For the December 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia, HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud has penned a stirring open letter. “Never has there been a more promising, more optimistic time to be a young woman in Saudi Arabia than right now. Barriers are being replaced by opportunity. Cultural limitations are giving way to social transformation. What we are now seeing in the Kingdom is a historic wake-up call – a long overdue realization that our economy cannot prosper or thrive if half our population is on the sidelines, unable to fully participate and contribute. Change is now happening all around us and our collective journey will continue until Saudi women are so genuinely accepted in every job and sector that we never again have to call any Arab woman ‘the first,'” she begins.
The Saudi royal, photographed by her daughter, Princess Sarah bint Faisal Al Saud, considers that as the Kingdom embraces gender equality, there are no limits for the achievements of its women. “The glass ceiling inhibiting women’s progress and advancement is cracking and with continued progress, it will soon melt away,” she states in her letter. The royal adds that changes must be made for the “right” reasons, writing, “Not as an ambition to ‘Westernize’ but as an ambition to evolve and advance, while maintaining the traditions and beliefs of our beautiful and rich culture.”
Over the years, Princess Reema and Vogue Arabia have enjoyed a burgeoning relationship rooted in respect. It is one that dates back to the storytelling of Princess Reema’s passion project, her luxury accessories fashion brand Baraboux, at a time when she was the CEO of Alfa International, and continued through to her numerous charity organization affiliations, notably her involvement with the Zahra Breast Cancer Association, co-chaired by her mother, HRH Princess Haifa bint Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. With time, Princess Reema proved that her love, hope, and sheer dedication to her homeland was limitless. On February 23, 2019, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz appointed her ambassador to the US. She is the first woman in the Kingdom’s history to serve in the role of ambassador.
“I have long admired the leadership and generosity of Princess Reema,” says Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut. “It is nothing short of an honor for myself and our readers to have her contribute to Vogue Arabia in such a personal way. Her daughter, Princess Sarah’s portraits make these pages even more special.”
Metamorphosis, an open letter by HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, is printed in full in the December 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia.