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Experiences that made me Sara Faisal

31 March 2023

In this series, we ask Imagination talent all about the experiences that have made them who they are. This month we spoke to Sara Faisal, Senior Strategist at Imagination Saudi Arabia.

A bit about me…

I enjoy travelling and living abroad, so I’ve never belonged to one specific place. Born in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, I was raised in Jeddah and did my MBA studies in California, where I lived in San Francisco, Riverside, Upland and later moved to New York. I’ve also lived in Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt and briefly lived in Dubai. Living in these different cities has given me a truly enriched understanding of others’ perspectives and perceptions of the world.

I love reading in both Arabic and English and writing creative Arabic poems, as well as exploring and experiencing arts. Art museums, galleries and exhibitions have been some of the most eye-opening experiences from my travels, providing me with an insight into all sides of human psychology - the dark, the colourful and the weird sides.

A creative experience that influenced me the most…

Andy Warhol’s recent art exhibition in Alula, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a unique and exotic space where two ends of the spectrum meet in one space - where the desert landscape combines with pop art culture. It was a mesmerising experience that demonstrated the possibilities of what we can do with no limitations.

My Industry hero is…

Being part of imagination has brought so many experiences, and my industry hero, Christophe Castagnera, Head of Strategy, Imagination Middle East. He has been a great support throughout projects and has the patience to understand differences and local perspectives.

The piece of work I’m most proud of…

Since it was my first project and pitch as a member of the imaginative team, the Banyan Tree Launch, Alula project has a particular place in my heart. I was also pleased to have succeeded in creating a strategy that demonstrated to a global audience the importance of storytelling in Saudi culture through poetry.

The experience I wish I had created…

The experiential exhibition at the LACMA museum was an eye-opening experience. I visited with a group of self-management classmates during my MBA studies, in which we were able to truly understand our differences, perceptions and points of view. Our group was requested to separately copy a famous painting where we each drew completely different paintings of the original famous one. That moment brought the realisation that to build successful strategies, you have to understand human emotions and psychology to create that ‘wow’ moment in an experience, making a person disconnect from the outside world and fully immerse in the experience.

Advice to your 18 year old self...

Continue to invest in your education, as well as in your mental and physical health. Also, maintain a positive mindset and an open mind to new opportunities.

What’s next?

We’re working on so many projects, in the most fast-moving places in the world, designing strategies that will enhance the overall experience of not only locals but global visitors. Witnessing such changes is amazing.