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Arab Women in Science Take Centre Stage In This Unesco-Hosted Event

The phenomenal researchers are involved in the Life and Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics and Computer Sciences fields.

H.E. Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairperson of the UAE Space Agency

The Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO recently hosted a ceremony awarding 14 young talents from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Women in Science Young Talents Awards Ceremony for MENA, the first of its kind, was part of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Young Talents programme, an initiative from the global L’Oréal -UNESCO For Women in Science scheme.

Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer and CEO of the Fondation L’Oréal

In addition to marking International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11), the ceremony honoured the women’s remarkable discoveries in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Held at the Dubai Exhibition Center at Expo 2020 Dubai, it underscored their roles in solving today’s challenges as well as inspiring the future generation of females.

H.E. Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, the Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Coming from various countries in the GCC and the Levant, as well as Egypt, the women in the PhD students and post-doctorate researchers categories were recognised for their groundbreaking research.

Dr Anna Paolini, Director of UNESCO Office in Doha and Representative for the Gulf and Yemen

“The 14 exceptional scientists being honoured at this year’s event, the first to be held in our region, are drawn from a wide array of disciplines, from life and environmental sciences to mathematics and computer sciences,” H.E. Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, said. “This is a reflection of both the breadth of talent in the Middle East and the increasing opportunities for women here to apply it. As we move to a knowledge-based economy, a world where science and technology are increasingly front and centre, it is essential the whole of humanity is able to play a role in shaping it.”

Prof. Mouin Hamze, Jury President of Middle East and Levant programmes

Here’s what to know about the amazing scientists that were awarded at the event, which also welcomed a group of esteemed panelists to discuss how Arab Women scientists are breaking through barriers and inspiring the next generation of leaders and changemakers.

Ph.D. Students:
- Qatari Arij Yehya’s research focuses on identifying factors that drive the widening of the gender gap in personality traits. This further evaluates current and future gender policies.

Arij Yehya

- Halima Alnaqbi,who is from the UAE, focuses on enhancing the existing organ transplantation system to include Arab ethnic groups.

Halima Alnaqbi

- Rachel Njeim, a Lebanese, examines the contribution of NETosis to the pathogenesis of Diabetic Kidney Disease.

Rachel Njeim

- Iraqi Sama Hassan Ali Rahmatullah researches anti-pollution caused by genetic variation of plants associated with soil contaminated of petroleum hydrocarbons.

Sama Hassan Ali

- Sarah Abdelkader, who hails from Egypt, studies on on-site sustainable treatment methods for agricultural wastewater treatment to be reused in irrigation.

Sarah Abdelkader

Post-Doctorate Researchers:
- Emirati Dr Ghada Dushaq looks into discovering novel materials and structures across photonics to enhance the speed, capacity and accuracy of conventional technologies.

Dr Ghada Dushaq

- Dr Hend Alqaderi researches the use of oral fluids as a non-invasive diagnostic tool for early diagnosis. The Kuwaiti also examines disease management of COVID-19 and other inflammatory diseases.

Dr Hend Alqaderi

- Qatari Dr Nura Adam Mohamed does research on developing non-conventional, novel therapeutic tools to prevent the development of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases.

- Egypt’s Dr Ingy Ibrahim Abdallah explores overcoming receptor mutations in cancer targeted therapy.

Dr Ingy Abdallah

- Fellow Egyptian Dr Irene Samy Fahim Gabriel researches the manufacturing of Sugarcane Bagasse-Based tableware in Egypt.

Dr Irene Fahim

- Dr Heba Alzaben, who is from Jordan, delves into the use of thermal remote sensing to monitor ecosystem health.

Dr Heba Alzaben

- Lebanese Dr Hiba N. Rajha researches food waste valorisation through incorporation and nanoencapsulation of grape skin polyphenols in various cosmetic products.

Dr Hiba Rajha

- Dr Nirmeen Elmadany, a Palestinian, investigates targeting immunosuppressive proteins in Glioblastoma Microenvironment for a better tumour response to immunotherapy.

- Syrian Dr Waad Saftly does research on galaxy evolution through the history of the universe.

Dr Waad Saftly

Since its inception in the region in 2010, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Young Talents programme has awarded over 160 female scientists and 11 Laureates from the MENA region. Among them, 16 Arab female scientists have also won an additional international recognition through the International Rising Talent programme.

L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science winners

The panelists at L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science

The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has worked to empower more women scientists to overcome barriers to progression and participate in solving today’s trials. For 23 years, it has supported over 3,900 women researchers and 122 Laureates from over 110 countries and regions, rewarding scientific excellence and inspiring younger generations of women to pursue science as a career.

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