League of Arab States celebrates pioneering Arab women in medicine

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DUBAI,– The League of Arab States celebrated pioneering Arab women in medicine on Monday, honouring women from the UAE, as well as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in a ceremony under the patronage and in the presence of His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the League of Arab States.

His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit paid tribute to the UAE’s wise leadership and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak – whom he described as a true woman of courage – for her immense contributions toward achieving the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. His Excellency also praised UN Women for building momentum over decades to secure equality for all, and recognised the 200 million Arab women thriving in and elevating Arab society.

In partnership with the UAE’s General Women’s Union and UN Women, the League of Arab States celebrates pioneering Arab women with a Distinction Award, highlighting the progressive and continuous role of women in selected fields, and honouring their achievements in leadership, experiences and creativity. Their Excellencies Ambassador Dr Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary General, Head of Social Affairs Sector at the League of Arab States and Noura Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Secretary General of the General Women’s Union participated in the ceremony, which was attended by a delegation of representatives from Arab countries.

Her Excellency Ambassador Dr Haifa Abu Ghazaleh said: “Arab women have been instrumental in confronting COVID-19 as part of an ‘army’ of doctors. In recognition of their leadership and role as humanitarians, the Arab League has chosen to celebrate females in medicine in the inaugural session of the Distinction Awards for Arab Women.”

Her Excellency Dr Noura Al Suwaidi extended the wishes of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima to those honoured with the Distinction Awards, and praised the Arab League and UN Women for their extraordinary work to empower women in all fields, adding: “It is my hope that Arab women will remain powerful and active players in global development.”

His Excellency Gheit presented the awards to the women, including Dr Kalthoom Muhammed Al Belooshi, Director of Hospitals Department at the Ministry of Health, UAE; Dr Fatima Zahra Zammit, Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases, Head of the Department of the Public Hospital Institution, Hedi Filisi / Al-Qattar, Algeria; Dr Jameela Al Salman, Consultant of Infectious Diseases and Internal Diseases at Salmaniya Medical Complex and Member of the National Medical Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Bahrain; Dr Mona Mostafa, Founder and Director of the Laboratory of Cancer Biology, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Egypt; Dr Shaima Hammadi Nouri, Catheter Unit Officer and Director of the Division for Infection Control, Iraq; Dr Souha Kanj, Head of the Infections Diseases Division, Chair of the Infection Control and Prevention Program, American University of Beirut Medical Centre, Lebanon; Dr Hunaina bint Muhammad Al Kindi, Head of the Department of Histopathology, Khoula Hospital, Oman; Dr Mai al-Kail, Minister of Health, Palestine; Dr Maryam Abdul Malik, Managing Director, Primary Health Care Corporation, Qatar; and Dr Yasmine Al-Tuwaijri, Senior Scientist and Head of Epidemiology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Saudi Arabia.

The Distinction Award for Arab Women is an annual event that follows an open nomination mechanism, open to all women from the League of Arab States. Arbitration is neutral and depends on the criteria of achievement and excellence of each candidate in reaching the degree of distinction. The award ceremony coincided with the League of Arab States Honour Day at Expo 2020 Dubai.

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