Doha News is putting the spotlight on the Qatari women breaking glass ceilings, establishing legacies and on a mission to building the Qatar we know today.
March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day and to honour the occasion, we have compiled a list of women making their mark on both Qatar and the wider world.
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al Misned
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al Misned has undoubtedly paved the way in establishing the foundation of education in Qatar.
She is the co-founder and chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), the organisation that has spearheaded the country’s endeavours to put itself on the map as a pioneer in education, science, and cultural development, in both the region and the world.
She is also a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, and founded Education Above All, an initiative that provides education to out-of-school-children. She also founded “Silatech,” a social enterprise that promotes economic opportunities and creates jobs for young people in the region.
Sheikha Moza holds several degrees herself, among them from Qatar University, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), and other well-respected higher educational institutions.
Sheika Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
This woman is no stranger to the world of art. Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani has been featured by Forbes in The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, was considered the most influential person on ArtReview’s Power 100, and frequents Time 100.
She is the chairperson of Qatar Museums as well as Doha Film Institute (DFI), and is incredibly influential among art collectors worldwide. She is said to have a collection of famous art from world renowned artists, including the most expensive painting in the world, Paul Gauguin’s “When Will You Marry?”
The Qatari royal has continued to affirm the social impact of art through Qatar Museums, which oversees all museums and most art spaces in Qatar. Al Zubarah Archaeological Site, which is under the protection of Qatar Museums, was also named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013.
Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani
It is no doubt that Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani is one of the most important players in Qatar’s education.
She is the CEO of QF, co-chairperson of the Joint Advisory Board of Northwestern University in Qatar, vice chair of QF’s board of directors, and a member of the board of trustees of QF.
She also serves on the boards of several education and cultural institutes, including HBKU, Qatar National Library, HEC Paris, and Teach for Qatar, an organisation that aims to develop the quality of education in Qatar.
Sheikha Hind holds an Executive MBA from HEC Paris in Qatar, a Master of Arts degree in Human Rights from University College London in the UK, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University.
Mariam Al Misned
Mariam Al Misned is a leading figure in children’s affairs and institutional work, focusing on management and strategic planning in community, educational and development institutions at the local, regional and international levels.
Al Misned has served as Executive Director of the Orphans Care Center (Dreama) and is now the head of the Protection and Social Rehabilitation Centre (AMAN). She has been awarded the title of “Ambassador of Orphans,” the first GCC woman to receive this award by Higher Committee organising the “Sanabil” Award for Social Responsibility.
On March 6, Al Misned was appointed as the Executive Director of Administration and Finance Division of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies.
Fatma Al Remaihi
As the CEO of DFI, Fatma Al Remaihi has contributed immensely in shaping Doha as a global and regional hub for film. DFI has given Qatari and Arab women the chance to continuously break glass ceilings, with several internationally-recognised works under its belt.
She directs the artistic and operational aspects of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival and Qumra, as well as year-round screening programmes, film funding initiatives and partnerships with key international film organisations.
Al Remaihi was also recognised by Variety Magazine as part of this year’s Women’s Impact Report.
The report praised Al Remaihi for her efforts in DFI as it “continues to grow as a key Arab cinema incubator and gives a voice to female filmmakers from the region.”
Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani
Ambassador Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani is the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations. She has continued to make strides to fight for the rights of people across the world in region, with particular focus on Palestinians under Israeli occupation, as well as human rights concerning the crisis in Syria.
Sheikha Alya has also been a key player in dialogue concerning ending the air, land, and sea blockade imposed on Qatar by UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Yemen in 2017.
As the first ever female spokesperson for the foreign ministry, Lolwa Al-Khater has continued to promote peaceful dialogue internally and externally as the face of Qatar’s foreign affairs.
She is Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has vehemently supported and defended Qatar’s right to sovereignty during the entirety of the 2017 blockade.
She has also fought feverishly for Palestinian rights, reaffirming Qatar’s support for its people as they continue to suffer under illegal occupation.
Amal Al Malki
Qatari women have led and outnumbered men in the education sector, and Dr. Amal Al Malki is no exception. As the Founding Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at HBKU, she has been revered as leading feminist and academic making strides in achieving gender equality in Qatar. She is a women’s rights advocate, a professor, a public speaker, and a social commentator
Al Malki was incredibly vocal when the Hamad International Aiport (HIA) incident occurred, which saw a group of women invasively searched as HIA authorities looked for the mother of a baby that was abandoned in the airport toilets.
She also served as Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar where she taught courses in postcolonial literature and Islamic feminism.
Dana Al Fardan
Dana Al Fardan is regarded as Qatar’s first female contemporary composer. Al Fardan is a musician, songwriter, and symphonic artist. She is a national icon, a cultural ambassador, and her music has been regarded the sound of Qatar.
Al Fardan’s music is a blend of Arabic influenced contemporary classical and is the brand ambassador of the internationally renowned Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.
She has also performed her music at the United Nations for their annual UN Day.
Ghada Ali Al Khater
Self-described ARToonist Ghada Ali Al Khater is a bold Qatari that combines art with politics in hard-hitting cartoons that reflect current events.
Ghada, who rose to prominent for her cultural contributions during the 2017 blockade, frequently decorates exhibitions and buildings in the Qatari capital.
Most recently, she collaborated with a French creative digital studio to create a magical interactive piece as part of the Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020 in France on Saturday.