During Queen Rania Al Abdullah’s speech at the Global Women Forum Dubai 2016, which was held on 23 February 2016, Queen Rania of Jordan mentioned three women who have skillfully employed modern technology to serve their societies.
We did research to find out who these three women are and learn about their achievement. Following is a brief write-up of our findings.
“Ala’a Suleiman from my country, Jordan, saw a need for creating an Arabic audio library for the visually-impaired and increasing the Arabic online content so she invented a platform that has Arabic books recorded in attractive professional narration.”
— Queen Rania.
Ala’a Suleiman is a Jordanian entrepreneur, Arabic writer, and an active social volunteer. She graduated from Al-Balqa Applied University with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology (IT) in 2002. She was hired as a computer teacher for deaf students in Al Raja’a School, and then moved to work as a quality assurance for hand-held devices at one of the big companies in Amman.
Between 2004 and 2010, she simultaneously worked as a project coordinator and a sound engineer in a number of sound recording and processing projects. In 2011 she co-founded Masmoo3, the first Arabic audiobooks company to produce and publish high quality recordings and professionally narrated audiobooks.
Over time, she became an inspiring women who shares knowledge and hope with others through writing and publishing articles for adults and stories for children. Her voluntary work includes writing and reporting for Al-Jazeera talk.
To date, she has published more than 60 audio children’s stories covering diverse topics and few printed ones.
She is an active senior member of the Enpact organization, a fellow of the Open Hands initiative, and is a member of the Alwane coalition in Jordan, which is a regional coalition of leaders committed to social change and the advancement of women’s leadership. Ala’a is also a member in the Board of Directors at the kitabi kitabak organization, which aims to help poor people in Jordan to have access to books and public libraries.
“Tahani Rached, the Egyptian director and film maker, who has used her cinematic lens to share with the world the problems the Arabs face at refugee camps, in cities, and in times of war or illness.”
— Queen Rania.
Tahani Rached is an Egyptian filmmaker and director. In 1966, she moved to Montreal to pursue painting. She was a student at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal where she studied painting for two years. She became more involved with the community and thus, turned to filmmaking. She was hired as a staff filmmaker by Canada’s National Film Board in 1981.
However, she left the Film Board in 2004 to return to Egypt to make films. She made numerous documentaries and videos for organizations engaged in international cooperation in addition to television shows about the Arab community in Quebec. She tackled sensitive topics while utilizing her specialization in Cinematic studies and her expertise in film directing and documentaries. Her work includes War in Beirut; Not Enough Death to go Round, Doctors with Hearts, which tackles doctors’ battle against AIDS, raises ethical questions about the treatment of AIDS, and examines the doctor-patient relationship, Four Women of Egypt, which represents a plea for tolerance, friendship, and social commitment, in addition to Soraida, A Woman of Palestine, which captures the reflections, concerns and imagination of a Palestinian woman, her family and her neighborhood, and the soul of a nation that is doing its best to survive the war and occupation.
Upon her return to Egypt, Tahani Rached directed the film “El-Banate Dol,” or “These Girls, which on the first prize at the fifth edition of the International Documentary Film festival, which was held in Duke-Lisbon in 2007.
“Another example is Isra’a Al-Shafei from Bahrain. She created a platform for Arab youths to express their talents and opinions – ten years ago! She saw then that they had a lot to say about the times, but did not have the means to be heard.”
— Queen Rania.
Esra’a Al-Shafei is a Bahraini human rights activist focusing on ethnic and religious minority rights. She is also a blogger and a social entrepreneur. Esra’a Al-Shafei founded Mideast Youth in 2006, which is currently an organization that supports diverse and progressive voices advocating change throughout the Middle East and North Africa using digital media. She is also the Founder of crowdvoice.org, mideastunes.com, ahwaa.org, kurdishrights.org, and migrant-rights.org. Esra’a Al-Shafei, who is a senior TED Fellow and an Echoing Green fellow, was described as “an outspoken defender of free speech.”
In 2011, The Daily Beast listed Al-Shafei as one of the 17 bravest bloggers worldwide.
Here is the video of her majesty speech: