Wadi Hanifa, Riyadh ⁄ Keswick, Lake District



The 2019 awards for making a significant contribution to Saudi-British relations were presented at the Annual Dinner on 24th January.

The winners were Hamida Alireza and Dr Farhan Nizami CBE.

Rawabi Holding Awards 2019

Hamida Alireza,
a Saudi citizen resident in Jedda, is the founder and long time trustee of the Barakat Trust, a UK charity which supports the study of Islamic art and architecture and its history. Based for 30 years at Oxford University, and now in London, the Trust has funded well over 500 students and academics in their studies and research as well as supporting conferences, exhibitions, publications, digitisation and conservation.
In addition to enabling Saudi and other students from the Islamic world to benefit from the expertise in heritage available in British universities and museums, Ms Alireza has – both through her energetic leadership of the Trust and her personal engagement in organising exhibitions and field trips – helped to open eyes in Britain to the wealth and diversity of the art, crafts and architecture of the region including Saudi Arabia. She is also a founder of Mansoojat, the foundation which works to preserve traditional Arabian costume.


Mark Evans MBE is an explorer and educationist, currently the director of Outward Bound Oman. After teaching in Saudi Arabia for several years, in 2004 he established Connecting Cultures, an association which takes young people from different countries on hiking expeditions in the Arabian desert or the Arctic and enables them to explore not just the wilderness but also their respective cultures, and to bridge the differences between them.
The Saudi British Society has supported participation in the trips by young people from Saudi Arabia and the UK, all of them very successful. UNESCO has been another supporter.
Mr Evans has also undertaken longer desert and sea expeditions in and around Arabia. In 2015/16 he crossed the Empty Quarter on foot and camel in the footsteps of Bertram Thomas (the first European to make the journey). His book, ‘Crossing the Empty Quarter’, was published late in 2016.

back  back to main Awards page