Kay Hardy Campbell combines the sensitivity and curiosity of a writer, the international perspective of a Middle East specialist and the business skills of a banker.
Writer: Kay is a feature writer with more than 20 years of experience writing about the arts, business, and Middle Eastern culture. She is a frequent contributor on the subject of the folk music and folk dance of the Arabian Peninsula, particularly Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries of the Arabian (or Persian) Gulf. Her goal as a writer is to give Western readers new perspectives on the Middle East, and to explore touch-points where cultures interact.
She began writing for publication in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the late 1970's when she lived there with her husband, a fellow Arabic student she met in college. She began contributing to the English Daily Arab News as a feature writer. With encouragement from risk-taking editors, she developed a feel for offbeat feature stories. She also used her ability to read, speak and write Arabic to cover many aspects of culture and traditional life little known to the burgeoning foreign community in the Kingdom. She expanded to write business stories for the weekly Saudi Business Magazine, including a 1980 groundbreaking cover story on Saudi women working. She later wrote for the Saudi Gazette, and the Saudia Airlines in-flight magazine, Ahlan Wasahlan.
returning to the U.S. in the mid-1980's, Kay continued to write about the Middle
East and Saudi Arabian culture. In 1996 Kay wrote her first article for Saudi
Aramco World Magazine, a well-received piece on Arabic Music. In 1998, Aramco
sent her back to Saudi Arabia to cover the women's events at the National Folk
Festival at Janadriyyah outside the capital city Riyadh. She was the only woman
foreign correspondent at the festival. Her article appeared in the January-February,
1999 issue. In May, 2004 and 2006 she traveled to Saudi Arabia again on assignment for Saudi Aramco World Magazine, and continues to write articles for that magazine. She has also written features and op-ed articles for the
Quincy, MA-based Patriot Ledger.
Public Speaking: Kay speaks and participates in panel discussions at colleges and universities, high schools and community groups. She lectures about the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, women in Saudi Arabia, as well as the music and folk dances of the Arab World. She has lectured at Harvard University, Tufts University, Bowdoin College, Berklee College of Music, the University of Minnesota, Wellesley College, Agnes Scott College and DePauw University. In 2010, Kay was honored to present The Joseph Hearst Memorial Lecture about the life of Saudi Arabia's Queen Effat at the Frank Church Symposium at Idaho State University. She spoke at conferences on music and dance in the Arabian Peninsula in Qatar (2014) and NYU-Abu Dhabi (2015). Kay also leads an annual workshop on Saudi women's issues for the Junior Scholars at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, MA.
Nonprofit Organizations: Kay is the administrative director of the Arabic Music Retreat at Mount Holyoke College. She is a cofounder of this annual week-long event alongside Executive and Artistic Director, Simon Shaheen. She is integrally involved in all aspects of planning and manages the actual operation of the Retreat each year. Kay is also on the board of directors of the Jawaahir Dance Company of Minneapolis.
BA, summa cum laude, Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Minnesota, 1977.
Master of Arts, Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, 1983.
MBA, Northeastern University, 1996.
Arabic, French, elementary Farsi