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Emirati Women: Icons of Tolerance

Aug 25, 2019
3D Printed Office Jumeirah Emirates Towers - Dubai, UAE

Each year, the United Arab Emirates celebrates the Emirati Women’s Day on August 28. This day was launched by Sheikha Fatma Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood in 2015 to recognize the key role of women in the United Arab Emirates. It is a national celebration to highlight the contribution of the country’s women in advancing the UAE’s interests and promoting its initiatives.

From Olympic gold medalists to ministers making vital decisions and even aspiring scientists and astronauts planning to make a trip into space, women have always been in the forefront of the UAE’s culture and society.

Young Arab Leaders and Dubai Future Academy have come together to honor the groundbreaking achievements of women across the Emirates by organizing a session commemorating the 5th Emirati Women’s Day under the name “Emirati Women: Icons of Tolerance” at the 3D Printed Office, Emirates Tower, Dubai.

The session included a panel discussion with the participation of H.E Najla al Midfa, the CEO of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre and Vice-Chairwoman of Young Arab Leaders; Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi, the first female Emirati aircraft engineer; Mrs. Farah Al Qaissieh, the Founder of Stutter UAE; and H.E Manal Attaya, the Director General of Sharjah Museums Authority.

During the discussion, when the speakers were asked about how the UAE has empowered and helped each of them to become who they are today, Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi notably shared, “Both the UAE government and my mother supported me, appreciated what I plan to achieve, respected my ambitions and helped me to make my dreams come true”. Her experience as an engineer in a male dominated role empowered her and pushed her to succeed. “My experiences made me realize my weaknesses, explore my strengths, build my character and learn to balance and focus on what I need to accomplish”, she added.

Nabra Al Busaidi, Executive Director of Young Arab Leaders, said, “We are fortunate in the UAE for our wise leadership who believes in the capabilities of Emirati women and the importance of empowering them to enhance their roles in the sustainable development of this nation. The UAE is a country of endless possibilities and the rulers set an example. The UAE is eager for young Emiratis to take advantage of the opportunities out there and to contribute towards the society. This makes it a symbol for the Region in proving that Emirati women are contributing to the progress of the UAE and representing the country regionally and globally.’’

Manal Ataya, Director-General of Sharjah Museums Authority, thanked the event’s organizers for giving her the privilege of moderating this discussion panel that came in conjunction with the Emirati Women’s day, which celebrates their accomplishments. Ataya said, “Listening to these women’s journeys and experiences over the past 15 years is truly motivational and empowering for young women. It will inspire others to seize opportunities and work hard to assume their roles in the society.”

To quote the late President and Founder of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan: “The woman is half of the society, any country which pursues development should not leave her in poverty or illiteracy. I am on the woman’s side; I always say this in order to uphold her right to work and participate in the building process of her country.”