns United Global, a global network of people and organisations working towards a more egalitarian world.
- Princess Basmah opens her media office Ecco in west London and is currently working on expanding her company, Inseed into the UK market. She is also working on establishing her career as a speaker and independent television producer as well as preparing to launch an online newspaper.