Claire Sale Headshot

I’m Claire Sale. On this blog, I share information about things I’m passionate about – including community building, communication, science and technology, and expat life.

I am a professional communicator and community builder focused on using science and technology for social benefit. I am a communicator by education, a community builder by profession, and a consensus-builder by disposition.

I have a passion for building strong online and offline communities with an aim to create real impact locally and globally. I value transparency and have experience in large-scale, international projects as well as small, local projects.

I live as an expat in Saudi Arabia where serve as a volunteer on many community-focused projects and particularly enjoy working on initiatives which use science or technology for social benefit.

I have previously worked in communication and community-building projects in the KAUST Core Labs, the KAUST President’s Office, and at Acadox, a KAUST-funded start-up.

Before living at KAUST, I spent several years as a community builder for NetSquared, an organization that is focused on the intersection of technology and social benefit. I was also the founder of Net2Camb, a local meetup group in Cambridge, England for people interested in connecting on using technology for social good. Before that, I worked in Washington, DC as a social media specialist at the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross. I have also been known to dabble in community-building and communication focused consulting.

Most of my professional projects have in common deep-seated community roots, but the part I’m most proud of is that for the most part they are now being run by new people that have put their own passion into the cause and multiplied the positive impact.

If you have a project that you’d like to collaborate on, please get in touch!

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  • Cheryl Lynn Obal

    Hi Claire, first of all thank you for such an informative blog :). Secondly, I read an article here sometime back about bringing pets to KAUST. I am joining KAUST in July and I want to bring my cat. I am a US citizen, permanent resident of Italy, current resident of India and I’m wondering which country to fly from which will make it easier. Moreover, the visa I will have for my job at KAUST is a Business Visa which doesn’t permit me to import a pet into KSA, so I am looking for someone at KAUST who has an Iqama and would be willing to accept the shipment of my cat from India to KSA. I can send her as cargo and add someone else’s name to all her records as a co-owner, then that person can pick her up at the Jeddah airport. Do you know anyone who would be willing to do this?

  • Hi Cheryl –

    Congrats on your upcoming move. I hope you like it here. Unfortunately I don’t know much about importing cats and our dog import experience was not one to be repeated (feel free to read our posts about that if you haven’t already). There is a pets at kaust facebook group. Perhaps someone there will know more than I do.

    Good luck and hope you have an uneventful journey here!

  • Vanessa

    Hello Claire!! First of all, I would like to thank you for creating this blog! It is just amazing to be able to find useful information about Kaust! My name is Vanessa, I’m from Spain but my husband Alex and I are currently living in San Diego, CA. Since, I my husband got a very good job offer as a Professor in Kaust, we are thinking about moving there! We are expecting a boy for the end of August :) so we might postpone our visit to Kaust for next year.
    I would like to have some more specific information about the dress code for women.. I know that in Kaust women don’t need to wear the abaya.. But what about when the women are in Jeddah? Ii is mandatory? Or optional? The abaya has to be black or it could be colorful? It might sounds like silly questions… But I am just very curios about it!!
    Many many thanks!!!

  • Hi Vanessa – Sorry for my delay in replying while I’ve been on the road. There is a big Spanish community here and a big American community too, so I think you’ll fit right in! The dress code for women on campus differs from the code for women in the rest of the kingdom. For saudi in general, this post gives a good overview: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/01/economist-explains-20. I recommend wearing an abaya any time you leave KAUST. The post says that some people wear colorful abayas, but I would recommend wearing a mostly black one to start until you know where and when color is appropriate.

    I hope this explanation helps! And congrats on your baby :)

  • Ghadeer Aly

    Hello Claire, I would like to reach out to you for marketing purposes, your blog is wonderful !

  • Hi Ghadeer – this is not an advertising channel, but feel free to let me know what you have in mind.

  • Ghadeer Aly

    Thank you for your prompt response, We are not looking to advertise, we just want to spread the word about our app which is free of charge and helps students and educators. We are delighted to reach out to you as an active platform in our community,

    myU is a disruptive free tool that is changing educational communication experiences in the region serving both students and teachers for a better non-traditional learning process.

    It’s back to school season and there is no better time to spread the word about myU to enable students and educators to have a better and simpler educational experience and get the most out of it. Please inform me if you would like to support us.

  • Sounds good. Not really something I can use in my work, but I’ll leave your post here in case it’s of use to any of my blog readers.

  • Ghadeer Aly

    Thank you :)
    dropped an image for a visual guide

  • iris

    hi Claire, thank you for this blog.
    my husband attends 3 interviews (2 HR and 1 technical interviews.
    and since 1 week no response or email notification about the position
    would you please explain the hiring process in KAUST and how long it takes to be notified.
    thank you very much

  • iris

    Can anyone reply please?
    Does the 3 interviews means that you have been selected for the position??
    Things goes to fast in the beginning 3 interviews in 2 weeks and now no news.

  • Hi Iris – Thanks for your kind words, but I don’t work in HR so I don’t know the answers to your questions. I recommend reaching out to your HR rep or the hiring manager.

  • iris

    Thank you Claire. I think that it is not professional to ask the HR rep about the hiring process. I prefer waiting. I thought you have any idea about the period to be notified of approval or rejection.
    Thank you very much Claire ? hope to hear good news

  • iris

    Hi claire. How are You. Hope You are doing well. My husband got an email from the HR rep That he was selected for the position and he asked him to complète the application form. He completed all the docs since septembre 1st. Please what is the next step? We read that he will get The invitation letter or the contract. Does it delayed to be sent? And how to get visa after that. Sorry we don’t have enough information that’s why I am asking you about everything. Thank you very much Claire

  • Hi Iris – congrats on the good news! I hope you like it here as much as we do!

    I don’t really know the standard process or timeframes, but I am sure your HR rep will know them. I can confirm however that this is a slow time of year because of Eid (a week long holiday in which the entire university is closed) and Saudi National day (which means the university will be closed tomorrow). I would not expect to hear back about anything until Sunday at the earliest.

    I know that sometimes that processes can feel slow and impersonal, but please know that the people behind them are usually quite kind and helpful. Perhaps reaching out to HR to ask them to set your expectations could help you feel more in control of the whole process.

  • iris

    Thank You very much Claire. You are so kind ?

  • iris

    Hi claire, everything was ok since sunday. My husband got the contract, he sign it and he received email for congrats and started procedures of visa and relocation. But today he received an email from the HR rep that the position will be cancelled and the recruitment process will be hold. It was a very bad news. My husband was desperate. Is it normal after all those steps to cancel a vacancy ?? Does this situation happens frequently?
    Thank you for your understanding

  • I have no specific knowledge of HR stats or processes. I suggest you talk to your HR representative.

  • Emma

    Dear Claire,

    I work for the website ExpatFocus.com and recently included your blog in an article I wrote recommending expat blogs for our readers moving to or living in Saudi Arabia (the article is online at http://www.expatfocus.com/c/aid=3631/articles/saudi-arabia/saudi-arabia—recommended-blogs/).

    In addition to letting you know about the above I also thought you might be interested in completing one of our short “expat experience” interviews (by email) for publication at the site (previous examples can be found at http://www.expatfocus.com/expat-experiences-latest). These are a great way of introducing yourself to our membership and in addition to promoting them via the usual social media channels of Twitter, Facebook etc. we also include them in our monthly email newsletter. If the above sounds of interest please let me know and I’ll be very happy to send the questions through.



  • Hi Emma — Thanks for your nice write up about my blog on Expat Focus! The list you curated is a great resource for both new and long-time expats in Saudi. I’ll be in touch via email.

  • Eric Alisson Zapparoli

    Hi Claire,
    My name is Eric and I’m Brazilian.I’ve received a job offer with a good salary. I’ve fullfilled the COI formulary and Health and Medical formulary. Is this steps necessary? Your husband did it? How much the realocation process took since this step to get the visa to move to KAUST?
    Thank you very much.

  • Kathy Rich

    Hi Claire!
    I would like to apply as a secondary or middle school teacher at KAUST schools.I would also like to enroll my daughter who is Saudi / American. Do you have the school’s contact info?

  • Hi Eric – Congrats! I hope you will like it here at KAUST.

    I really don’t remember how long each step of the process takes, but when we moved here nearly 6 years ago, it took about 6 months to go from job offer to physically relocating to Saudi. I’m sure lots has changed since then. It’s best to check in with your relocation advisor about what you can expect for your particular situation.

    Best wishes and safe journey!

  • Hi Kathy, it would be best to contact the school directly. All the contact info including email address and phone number are included in the footer of their webpage at http://tks.kaust.edu.sa/. Hope this helps!

  • Eric Alisson Zapparoli

    Hi Claire,

    Thank you! I’ve a doubt about the vacations. After one year working at KAUST can I take my vacation or the process is different? I’m asking these because I’m planning to come back to Brazil on my vacation and get married with my fiancee.

    Thank you!

  • Sabrina

    Hi Claire,
    I am a 19 years old woman living in Canada and would love to study in Saudi university to learn more about the culture and get to explore a new environment. Do you know which universities in KSA accept foreign women?

  • Sounds great! I know KAUST accepts foreign women, but I don’t know the requirements at other universities. You can apply for graduate-level positions at KAUST via Kaust.edu.sa

  • shuayb gallo

    Hi Claire: I am considering a post in KAUST. My daughter is currently studying Occupational Therapy at University of Western Cape (3rd year). Are there education facilities where expats may study in this faculty in Jeddah??????

  • Hi Shuayb – I’m afraid I have no idea. There is a Facebook group called Jeddah infodesk which might be a good resource for this type of question. https://www.facebook.com/groups/JeddahInfoDesk/

    I hope it all works out!