Rhea Carina Al Jaroudy

Some create art behind the scenes, while others prefer to honor the art within by sharing it out loud on stage and screen. Rhea Carina Al Jaroudy was first called to acting as a young child. Early comparisons to her muse Audrey Hepburn were made not only for the physical resemblance but because of her shared commitment to elegant story-craft. Her passions led to formal training and experience in New York and Los Angeles and working under prominent directors, Paul Warner, Robert Roy, and Blanche Baker.

Rhea’s blended heritage has shaped not only her perspectives but also her creative pursuits. As a Saudi-American born in Washington DC, she isn’t defined by one home, having spent her definitive years between the US, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, she has found great harmony in learning to bridge the worlds and carry bilingual stories East to West and back again.

This thirst for vivid storytelling inspires her latest venture as Creative Director with Desert Rose Group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Led by presenting art authentically, Rhea will narrate and introduce the world to the latest creative voices pushing boundaries in Saudi Arabia and GCC with a new genre-bending talk series launching in September.

Danae Hatzaki

Colors look differently to an artist. Paints aren’t just splayed on a canvas. Costumes aren’t just sewn fabric. The visual and production arts is a unique form of storytelling, and the way Danae Hatzaki tells stories is truly an experience.

Danae is a visual artist and production designer whose career highlights include extensive work in theatre, cinema, television, and events in Athens, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. With formal training in painting and scenography in her native Greece, she realized her passions for theater production by designing sets and costumes.

From largescale stage plays to independent scale sight specific performances, Danae always found a way to tell stories vividly by making details just as important as the characters themselves.

Notably, she designed the sets and costumes for “Wings of Desire,” an adaptation of the critically acclaimed film by Wim Wenders, and “Psycho/ses,” a play based on the book “Psycho,” by Robert Bloch.

Her passions also extend into her work as an illustrator for children’s books, having published multiple books in the GCC. Most recently she’s working on a new children’s book series honoring Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the Kingdom’s 13 regions alongside Nancy Paton and Abeer Abdalla

Abeer B. Abdalla

As a writer, narrator, and multimedia artist, Abeer is often found with ink-stained fingers and one too many notebooks or recording devices. She believes in “six impossible things before breakfast,” and likes to take trains bound for nowhere just to ask strangers her favorite question – “What’s your story?”

Committed to the cultivation, development, and innovation of story-craft, Abeer Abdalla calls herself the “American Hakawati.” Hakawati refers to the ancient Arab art of storytelling. In

today’s incarnation, Abeer uses the moniker metaphorically to describe her unique ability to effectively command the branding, vision, and story of multiple interests bridging the gap between perspectives.

Abeer’s career began in 2008 evolving from her work in journalism to a communications specialist in government affairs and arts advocacy for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in Washington D.C.

With her passion for MENA on the horizon she transitioned her communications arts into cultural diplomacy and education by working for the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to the United States.

In 2013 Abeer moved to Saudi Arabia to serve as the Asst. Director of PR and Communications for the Al-Jazirah Corporation, and as brand ambassador for their ji-6 Innovations in Print roadshow with presentations and workshops across MENA, Europe, and Asia.

With a commitment to preserving and advancing Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, Abeer has worked at top PR and communications agencies throughout the GCC with multiple clients including Saudi Ministry of Sports; Special Olympics Saudi Arabia; Saudi Ministry of Education; Princess Nourah University; Coca-Cola International; FIFA World Cup; Saudi Real Estate Development Fund; British Council; Kimberly-Clark; Van Cleef & Arpels; Qiddiya Investment Fund; Saudi Heritage Preservation Society, and Misk Foundation.

Abeer joins Desert Rose Films with a life’s mission dedicated to words, noise, and pictures. Her passion for Saudi Arabia is shared with CEO, Nancy Paton and inspired a new children’s book series that honors the 13 regions of the Kingdom and the cultivation of Vision 2030. Abeer and Nancy both lead the Riyadh based venture, with Creative Director Rhea Carina Al Jaroudy

Nancy Paton

With a deep passion for storytelling, Nancy Paton has dedicated her life to telling stories that amplify silenced voices and showcase the rich tapestry of communities and cultures around the world.

As an award-winning film director, writer, and producer, Nancy takes root in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to tell distinctive stories of the region and help women throughout the GCC build their careers in film and the creative diaspora. She is the founder and CEO of Desert Rose Films (DRF).

DRF is most known for their “Female Short Film Fund for MENA,” where most recently female talent produced “The Dinner,” a comedy short that was selected and won numerous film festivals globally during its banner year in 2020. Her award-winning portfolio of work in film also includes “Daisy,” and its companion documentary, “Maisy and the Making of Daisy,” which was featured on Showtime and currently runs on Amazon Prime.

Nancy was first called to cultivate art in the GCC while living in Saudi Arabia. Her time in the Kingdom led to an array of projects committed to honoring the creative identities and revealing the untold stories of women in Saudi. She wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the award-winning drama, “Postpartum.” The riveting narrative was filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia with an amateur all-female production team.

Nancy believes art is best when cultivated through shared experiences. While lecturing at Raffles Design Institute in Riyadh in Digital Photography, Screenwriting, and Storyboarding, she produced the documentary, “The Black Abaya,” and a handful of music videos.

Nancy is currently in the final stages of her master’s degree in Creative Writing and Literature at Harvard University. Her new learning adventures inspired her first book, a soon-to-be-published collection of 12 short stories, and a delightful foray into children’s literature. Nancy is working on a series of 13 children’s books co-written with her best friend in Saudi inspired by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and the fervor of cultural diplomacy emanating from the GCC region.