With the arrival of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in the United States later this week, there will be a huge focus on his vision for the Kingdom largely highlighted through Saudi Vision 2030. Naturally there will also be attention focused on those from Saudi Arabia living in the United States, and the decades of freindship and unique ties the two countries have shared.
Saudi Vision 2030 places a great empahsis on the youth, empowerment and entreprenership. Those three pillars are being practiced daily in the United States by tens of thousands of students from the Kingdom who are studying in the US.
One of those students is Nawaf Al Saif from Qassim. Currently studying Construction Management and minoring in General Business Administration, he’s also president of The Saudi Students Association. Speaking to Arabia Now about his time volunteering in the United States he said, “I was struggling at the beginning when I first came to America. Then I saw the soul of helping each other in Saudi students in helping me to open a bank account or telling me how to get my own monthly pass for transportation. That inspired me to help others and share experiences”
Since landing in the United States, Nawaf has helped with numerous volunteering projects on both the East and West coasts of the United States. In Boston, Washington DC, and Fresno in California. The volunteering projects are an idea of the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission also known as SACM. SACM striveS to provide students from the Kingdom with the best possible educational opportunities at the best educational institutions in the U.S.A. They support the students academically and financially and also encourage active participation in academic, cultural, and social activities.
During his interview with Arabia Now, Nawaf said it was hile volunteering with SACM, he realized that donating his time, “Was really eye opening. It also pushed me further to do more and make the best of opportunities. In 2016, I enjoyed being an active member with the Saudi club at Fresno State serving people and I was happy to see the greatness of the volunteering work for the Saudi National Day event and the Eids of Fitter and Adha. ”
SACM also encourages students from the Kingdom to volunteer in their local university neighborhoods. It’s something Nawaf has done too, which has given him the chance to meet Americans, and Americans to meet someone from Saudi Arabia. It’s been a great opportunity for both sides, as some people are surprised to meet someone from the Kingdom on their home turf. Nawaf recalled to Arabia Now a lot of people say to him, “You are too far from home. But then questions start up to get to know more about Saudi Arabia cultures and traditions.”
Nawaf is happy that one of the pillars of Saudi Vision 2030 focuses on philanthropy. When he returns to the Kingdom he plans to continue to volunteer and donate his time. He told Arabia Now, “As a student who is grateful to Allah for having such a great country like Saudi Arabia, which helps and support its nation to promote in their educational and practical life, I’m willing to share my expertise and try to apply my volunteering plans in Saudi Arabia, because my country deserves us to pay back with love.”
Knowing Crown Prince Mohammed is arriving this week in the United States, Nawaf said he’s grateful to see the vision he’s laid out, and explained to Arabia Now, “I am glad to see more focus on entrepreneurship programs, and I am excited to see movie theaters opening up that is going to let us practice our culture more with arts, productions and various advantages. Moreover, These things are just a side of our development and I believe in the vision of Saudi Vision 2030 and its Knight, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud.”