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COMMITTEE MEMBERS OF THE SAUDI–BRITISH SOCIETY

HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud

HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud was born on 22 May 1953 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and at present is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Prince Mohammed was educated at The Capital Institute High School in Riyadh. He is a graduate of The School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington DC and carried out postgraduate studies at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is President of the Harvard Alumni Association of Saudi Arabia.

Prince Mohammed worked for the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu for two years before transferring to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he first worked in the Minister’s Cabinet before being promoted to Inspector General at the Ministry.

In 1995, Prince Mohammed was appointed as Ambassador to Italy and Malta. In 1998 he was elected as President of the Council of Administration for the Islamic Cultural Centre of Italy. He was Dean of the Arab Ambassadors’ Corps.

In December 2005, Prince Mohammed was appointed as Ambassador of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Prince Mohammed is married to HH Princess Fadwa bint Khaled bin Abdallah Al-Saud. They have five children.


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Sir Alan Munro, KCMG

Sir Alan Munro Sir Alan Munro joined the Diplomatic Service in 1958 on coming down from Clare where he read history. He went to Lebanon to learn Arabic, and subsequently worked in Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya and Brazil as well as in the Foreign Office. He had a spell in the Ministry of Defence looking after military cooperation with Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, before going to Algeria as ambassador in 1974. He was subsequently Under-Secretary of State for the Middle East and Africa and was British ambassador in Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1993, a period which coincided with the Kuwait crisis.

Since leaving the Diplomatic Service he has advised a number of firms on the Middle East region. He is chairman of the Saudi-British Society and a vice-chairman of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce. He was a founding member of the Saudi-British Business Council and advises the Ministry of Defence on the UK/Saudi Al Yamamah Economic Offset Programme. He is also a director of Middle East International magazine and writes and broadcasts on Arab issues. He is author of a book, ‘Arab Storm’, on the politics and diplomacy behind the 1990-91 Kuwait crisis, which has just reissued in paperback.

He has also been a governor of Imperial College in London and vice-chairman of the British Red Cross Society.

Sir Alan Munro was awarded the Order of King Abdul Aziz by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War.


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Sir Sherard Cowper–Coles, KCMG LVO

Sir Sherard Cowper–Coles Sir Sherard Cowper–Coles succeeded Sir Alan Munro as Chairman of the Saudi-British Society following the Annual General Meeting on 29 June 2011.

Sir Sherard served as British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2003 until 2007. After over 30 years as a diplomat, Sir Sherard took early retirement from HM Diplomatic Service in October 2010. He was appointed Business Development Director, International, at BAE Systems plc in February 2011. He is a frequent visitor to Saudi Arabia.

Sir Sherard joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on graduating from Hertford College, Oxford, where he is now an Honorary Fellow. After learning Arabic at the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies at Shemlan, and elsewhere, Sir Sherard's first substantive overseas posting was to Cairo. Later he served in political jobs in Washington and Paris. In London, he worked as the Foreign Office speech–writer; as Private Secretary to two Permanent Under–Secretaries (Sir Antony Acland and Lord Wright of Richmond); and on European security. He was appointed Head of the Hong Kong Department for over three years leading up to the handover of the Territory on 30 June 1997. In 1999–2001, he worked as Principal Private Secretary to the then British Foreign Secretary, the late Robin Cook.

Sir Sherard also served as HM Ambassador to Israel (2001–2003) and Afghanistan (2007–2009). He served as the Foreign Secretary's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2009 until 2010, following which he took early retirement. He has since published a book about Afghanistan, "Cables from Kabul", and is working on another of diplomatic anecdotes. He is a fluent Arabic speaker.


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Mr Syed Ali Abbas

Mr Syed Ali Abbas Syed Ali Abbas leads the principal investment initiatives, capital raising and deal origination in Middle East for Zeus Caps – a financial advisory specialist. Prior to Zeus, Mr. Syed worked as an investment banker in the City having worked with ABN AMRO and Morgan Stanley. Mr Syed also worked in Saudi Arabia for several years with the accounting firm Ernst & Young and still maintains close contacts in the region.



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Mrs Ionis Thompson

Mrs Ionis Thompson Ionis Thompson lived with her husband in Riyadh for a total of 12 years, during the 1970s and early 1990s. While there she wrote "Desert Treks from Riyadh" and "Riyadh Handbook", published by Stacey International.

On her return to London she maintained her interest in Arabia, through the Society for Arabian Studies of which she is also the Honorary Secretary and the Saudi-British Society. As a History graduate, she has a particular interest in Arabian history and archaeology and has taken part in University of London excavations in the region.




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Mr Anthony Bailey, OBE GCSS

Mr Anthony Bailey Mr Anthony Bailey is Chairman of Eligo International, a public affairs company, which advises government, diplomatic and corporate clients on a wide range of communications disciplines including lobbying, media relations, economic, trade, tourism, culture promotion, issues and crisis management.

Anthony is active in Arab and Muslim affairs and advises both professionally and personally numerous high profile organisations across the region. He is also Special Counsel to the King Faisal Foundation and to The Arab Thought Foundation in Saudi Arabia.

From 1999+ Anthony has been appointed Chairman of the Painting & Patronage royal initiative which in 2000 and 2001 brought together HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia, (Governor of Mecca Region and previously Governor of Asir) in what became the largest–ever cultural exchange between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As on ongoing initiative, the further Painting & Patronage programmes took place between 2005 and 2007 in Portugal and Saudi Arabia under the High Patronage of HE The President of Portugal and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. Further programmes are scheduled for South America and Europe.

Since 2002, Anthony has been advising the Department of Children, Schools and Families (previously the Department of Education and Skills) on the development of the British Government's Academies education initiative. In 2004 Mr Bailey was appointed a member of the London Chanelege Ministerial Task Force. In 2007 Anthony was appointed a member of the Ministerial Task Force for Gifted and Talented Education. Anthony is a Board Director of the United Learning Trust. In May 2006 Anthony was appointed Chief Policy Adviser to the Board of Directors of the Foreign Policy Centre.

In the field of inter–faith and inter-church dialogue and understanding, Anthony was appointed in 2006 as the Grand Magistral Delegate for Inter–Religious Relations of the Roman Catholic Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East, The Maimonides Foundation, and the Path to Peace in Balkans Foundations.

Anthony has been honoured with numerous royal, state and religious decorations in recognition of his professional, charitable and interfaith activities. In June 2008 Mr Bailey was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Other awards and honours include those from the Governments of Bulgaria, the Holy See, Portugal, Morocco, Costa Rica, Panama, Lebanon, Yemen, and Syria.


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Brigadier Nicholas Cocking

Brigadier Nicholas Cocking Nicholas Cocking joined the Army in 1954 and retired in 1992. During that time he served for four tours of duty in the Middle East. First was in 1960-61 when he was seconded to the Trucial Oman Scouts, where he first learnt Arabic at the British Army Language School in Aden. In 1963-64 he returned to the Arabian Peninsula with his Regiment (4RTR) where they were, inter alia, involved in the Radfan campaign in the Aden Protectorate. He joined the staff as GSO2 Intelligence to Commander British Forces Gulf in 1970-71. Finally he was seconded to The Saudi Arabian National Guard as Commander of the British Military Mission from 1984 to 1991 shortly after the War of Kuwait Liberation. He was awarded the King Abdulaziz Medal on his departure. Since retiring he has been active commercially within the Kingdom. He is a member of Chatham House and is active with their Middle East Forum, particularly when focused on Saudi interests.

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Mr Mu'awiya Derhalli

Mr Mu'awiya Derhalli Mr Mu'awiya Derhalli has a Diploma in the Theory and Practice of Education, and won a scholarship to Trinity College, Dublin, where he obtained his MA in Modern History and Political Science. Thereafter he had a variety of careers in many fields: academia, broadcasting, personnel, education, and general management and prepared cross-cultural and country-based (mainly Middle Eastern countries) briefings.

His occupations include:  Lecturer in Arabic and Tutor in University College, Durham University, Presenter, talks producer of The BBC Arabic Service, and Arab countries national days programme producer and interviewer.

Mr Derhalli has occupied a variety of executive positions with the Kuwait Oil Company (BP and Gulf Oil) for sixteen years in Kuwait. They include:  Principal of the Arabic Centre, General Superintendent of Training and Education, Director of Career Development and Personnel Manager (personnel, training, company schools and community affairs) and a member of the Management Committee. He also spent eleven years in the BP Head Office in London in the Personnel department providing University sponsorships, training services for Group and overseas associates.  In addition he is a trustee of the Overseas Student Trust and a member of Sir Peter Parker's Committee.

Mr Derhalli was a deputy Director, Course Coordinator and Director of Middle East briefing programmes for ten years at the Centre for International Briefing: Farnham Castle.

He has published a number of articles and book reviews in English and many short stories and radio programmes in Arabic.  He has visited the Arab countries of the Gulf, for which he provided training services.


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Mrs Caroline Montagu

Mrs Caroline Montagu Mrs Caroline Montagu, Countess of Sandwich was a business journalist on the Middle East from 1979 and specialised in Saudi Arabia from 1981. In 1985 published Investment in Saudi Arabia, Opportunities for Joint Ventures, funded by COMET (Committee for Middle East Trade), which was the first British in-depth analysis of industrial development and of our EC partners’ positions on Saudi Arabia. In 1987 wrote the European Commission research report entitled: Industrial Development in Saudi Arabia. Mrs Montagu has been writing on Saudi Arabia and on specific Middle Eastern topics for a wide range of publications and consultancies since the mid 1980s. In 1980s she wrote many of the EIU’s publications on Saudi Arabia including editing the flagship Saudi Arabia Monitor. In 1991 she wrote The Private Sector in Saudi Arabia, a COMET report. In 2001 she wrote Saudi Arabia: On the Road to Reform, funded by the DTI. In 2002 and 2003 she wrote reports for the MOD Economic Offset Department on Saudi British Offset and other topics and later in 2003 she wrote on Saudi women’s NGOs for the British Council. In 2005 co-authored report for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on Needs and Capacities of the NGOs in Saudi Arabia.

Mrs Montagu is currently specialising in social and women’s issues in Saudi Arabia and studying for MA (London) on Middle East Politics & Society. She has a MA from Cambridge University.

Mrs Montagu is currently a Committee member of the Saudi British Society, a member of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce’s Consultative Committee on the Middle East; a member of the Saudi British Joint Business Council and a senior adviser for Women in Business International.

Mrs Montagu is currently a Member of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s South West Committee and a Member of the HHA Tourism & Commercial Development Committee. In addition, she is a Patron of the Beaminster Festival, Bridport CAB and President of the Dorset Natural History & Archaeological Society.


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Dr Samira Osailan BDS, MSc PhD, MJDFRCSeng

Dr Samira Osailan (Chairwoman of SAWA)
Dr Samira Osailan is an Oral Surgeon who got her BDS and MSc from King Saud University and was the first Saudi female in her specialty. She got her PhD from King’s College London Dental Institute where she is currently working as a Clinical lecturer/Researcher. She is a regular presenter in national and international conferences and has many publications.

She is the wife of a supportive husband and mother of two children. Personally She likes to help others and is very much interested in changing the stereotypical idea about Saudi woman to the real and positive image. She likes to attend cultural and religion related events. She is a good speaker and can express her opinion simply and clearly. She loves travelling and socialization with different cultures.


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Dr Sabah Al–Safi

Dr Sabah Al–Safi Dr Sabah Al–Safi was born and raised in Madina but moved to Jeddah in the 70s to pursue her higher education. Having completed a BA in English (First Honours), she earned a scholarship to the United States where she completed both her MA and Ph.D. in Linguistics. She spent over 25 years in academia – lecturing, supervising theses, examining, and researching – and held several administrative posts and served on countless committees at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah. Dr. Safi has numerous publications (in English) on the acquisition, processing and dissolution of Arabic as a First and⁄or Second language. She has been (and continues to be) on the Advisory Board of the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics (Brill Publishers).

Since her return to the Kingdom in 1987, and in her capacity as a lecturer, a consultant, a trainer, and as a member of the intellectual circles in Jeddah, Dr. Safi has been a strong advocate of women empowerment through the amalgamation of an international strong eduction, a better understanding of one's faith, and a sound appreciation of one's cultural heritage. In 1997–8, she was the first recipient of the Prince of Wales – King Faisal Foundation Chevening Award for postgraduate research and spent the year as an Associate Fellow at Green College, Oxford. In 2004–5, she received the Arab Fund Distinguished Scholars Award and spent that year at the Department of Experimental Psychology in Oxford. As a Visiting Lecturer in the Department, she gave some of the second year lectures on Language and Cognition and provided some of the course tutorials – an educational model she became a proponent of.

In 2009, Dr. Safi took early retirement from her post as Associate Professor of Linguistics at KAU and moved to Oxford. Committed to educational reforms in the Kingdom, she joined World Class Arena as consultant on the Mawhiba School Partnership Program. In 2010, she established Montelier in Turkey (an architectural and design consultancy firm). She is a shareholder as well as the current GM.


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Ms Carolyn Perry

Ms Carolyn PerryFollowing a degree in Classics and Archaeology, Carolyn lectured in Ancient History and Mythology in the Department of Mediterranean Studies at Queen Mary College, University of London, before retraining as a Primary School teacher.  Carolyn later joined The British Museum, where she set up and ran
the Arab World Education Programme. For more than a decade she has worked at MBI Al Jaber Foundation, a UK based charity founded by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, which aims to promote better understanding between the peoples of the Middle East and the wider world through activities in the areas of education, cultural dialogue and good governance.

Carolyn also works in the area of cultural heritage, having been Manager of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology at UCL. She lectures on various aspects of the ancient Mediterranean and Islamic world and is a regular speaker at the British Museum and elsewhere on Islamic Art and Architecture, Ancient Arabia and Ancient Mediterranean history and mythology.  In addition she accompanies tours as a guest lecturer and led one of the first British tours to Saudi
Arabia.

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