Sameera Aziz

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Sameera Aziz
Sameera Aziz-side HR.jpg
Sameera Aziz in 2008
Al-Khober, Saudi Arabia
OccupationJournalist, poet, writer, filmmaker, activist

Sameera Aziz (Arabic: سميرة عزيز‎) is a Saudi media personality, social worker, and businesswoman. She is a Jeddah-based Saudi national. She is an owner of Jeddah based companies 'Sameera Aziz Group' and Sameera Aziz Entertainment, the first Saudi production house in India. She is most notable as a radio presenter of her weekly show 'Marhaba with Sameera Aziz' in Asian Radio Live,[1] which is based in the United Kingdom. She is an elected Saudi Director of United Nations' affiliated Global Sports Federation (GSF).[2] She is a Chief Editor of business and entertainment related publications. She was also notable for her work with the Saudi Gazette newspaper as a Senior International Editor in the past.[3][4][5] She is the first Saudi novelist of Urdu language in Saudi Arabia.

Early life abroad[edit]

Sameera Aziz was born on 24 June 1976 in Al-Khober, Saudi Arabia, to Aziz-ur-Rehman, and a Saudi mother who disowned her soon after her birth. The new born Sameera was then brought-up by her step mother Mehar Afroz. She was the only daughter of three children of Aziz Ur Rehman; she has two elder step brothers, Faisal Aziz and Fahad Aziz. Her early education was completed abroad, in Karachi's Gulistan Shah Abdul Latif School, and later at P.E.C.H.S. Girl's College and the University of Karachi. She married at the age of Fifteen and completed her education after her marriage. She did her thesis for her PhD in Trade Relations, she received master's degrees in International Relations and Journalism. She then studied Film making from Hollywood and Indian directors in different time spans.[6] and also completed furthermore Postgraduate education in the subjects of Mass Communication and Film Direction from Livewires-The Media Institute in Mumbai, India.[7] She is doing PhD from Osmania University Hyderabad India.[8][9]

According to a book Sold For Dowry, Sameera Aziz was sold as a bride and was denied to continue her further education as promised. According to the Saudi customs, a groom gives the dowry amount to bride, but it is claimed in Sold For Dowry that Sameera was unaware about her dowry amount taken by her step mother on her behalf and she was only told that she will be permitted to take her further education and career in Media after marriage.[10][11]


Aziz is a Chief Editor of Business and entertainment publications. Earlier, she was the president of Asian Information Agency (AIA), a Worldwide News Service; and the Saudi Country Head of South Asian Regional Information Agency, voice of SAARC countries (SARIA).[12] She was also the Bureau Chief of the first Saudi independent English news website The Peninsula Times.[13]

Till the year of 2013, she was a senior editor of the Jeddah-based Saudi Gazette, one of the two English language newspapers printed in the country.[14] Until it ceased publication in 2009, Sameera Aziz was simultaneously managing editor of Awaz, a youth-oriented weekly Urdu newspaper, published by parent company Okaz. She was also the Managing Editor of Fresh, a quarterly magazine published under Saudi Gazette by the marketing department of Okaz publications.

She formerly served as a writer for Gulf News and several other Pakistan-based newspapers (during 1999). She also served as the supervising editor of the women's sections in Urdu News and Urdu Magazine, owned by Saudi Research and Marketing Group.[15]

Sameera Aziz with SETWIN worker for a woman development program

Her columns and features are written exclusively in English and Urdu and translated into other languages.[16] She focuses on Saudi domestic, social, cultural, educational and expatriate's issues as well as Saudi Arabia's relationship with the international community. She conducted undercover sting operations.[17][18][19] Some of her work focused on the challenges of social and labour issues, human rights, women's rights,[20] violence against children, and other issues of concern to the community.[21] Aziz is known as a human rights' volunteer. She has worked for the awareness against child marriage. She had also shattered a wall of silence about domestic violence after a TV presenter Rania Al-Baz was savagely assaulted by her husband in 2004.[22] In 2009, she shocked everyone when she wrote and spoke about child abuse that she witnessed.[23]

Aziz is the supporter of women driving in Saudi Arabia. However, she does not support civil disobedience. She candidly asked mercy and kindness for those women in Saudi Arabia who defied their nation's de facto ban on women driving by getting behind the steering wheel.[24] She also runs a social media campaign #SupportSmile with her team of Desi Vines,[25] and The Khalli Walli Show to promote the culture of smiles, Love and peace.[26][27] Aziz also acts as a consultant to various international organisations for social development and human rights like National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), We-The Youth[28] and Society For International Peace. She is also the special adviser of 'International Affairs and Women's Rights' in Journalist Foundation.[29]

Aziz is the First Saudi novelist of Urdu Language in Saudi Arabia.[30] She was criticized for her feminist writings.[31] Aziz became a voice while highlighting Saudi employers' issues. She spoke about the ill-treatment and crimes against domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.[32][33] She has a passion to bridge the gap between the Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. In her interview, she stated that she aims to clear up the misconceptions about Saudi Arabia.[34] Sameera Aziz was the most awaited speaker at Pakistan's first-ever International Media Conference titled One World One Media, which was organised by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists from 1 to 3 May 2015 in Karachi, Pakistan.[35]

She was also the only female speaker of an International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Jeddah on 10 December 2014, which was the last day of UN women's 16-days global campaign of Activism against Gender Violence. The event was organized by The National Society of Human Rights. She talked against the international criticism that Saudi Arabia has often faced for lacking laws that protect women and domestic workers against abuse. "But this is not the case anymore. Saudi Arabia has outlawed domestic violence and this problem is already being acknowledged here. There is a legal ban on physical and sexual violence and other forms of abuse against women in Saudi Arabia, which applies both at home or within the work place," she said.[36][37]

Her poems in Urdu language have published in various magazines and newspapers in the past. She has reportedly participated in many prominent poetic symposiums with appreciation awards.[38] She was harshly criticized as Man-hater when she enraged scores of male audience for boldly presenting her Ghazal against men and male-dominated society in 1999 at a jam-packed auditorium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. However, she got the standing ovation from female audience and some male audience as she left the hall.[39] In July 2006, she wrote a heart-wrenching anthem 'Lahu Lahu Lebanon' (Lebanon under blood) for her campaign to support Lebanese victims in 2006 Lebanon War, also called 'the 2006 Israel–Hezbollah War'.[40] Aziz received permanent honor of one of the top 100 influential media members list under the hospitality of Saudi Arabian Society for Culture & Arts in Madina City under the Saudi Ministry of Culture.[41][42]

She worked as a production team member of Kauthar Media in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She worked with a Saudi producer, actor, and director Dr. Fahad Ghazoli as his assistant in many Saudi projects like film 'Lamar', Comedy stage play 'Hala Barra' and a Drama serial of 12 episodes. She was also an assistant and the production team member of director Majed Azzi for film 'Hayath' produced by Al-Mpda Media. In the past, she has written, directed and acted in a women-only comedy stage play which was presented by 'Silsila organization for women' in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.[43]

Aziz introduced the strategy of using Sports for the Cultural and Business exchange to strengthen Saudi economy. She has been elected as the Director of United Nations' affiliated Global Sports Federation (GSF).[44] She was chosen by 83 countries of the world out of 158. This apex body of the federation will lead world sports for next three years. The Global Sports Federation is working for bringing peace through sports. “I have been serving internationally in Radio, Theatre, conferences as a speaker and writer, but Sports and film production are the most powerful mediums of Mass-Media to convey the message. This is the reason I am utilizing these platforms too,” she stated.[45][46]

Sameera Aziz owns Group of Companies[47] which comprised an Ad & PR Agency, Events, Workshops, Cleaning & Hygiene Products Queen Detergent, perishable and imperishable food, Import & Export Trading, Marketing, Printing, Publishing, Distribution services, and Magazines. She launched chain stores with the brand name of 'Khumasiyat and PayLess.' Her Production House Sameera Aziz Entertainment[48] is located in Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah which is interlinked with her Bollywood Production House services in India. Her Events Company won Guinness World Record on making World Biggest Mosaic human picture in Jeddah Saudi Arabia in 2017.[49]


Award Year Organisation Summary
Youth Ambassador 2007 We The Youth, The UN-affiliated organization to promote talent Sameera Aziz was especially appreciated by Youth for her Sting Operations in this occasion. She was the first Saudi Journalist gone undercover boldly for Sting Operations on the year 2000.[30]
Humanity Award 2008 A non-political, social & welfare organization Sameera Aziz was awarded for the derivation of high performances for humanity.[50]
Pride of the Nation Award 2009 - A ceremony for Sameera Aziz.[51]
The Woman of Today 2012 The Ladies Night Event Sameera Aziz was paid tribute in Jeddah.[52]
Best Ind-o-Pak Friendship Icon award 29 January 2014 Pak-O-Hindh Literary Forum Sameera Aziz received this award in a remarkable show in Riyadh.[53]
Accolade - An evening with a personality An open session by a community organisation[54]
Accolade - A Morning with Sameera Aziz An open session by a community organization
Nominee of Best Saudi Female Journalist & Media Person upcoming iiGlobal Awards Org Women Leaders in Saudi Arabia Awards nominated Sameera Aziz for this Award[55][56]
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad special award 11 November 2015 Telangana State Govt. of India Sameera Aziz is the first recognized Saudi woman for her work for the promotion of Urdu language in Saudi Arabia. She was bestowed with this special award in recognition of her work as a bridge between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world.[57]
Salam India Award Feb. 6, 2016 Maharashtra State Govt. of India Sameera Aziz was honored with this Award at her poetry book launch ceremony in Mumbai, India
Gr8! Woman Award- The Great Cultural Icon Of Middle East[58] March 19, 2016 The sixth GR8! Women Awards 2016- Middle East[59] Sameera Aziz was the First Saudi lady crowned with this prestigious international award.[60]
Art & Literature Award April 23, 2016 Granthappura Jeddah Sameera Aziz was given this Award by South Indian Community for her creative contributions to the Art & Literature of Saudi Arabia.[61]
Maulana Fareed Al Waheedi Award [62] May 13, 2016 Gulf Urdu Council (GUC) Jeddah Saudi Arabia gave this award to Sameera Aziz Sameera Aziz was given this award for her worldwide services in Urdu Literature and Media
Media Award[63] March 8, 2017 Islam GymKhana in Mumbai India gave this award to Sameera Aziz Sameera Aziz was Awarded on Int'l Women's Day as a "Moderate Female Muslim Media Icon 2017
Special award for top 100 Saudi Media people[64] November 8, 2018 The Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) under Saudi Ministry of Culture in Madinah AlMunawarah gave this award to Sameera Aziz [65] Sameera Aziz was Awarded permanent membership of SASCA as one of among top 100 influential Saudi Media Personalities [66] [67]
Business Excellence Award 2018 Friends Creation - Riyadh, KSA[68] Sameera Aziz was awarded for the great leadership and constant progress in Business despite recession time.[69]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Asian Radio Live - Home Of Desi Beats".
  2. ^ "سعودية تُنتخب مديرةً لمنظمة رياضية تابعة للأمم المتحدة". Okaz. 24 October 2016.
  3. ^ Arab News: Aftermath of Mumbai Bombings Archived 18 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 3 October 2009
  4. ^ Pakistan Times article Retrieved 3 October 2009
  5. ^ Saudi Gazette article[permanent dead link] Retrieved 14 August 2011
  6. ^ "Female journalist from KSA honored in India". Arab News. 14 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Acting Courses Academy | Acting School | Acting Classes Institute Mumbai".
  8. ^ "Interview of Sameera Aziz By Taqat By: Usman Shahid - South Asian Pulse".
  9. ^ "Page Not Found :: Bihar Urdu Youth Forum".
  10. ^ Marriage customs in Saudi Arabia
  11. ^ "Saudi female Achiever".
  12. ^ "South Asian Regional Information Agency (SARIA)". Archived from the original on 6 April 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  13. ^ The Peninsula Times
  14. ^ BBC Media Profile: Saudi Arabia Retrieved 3 October 2009
  15. ^ "Saudi Media Personality Sameera Aziz at MORNING WITH MUNSIF- Indian TV show". 12 November 2015 – via YouTube.
  16. ^ "Sauress : Articles of the author With Sameera Aziz".
  17. ^ "Saudi Gazette/ Home Page". Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  18. ^ "Saudi Gazette/ Home Page". Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  19. ^ "Saudi Gazette/ Home Page". Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  20. ^ "Saudi Gazette/ Home Page". Archived from the original on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  21. ^ "Saudi Gazette/ Home Page". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  22. ^ "Saudi Gazette/ Home Page". Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  23. ^ "Shocking incident of abuse I hope I'll never see again". Sauress.
  24. ^ "Saudi Arabia Debates Right of Women to Drive | Middle East Policy Council".
  25. ^ Desi Vines
  26. ^ "Desi Vines website launched with a bang!".
  27. ^ "That Filmy Guy | TKWS VINE | Full HD". 28 September 2015 – via YouTube.
  28. ^ "We The Youth Team".
  29. ^ "Journalist Foundation". Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  30. ^ a b "A welcome guest: Journalist wants to bring smiles on Saudis' faces". The Express Tribune. 1 June 2015.
  31. ^ "Asian Broadcasting Network".
  32. ^ "Saudi Gazette/ Home Page". Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  33. ^ "Saudi Gazette/ Home Page". Archived from the original on 18 September 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  34. ^ "Daily Taqat UAE".
  35. ^ "International Media Conference 2015".
  36. ^ "NSHR observes United Nation's global activism campaign to end violence against women". 12 December 2014.
  37. ^ "SARIA News".[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ "Sameera Aziz [HD] Latest Mushaira, Mumbai, Oct 2015, Org. Sayyed Jalaluddin". 16 October 2015 – via YouTube.
  39. ^ "Memorable grand Mushaira for Urdu lovers".[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ "Lahu Lahu Lebanon". 4 August 2011 – via YouTube.
  41. ^ [1][permanent dead link] Retrieved 19 Nov 2018
  42. ^ News[permanent dead link] Retrieved 24 June 2013
  43. ^ "Saudi beauty Sameera Aziz in Munshi Premchand's drama for mentor Mujeeb Khan". 3 November 2015.
  44. ^ "Saudi Woman elected at UNO". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  45. ^ "انتخاب سعودية مديراً لمنظمة الرياضات العالمية بالأمم المتحدة من بين 158 مرشحاً". اخبار 24.
  46. ^ نت, العربية (26 October 2016). "من هي السعودية التي تدير الاتحاد الدولي للرياضات؟". العربية نت.
  47. ^ "Sameera Aziz Group of Companies Website".
  48. ^ Sameera Aziz Entertainment SAENT
  49. ^ [2] Making of Guinness World Record
  50. ^ PNC Human Rights
  51. ^ "Saudi Gazette/ Home Page". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  52. ^ "Tribute to the woman of today".[permanent dead link]
  53. ^ "Pak-O-Hindh Literary Forum Honor Sameera Aziz". Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  54. ^ "Saudi Gazette/ Home Page". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  55. ^ "Sameera Aziz is nominated for the best Saudi female Journalist & media person award". 20 October 2014.
  56. ^ "SARIA News".
  57. ^ "Saudi national Sameera Aziz receives award for promotion of Urdu". The Siasat Daily. 14 November 2015.
  58. ^ The News
  59. ^ "Gulf News".
  60. ^ "Sabq".[permanent dead link]
  61. ^ "Sameera Aziz at Jeevan TV receiving Award from South Indian Community". 29 April 2016 – via YouTube.
  62. ^ "Sameera Aziz recieved [sic] Maulana Fareed Al Waheedi Award from Gulf Urdu Council". 15 May 2016 – via YouTube.
  63. ^ "YouTube".
  64. ^ جدة, سهيل طاشكندي- (23 November 2018). "سميرة عزيز: "بوليود" أبعدتني عن الساحة المحلية". Madina.
  65. ^ دیشمکھ, ڈاکٹر محمد راغب (18 November 2018). "سمیرہ عزیز بااثرشخصیت وممتازصحافی ایوارڈ سے سرفراز".
  66. ^ "سميرة عزيز .. في ضيافة فنون المدينة في أول ثمار مبناها الجديد". 17 November 2018.
  67. ^ "المخرجة سميرة عزيز تكرم كأفضل عضو ضمن ١٠٠ اعلامي في جمعية الثقافة والفنون بالمدينة المنورة".
  68. ^ "റിയാദില്‍ ഫ്രണ്ട്സ് ക്രിയേഷന്‍ കാര്‍ണിവല്‍ സംഘടിപ്പിച്ചു | Riyadh Carnival". 10 February 2019 – via YouTube.
  69. ^ "ഫ്രന്റ്സ് ക്രിയേഷൻസ് റിയാദ് കാർണിവൽ 2019 ശ്രദ്ധേയമായി". 10 February 2019 – via YouTube.

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