Saudi Arabian, Doha Abualsaud, is a Lecturer and a research consultant at DarAlhekma University in the kingdom and a member of the Centre for Research in Professional Learning. She holds a BA in English Literature and Linguistics, and an MA in English literature from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. Abualsaud also holds an MSc degree in educational research and her doctorate dissertation is an ethnographic study into understanding the emotional experiences of female teachers in secondary schools.
Being a leading female academic, Doha Abualsaud recently chaired an international research session based on higher education at the renowned, University College London (UCL). Currently, she is the vice dean of student affairs at the Jeddah based University of Business and Technology and helped in leading conversations at the European Conference on Education.
At the conference, Doha presented her studies, titled, “Harnessing The Indescribable: The Impact Of Using Creative Methodological Tools To Talk About Emotions In Higher Education.” Her dissertation took a detailed look at the university’s goals of developing modern, non-traditional methods to teaching higher education.
She told a local media outlet that being able to participate in these conferences are a key aspect in the professional development of people in her position as it gives them a platform to present their work, network and share ideas.
“The study of emotions is not only complicated but also a very messy field,” she said. “I chose to specialize in the social constructivist approach based on a subjectivist epistemology and a relativist ontology which simply suggest that the expression of emotions is a collective learned principle that differs from one culture to another.”
With human emotion being a topic she studies in minute details, she added, “The topic is rather crucial in professional settings due to the stigma associated with the concept of emotion and many professionals are expected to swallow their feelings in the workplace and only show positive emotions.” Continuing, “For example, men who cry are often considered weak, a professional worker who gets angry can be considered impolite, and an employee who complains may be seen as ungrateful. Ultimately, the notion of unspeakable emotions is unconsciously immersed into their practice.”
Saudi-born Abulsaud was selected to head the conference due to her highly substantial scientific research of the higher education sector.
Speaking about Saudi women in her field and how they are working towards Vision 2030 under the guidance of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, she explained, “I haven’t ever experienced the absence of Saudi females from significant and crucial contexts especially in science and high-profile intellectual events. What is rather significant is the golden era in every sense of the word today for Saudi women in general and for the youth group in particular, as we are achieving the vision of our leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”
Abualsaud is proud of having been chair of the session made a point to convey that her contribution emphasized the growing participation of Saudi women in international and scientific forums.