Alwaleed Philanthropies' Secretary General, Princess Lamia bint Majid AlSaud, says now is the time for Saudi Arabia's women to grab opportunities, adding that old traditions can no longer be used as excuses to remain "lazy" or dependent.

Princess Lamia bint Majid AlSaud is frustrated.

“What are they? Who are they? Where are the businesswomen, the start-up owners, the entrepreneurs, the doctors?”

For someone whose job is all about diplomacy, AlSaud is not afraid to speak her mind, especially when it comes to the divisive issue of social media influencers, or, as she calls them, “Snapchat fashionistas”.

“Those are the stars now? I don’t mean anything bad; I know a lot of them who are amazing, but if you want people to have another perspective of success, then create... I don’t mind anyone who is succeeding, but [social media] isn’t the only segment where you can be a star and [make] money.”

As the Secretary General and member of the Board of Trustees at Alwaleed Philanthropies, she has made that very clear.

You won’t find this princess spending too much time scrolling through Instagram feeds, she is too busy eradicating measles and rubella around the world. In December 2017, the foundation announced a $50m partnership with UNICEF to prevent measles-related child fatalities and rubella-triggered disabilities through vaccinations.

Founded in the 1980s, Alwaleed Philanthropies was set up by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, chairman of Tadawul-listed Kingdom Holding, which boasts interests in every field from technology and tourism to financial services, hospitality, media, entertainment, petrochemicals, aviation and more.

Today, the foundation operates at a global level, with initiatives in over 90 countries where it focuses on cultural understanding, community development, women and youth empowerment and crisis relief… more