Open main menu

Lolowah bint Faisal Al Saud

Lolowah bint Faisal (Arabic: لولوة الفيصل آل سعود‎; also spelled Loulwa) (born 1948) is a daughter of King Faisal from his second wife, Iffat Al Thunayan. She is considered one of the most publicly visible female members of the Saudi Royal Family.[1] She is the full sister of Foreign Minister Prince Saud and former Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki. She is a prominent activist for women's education and other social issues in Saudi Arabia.[2]

Lolowah Al Faisal
Princess Lolowah Al Faisal Al Saud - World Economic Forum Turkey 2008.jpg
Princess Lolowah at the 2008 World Economic Forum regional meeting in Turkey
Born1948 (age 70–71)
Ta'if, Saudi Arabia
SpousePrince Saud bin Abdul Mohsen Al Saud (divorced)
Full name
Lolowah bint Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
HouseHouse of Saud
FatherKing Faisal
MotherIffat Al Thunayan
ReligionSunni Islam

Early lifeEdit

Lolowah bint Faisal was one of nine children from the marriage of King Faisal and Queen Iffat. She was brought up in a palace in Ta’if. Like Faisal's other children, she was educated abroad, and attended high school in Lausanne, Switzerland.[3] She married one of her cousins, with whom she had three children, but divorced after ten years.[3] Her father was assassinated when she was in her twenties by his half-brother's son, Faisal bin Musaid.

Women's issuesEdit

Princess Lolowah has dedicated her life to improving the welfare of women in Saudi Arabia, especially in the field of education. She has been a member of the Al Nahdah Philanthropic Society for Women in Riyadh since 1970. From 1990 to 1999, she assisted her mother, Queen Iffat in supervising the Dar Al Hanan School in Jeddah, the first private female high school in Saudi Arabia. Along with her mother and siblings, she helped found Effat College (now Effat University) in 1999.[4][5]

She was involved in all the phases of the college's founding, from raising funds, developing the curriculum, overseeing construction to the hiring of faculty and staff.[6] She currently serves as the university's Vice Chair of the Board of Founders and Board of Trustees, and General Supervisor.She allowed herself to be photographed by Western media for the first time in 2005.[3]

During a public session at the 2007 World Economic Forum, she spoke out against the ban on driving for women in Saudi Arabia.[1] In addition to advocating more rights for Saudi women, she also works against misconceptions about women in Saudi Arabia that exist in the West. She insists Muslim women are accorded equal rights but not necessarily the same rights as men.[3]

Representing Saudi ArabiaEdit

She has also represented Saudi Arabia at various international forums. She served as a member of the Committee of International Trade of the Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industries. In 2006, she led a delegation of Saudi businesswomen to Hong Kong.[1] She has participated in Saudi trade missions abroad, accompanying senior Saudi royal family members on diplomatic travels.[7]

Lolowah has given many speeches worldwide on the advancement of Muslim women.[8] She is a member of the summit agenda of the World Economic Forum and participated in the forum's sessions.[9] During the 2008 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, she presented the working session "What Kind of Education for What Kind of World?", delivering a speech focusing on the philosophy of education.[10] She was the keynote speaker at the London Middle East Institute Conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London in 2003.[7] At home, she is a board member of the King Faisal Foundation.[7]

Like her father King Faisal,[11] Princess Lolowah speaks fluent English and French in addition to her native Arabic.[3]


In 2009, Princess Lolowah received an honorary degree from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts.[6][12] She also spoke at the commencement ceremony. Mount Holyoke College played a consultative role in the founding of Effat University.[6]



  1. ^ a b c Buzbee, Sally (2 January 2007). "Saudi Princess Would Let Women Drive". Associated Press. Washington Post. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  2. ^ "H.R.H. Princess Lolowah Al Faisal Al Saud". World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Jardine, Cassandra (12 December 2005). "'There's such ignorance about us'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  4. ^ Effat University Board of Founders
  5. ^ Effat University Board of Trustees
  6. ^ a b c "Ireland's President Is Commencement Speaker". Mount Holyoke College. 6 April 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  7. ^ a b c "Building Bridges: A Conversation with Princess Loulwa Al Faisal". Saudi-US Relations Information Service. 5 June 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Princess Lolowah offers support to women's leadership forum". Arab News. 28 October 2010. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  9. ^ =57 "HRH Princess Lolowah Al Faisal" Check |url= value (help). 6th World Islamic Economic Forum. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  10. ^ "HRH Princess Loulwa Al Faisal presents working session at WEF". AMEinfo. 23 January 2008. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  11. ^ "Man in the news. King Faisal". The Telegraph. 5 November 1964. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  12. ^ Aultman, Amanda (9 April 2009). "Irish President to speak at commencement". The Mount Holyoke News. Archived from the original on 30 August 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2011.