Under the Abaya warms up the engines for its second edition.

Created by Saudi entrepreneur Marriam Mossalli, Under the Abaya is a non profit book with the aim of showing the actual power and no-filtered reality of women in KSA. By submitting their photos, women living in the country can contribute to create a photographic narrative of the Saudi Woman, through a real story telling.  

Marriam Mossalli , a Saudi powerful entrepreneur and journalist among the best personalities within BOF 500 ( a professional index created by Business of Fashion platform , of the people shaping the $2.4 trillion fashion industry ) is the founder of  Niche Arabia, her luxury communications firm launched in 2011. In 2018 she gave birth to the 1st edition of this photo project "Under the Abaya", firstly introduced during Jeddah Art Week in February  2018.

Under the Abaya , 1st edition- Source undertheabayaksa.com

Under the Abaya pursues the mission to create new opportunities for women in Saudi Arabia and to support young & talented Saudi females to achieve their academic goals.  The 2nd edition to be launched in 2020 , “Under the Abaya: Saudi Women Who Inspireswill go more in depth in showing more on the individual personality and achievements of women wearing the abaya and living in the Kingdom.

#UnderTheAbaya isn't a dream, it's reality. An initiative willing to challenge the western media and their perceptions on Saudi Women.

As per Marriam Mossalli 's words on a recent conversation : “What I love most about “Under the Abaya” is that is the definition of women supporting women: From our amazing team of enthusiastic volunteers who organize the submissions, to the participants themselves who generously submit their pictures; and finally, how 100 percent of the proceeds goes to granting scholarships so that young women can pursue their dreams of higher education. I couldn’t be more proud of—and grateful for, this initiative!”

The consultancy activity of Niche Arabia , specialized in luxury marketing in the Gulf Cooperation Council, has allowed to highlight the importance of women as key players in the Saudi Arabian fashion industry scene.

Under the Abaya  is not only about style and fashion, but it is a manifesto of the empowerment of Saudi women , of their identity as rising leaders in the contemporary society, beyond that abaya which is often misunderstood in the Western social-cultural scene. In 2017, at the time of a first call for photo submission, Under the Abaya 's team received more than one thousands pics and while at the beginning participants were most likely to preserve their anonymity, in the end their proud and enthusiasm brought the same people to ask for their name to be mentioned ( source Under The Abaya/Abrar Hassan).

Since last year women in the region have gained more power in the social scene and they have contributed to convey internationally a modern and empowering image of their country , by leading a deep transformation in all cultural domaines .

Looking forward this stunning 2nd chapter in the KSA!

Cover Photo by Ahmed Carter on Unsplash