Dr. Haifa inspires and encourages women to be innovative



By Amrina Qaiser

EDUCATION has always been the pride of nation, in its development and infrastructure, today we interview one of the influential women, who have contributed her talents with dedication and honesty to serve and bring change among females of different nationals.

Dr. Haifa Jamal Allail, the women behind many inspirations, has inspired females to walk through the dense forest of the changing world with courage and enthusiasm.

Highlighting some of her key roles, after pursuing her PhD in Public Policy from the University of Southern California, she joined Effat University in 1998 and began her tenure as President in May 2008. She is one of the winners of 1,000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 and the winner of the Distinguished Arabian Woman Award in 2005.

Dr. Haifa’s interest didn’t stop here she is also an author, a researcher and also is expert in privatization and women empowerment. She has encouraged women to focus on business administration and public policies.

She started her career as a Dean of Girls’ in King Abdulaziz University, and was a visiting scholar at John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2001. She participated in the Summer Institute for Woman in Higher Education Administration in Bryn Mawr College in 2000.

Dr. Haifa is the inspiration and the iconic figure when it comes to encouraging today’s females of Effat University. She has brought about many changes with the vision to pursue the concrete and new innovations when it comes to convincing the students to think differently when it comes their career and their countries development.

The excerpts of the interview:

Q: What is the philosophy that you hold close to your heart?

A: I hold Effat University’s core values, IQRA, close to my heart. These values include the following:

• I: Ibhath ... undertake life-long research

• Q: Qiyam ... ethical social and educational values

• R: Riyada ... responsible and creative leadership

• A: At-tawasul ... effective communication and reaching out to others

Q: Highlight some of your key focus areas, which you wanted to get implemented.

A: These are the main goals Effat University would like to reach by 2017:

• To be recognized as the best women’s university in the Kingdom.

• Develop a positive organizational climate and maintain a productive work environment.

• Gain and maintain national and international accreditation, and ensure that the University is among the top national universities.

• Sustain academic excellence and implement the academic programs expansion projects.

• Reach the University’s student capacity by 2017 and continue to cultivate excellence in student development.

• Continue providing students, faculty and administrative community with state-of-the-art campus resources and facilities.

• Complete the construction of the required buildings for the new campus master plan and optimize the use of the University’s facilities.

• Further increase the financial strength and sustainability of the university and continue the fundraising efforts for the construction of the new buildings, scholarships, and research chairs.

• Substantially increase the professional development of Effat administrative staff and also to increase research and scholarly output and activities.

• Further develop and strengthen the University’s relations and interactions with the community.

Q: How do you feel about being part of this university?

A: I feel proud of being part of this great institution that aims to create female leaders who make a positive change in the community and the world.

Q: Social Media has become the backbone of many institution and academy; do you think we are totally dependent, if we are cutoff from social media for one day what tool (other than Facebook, WhatsApp Twitter) would you use to implement things and how?

A: I think Social Media has helped tremendously in terms of spreading the news for us as an institution, but we are not entirely dependent on it as we still use newspapers, TV, and Radio to share our news. And that’s what we will keep on doing in case if Social Media wasn’t available.

Q: Credibility or potential has always been the mindset of every professional and educated individual, in your set up what do you think has played a major role in bringing you to this level and why?

A: I think studying and graduating from Dar Al-Hanan School, the first established school for girls in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which was like Effat University, established by Queen Effat Althunayan — May Allah rest her soul — has inspired me for this educational career, where I was motivated to add to the industry of educating women.

Q: Inclinations and elegance is the key of any management, what you think is one major important thing you should always carry and why?

A: Education is a key! The desire of learning, improving, and implementing new ideas and techniques are important for the success of any institution.

Q: Experience makes you perfect, in the span of years what is that one thing you noticed that cannot be changed but yet has kept pace with time?

A: The student’s desire of improving is constant. It does not matter where our students come from or what their backgrounds are, you always find them looking for ways to improve and challenge themselves.

Q: Who has been the most influential person in your life? How do you see yourself after 15 years from now?

A: My mother has been the most influential person, and I see myself after 15 years serving in a local and international educational board.

Q: Why have you chosen this field, was it your passion if so can you quote one simple line for viewers?

A: When I came back to Saudi Arabia after finishing my PhD’, I found myself in a place where I was able to teach young women and guide them. Since then, I have worked for the same cause, which is enabling women everywhere to achieve their dreams.

Q: In what ways does technology help women and how is it relevant in today’s society?

A: In my opinion, technology, or to be more specific, Social Media has contributed in spreading the news of accomplished women, and that added to their confidence to work and prove themselves more.

Q: If you have been given a chance to change something from the past what it would be and why?

A: I would open more doors for women, and encourage female students from early ages and teach them to work and pursue their dreams as educated women.

Q: What do you like most about yourself and how you describe your personality?

A: I think of myself as an enthusiastic and an encourager for women education.

Q: What is the greatest problem today when it comes to educating someone and why?

A: Education consists of a lot of resources. And providing the best material, environment, and educators is the biggest challenge that faces anybody who works in this industry.

Q: Effat has its name by itself so what you believe and what you think has taken a footstep for so many females to come up to such a level.

A: Effat University prides itself by being the first private female university to be established in Saudi Arabia, which gave it a head start in promoting the ideology of creating a university that is dedicated only for women’s education.

Q: Would like to know your favorite color and dish, and what your stress fight back pill is. What is that which keep you so loved and energetic and positive in your day-to-day task?

A: I like the color burgundy and seafood. Silence relaxes me, and achievements make my day.

Q: What message you wish to give your friends and well-wishers?

A: I wish everybody a great health in serving our community, educating our children, and being great role models for the next generations.