Five remarkable Emirati women were recently awarded the Fujairah Social and Cultural Association & KASHKHA Excellence Award for their incredible achievements and steadfast commitment to social causes. KASHKHA, a notable modest fashion brand, and the Fujairah Social and Cultural Association, have teamed up to acknowledge and honour women who are making a valuable contribution to the economy and the country. Each recipient has been chosen on the basis of doing something exemplary that qualifies her to be a role model for others. Without a doubt, the women are playing a prominent role in UAE society, whether they’re involved in culture, sports, environment, healthcare, human welfare, public life, art or literature.
“We are proud of these inspiring women who are special in every way. They have pushed boundaries to reach new heights in their careers while making a difference to communities and people around them,” Khaled Aldhanhani, Chairman of Fujairah Social and Cultural Association, said. “They have boldly forged their way to the top of their industries and have made their mark as pioneers and role models.”
Here’s what you need to know about the five special women who are positively impacting the wider community:
1. Wafa Ahmed Rashid Khamis Ali Al-Antli
Wafa Ahmed Rashid Khamis Ali Al-Antli is the Founder and Director of the Foundation of the Fujairah Social Cultural Association, which deals with human and community initiatives, especially humanitarian schemes, lectures and seminars on human solidarity. The association stands with all segments of society, leading community and charitable cohesion and supporting people with varying problems.
“Winning the Fujairah Social and Cultural Association & KASHKHA Excellence Award is not only a privilege but a responsibility,” the recipient who has been tirelessly working for community service projects and other human welfare initiatives, said. “Throughout my career, I have sought to work with compassion, collaboration and confidence. The award reinforces my determination to support people around me and help them believe in their capabilities.”
The philanthropist, who has a Ph.D. in Literature and Criticism from Al Wasl University, as well as a master’s from the same university, has participated in volunteer works with numerous entities. This includes participating in the Red Crescent Camp for War Displaced Persons in Jordan, the 2019 Special Olympics and visiting Al Huda Center and Sheikha Fatima Projects in Sudan.
Wafa, who also has a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Language from the United Arab Emirates University, is a member of various associations, including the UAE Writers and Writers Association. The winner of the Rashid Award for Scientific Excellence 2018 has written several novels and has had work published in local media and journals. As well as writing and editing, she has experience as a lecturer and human trainer, a media consultant and a researcher.
2. Aisha Abdullah Saif al-Kaabi
Aisha Abdullah Saif al-Kaabi joined “Al Bayan” newspaper in 2005 and works as the publication’s Director in the Fujairah office. The recipient of the Medal of Community Service from HH Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the Minister of Interior, covers the interior councils during Ramadan. “I hope to be source of inspiration for women, and want them to believe that they can achieve the impossible,” the member of the UAE Journalists Association said while picking up her award. “Knowledge and information are the keys to empowerment.”
Aisha, a former member of the Union of Arab Journalists, has the distinction of being the ‘first editor’ who edited and covered economic and cultural news from Fujairah and the east coast. She has also attended and covered international meetings abroad, like the Economic Forum in Germany and the Arab Women's Organization in Tunisia, while accompanying HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.
During her journalism career, Aisha has trained many media students and new graduates from a number of universities, including Sharjah University, Ajman University and Al Jazeera University, to provide them with practical skills for their professional arena with greater confidence. Previoulsy, Aisha, who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of the United Arab Emirates’ Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Arts), worked at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s Fujairah branch. She gained valuable experience in corporate communications. Working in accordance with the vision of the country’s wise leadership and fulfilling the tasks required of UAE citizens, she went on to progressively grow in her career.
3. Halima Muhammad Ali Abdullah Al-Yamahi
As an employee at the Ministry of Interior Fujairah, Halima Muhammad Ali Abdullah Al-Yamahi has engaged in government services for the public as well as the public sector. She has also been involved in organising handicraft exhibitions and other welfare and social initiatives.
During her career, Halima has been recognised and honoured by receiving several prestigious awards for her contribution to society. These include the Founding Leader Award and the Minisitry of Interior Award. The Ministry of Interior’s member of staff has also taken home the Road Race Award and the Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan Award. “I would like as many women as possible to find the same joy, freedom and fulfillment from work that I have,” Halima said while receiving her latest accolade. “Everyday I see incredible brilliance around me and I can only see a better future for all.”
4. Ghada Mahmoud Abdul Ahlla Mohamed Alzaabi
Ghada Mahmoud Abdul Ahlla Mohamed Alzaabi, Director of Fujairah Center, also received the award. One of the centre’s key achievements has been creating a news and cultural centre to organise sports activities and fitness programmes for the youth. Ghada, who holds a master’s degree in Strategic Management and Leadership from University Horizon Faculty, spent nearly seven years in administrative and accounting occupations and organising activities.
“I believe that collaboration is the key to making major advancements. Together we can turn dreams into reality,” she commented while celebrating her win.
The go-getter, who has also completed a Nervous Language Program from Khalifa Center for Social and Administrative Development and has a bachelor’s’ degree in Psychology from the United Arab Emirates University, previously worked with the Department of Heritage and Antiquities - Fujairah Board for Tourism and Antiquities. Plus, she made her mark in field trainings and development of human resources at the Technosphere Center in Fujairah. Despite her busy schedule, Ghada, who has memberships in numerous organisations like the Urban Heritage Society and the Volunteer Tender Program, has been passionately engaged as a volunteer in community and social welfare services, including educational ones. To name a few she participated in over 30 responses to combat COVID-19, Fujairah’s Special Olympics Host Cities Program and the World Government Summit.
Additionally, Ghada has been responsible for coordination and supervision of over 3,000 activities from 2012 to this year. Some of the most noteworthy ones include the Dubai World Hospitality Championship and the Dubai Peace Championship. She has also presided over 100 community initiatives and in over 10 international programmes involving UAE ambassadors abroad.
5. Maryam Ali Abdullah Makhlouf
Maryam Ali Abdullah Makhlouf, the Principal of Al Marifa 2 School for Basic and Secondary Education, has over 28 years’ experience in the academic field. Some of the high points while leading the school include one student winning the Hamdan bin Rashid Award for Educational Excellence (Distinguished Student Category), 12 students participating in the innovation ambassadors’ programme and a female student getting a nod at a nationwide textbook cover competition.Two other young females made her proud by nabbing mentions at the My Idea competition during the Ministry of Education’s Innovation Month. In addition, her school obtained first place throughout the Fujairah region during a school theatre competition.
“The world has changed a lot in 2020 and we must all extend our support to those in need,” Maryam said as she scooped the prize. “It is our collective responsibility to rebuild the future.”
During the course of her career, Maryam has held several important positions in educational councils, including Chair of the Teachers Interviews Committee for Private Schools in Fujairah Educational Zone. The educator can also count being a member of the training core at the level of Fujairah Educational District as an accomplishment.
Maryam, who earned a Bachelor of Arts / Geography degree from the United Arab Emirates University, has attended some key seminars and events. She has taken part in a seminar organised by the Fujairah Cultural Association to do with the role of Emirati women on Emirati Women's Day. Maryam has also participated in a Ramadan seminar organised by the Fujairah Cultural Association. The holder of a professional trainer certificate and diploma of educational advisor has been on a course about classroom management organised by Al Durar Institute for Development too.