Rania Al-Abdullah (b. 1970) is the queen consort of
Jordan. She has been involved in numerous humanitarian projects relating to
education, health, community projects, and other causes.
She studied business administration at the American
University in Cairo, and became queen in 1999. Her projects include the first
interactive children’s museum in Jordan, the refurbishment of 500 public
schools, and the Jordan River Foundation, which aims to improve the life
quality of women and children in the country. She was the first person named as
an Eminent Advocate for Children by UNICEF.
Ghada Karmi (b. 1939) is a
doctor and academic from Palestine. She is a lecturer at the Institute of Arab &
Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter, and frequently writes about
Palestinian issues in a number of British publications.
medicine at the University of Bristol, and specialised in the health and
conditions of ethnical minorities and migrants. She is also a fellow at the
Royal Institute of International Affairs and vice-chair of the Council for Arab-British
Naziha al-Dulaimi (1923-2007) was a pioneering Iraqi feminist. She was
the first female minister in the modern history of Iraq, and the first female
cabinet minister in the Arab world.
at the Royal College of Medicine in Baghdad as one of very few female students.
She founded the Iraqi Women’s League and became its first president in 1952,
fighting not only for the rights of women in the country, but for national
liberation and world peace.
Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) was an
English traveller and political officer who was instrumental in British
policy-making around the Middle East due to her extensive knowledge and expertise.
She made important contributions to establishing the modern state of Iraq.
She studied History (one of the few
subject permitted to women) at Oxford University, and graduated with a
first-class degree in only two years. After World War I, she was the only woman
who had any political power and influenced British imperial policy in the
Middle East. She helped create the Baghdad Archaeological Museum, today the Iraqi
it sickens me that they would purposely add fuel to the fire like that
(b. 1978) is a former politician and human
rights activist from Afghanistan. She used to be a Parliamentarian in the
National Assembly of the country, but was dismissed after denouncing the
presence of war criminals in the Parliament.
She began her career as a social activist by becoming director of the NGO
OPAWC – the Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women’s Capabilities. The public
condemnation of war lords and criminals attracted criticism, threats, and even
assassination attempts, but also widespread admiration, as the BBC called her ‘the
bravest woman in Afghanistan’.