The role of women in Muslim culture and religion is almost insignificant compared to men, who are born as leaders with supreme power and authority in their families and society. For ages Arab Women were considered to be weak and unable to take any decision for themselves, the only role being the one of a mother and wife. As years passed by, Arab women took initiative in various actions and started proving that in many cases, were better professionally prepared than men. Nowadays we can easily speak about famous women who wrote history in Middle East. Richieast has created a small list representing Top 5 most powerful Arab Women.
Sheikha Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi
Sheikha Lubna Qasimi made her first public appearance in November 2000 when she was appointed the Minister of Economy and Planning of UAE being the first Arab women to have a leading role in a public institution. Holding an executive MBA from the Sharjah University and a Computer Science – Bachelor’s Degree from California State University, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi founded in 2000 the first online business to business platform in Middle East. This year, UAE celebrates 10 years of prosperity and wealth since one of the most powerful Arab Women – Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi is the Minister of Foreign Trade.
Haifa al Mansour
Originary from Saudi Arabia, the 40 years old Haifa al Mansour holds an important role in the Top 5 most powerful Arab Women, being the first woman – film director in Saudi Arabia. Her movies are the only way of showing the real life of Saudi women and girls – the way men treat them according to Arab traditions. Haifa is one of the most controversial characters in Saudi Arabia, a country where women are not allowed to express their own opinions, this gesture being considered an offence to men. She embraced this career from her father who was the Saudi poet Abdul Mansour and started making movies based on the daily life of Saudi women. One of Haifa’s most successful movies was Wadjda, presented at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, during the production she had to face even death threats.
Famous for being the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Prize for Peace and also the youngest woman in the world to receive such an important award, Tawakkul Karman donated to Yemen charity the entire sum of 500,000$. As a Yemeni journalist she started in 2005 along with seven other colleagues the group called “ Women Journalists without chains “ with the purpose of promoting democratic rights and freedom of speech throughout mass media. In 2011 she became a role model for Arab Women worldwide when she started leading an entire series of protests against Ali Abdullah Saleh the Yemeni President.
Reem Al Hashimy
Holding the International Relations and French degree from Tufts University and also the Master’s Degree from Harvard University, Reem Al Hashimy gained the managing director role of UAE expo 2020 bid after her impressive presentation in Paris. Beside the role of Minister of State in the UAE, Reem Al Hashimy targets the Top 5 most powerful Arab Women by being also the chairman of Dubai Cares. Founded in 2007 by HH Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Dubai Cares represents a charity organization that helps children from all over the world to get a better education.
Lubna Olayan is the most successful and influential business woman in Saudi Arabia and also in Middle East as the CEO of Olayan Financing Company. The company was first started by her father Sulaiman Olayan in 1974 and it is supposed to be worth almost 10 billion $ nowadays. She is also known as the only women who was able and allowed to speak at the 2004 Jeddah Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia. Her vision and goals are to create a stable society where everyone has equal rights no matter his or hers religion, gender or fortune in Saudi Arabia, a place where even tourists should feel at home.