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Abu Dhabi Awards Celebrates Successful Women Ahead of Emirati Women's Day

To mark the occasion of Emirati Women’s Day this month, the Abu Dhabi Awards Organising Committee sheds light on previous female recipients of the Abu Dhabi Awards, as part of its on-going efforts to encourage more nominations from the wider UAE communities.

Ever since the Abu Dhabi Awards, a key Government initiative, was first held in 2005, its mission has always been to recognise committed and selfless individuals who have contributed to their community becoming an inspiration and motivation to others. Since its inception, the Abu Dhabi Awards, which is known as the Emirate’s highest civilian honour have recognised 92 unsung heroes from 16 different nationalities.

With Emirati Women’s Day set to be celebrated on August 28, the Abu Dhabi Awards Organising Committee have underlined the importance of the significant day by picking out three previous recipients who have led by example and are the best embodiment of the true values held by the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who believed in the generosity and kindness of the people of the UAE.

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Dr. Fatima Al Refaei

Receiving the award in 2021, Dr. Fatima is widely regarded as a pioneer in her nursing field, playing an instrumental role in developing the UAE’s nursing profession. Along with her dedication to make a positive difference, she has strived in her career, achieving many accomplishments including establishing the Emirates Nursing Association in 2003. Since it launched, it has continued to provide holistic support to the nursing community, encouraging UAE citizens to pursue a profession in nursing.

As well as sharing her insights and experiences at key industry events – locally, regionally, and internationally, Dr Fatima was elected as a member of the Board of Directors for the International Council of Nurses (ICN) for the Middle East region.

Today, she serves as an Advisor for Nursing Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.

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Farah Al Qaissieh

As someone who grew up with a stutter problem, Farah Al Qaissieh has shown that anything is possible in life, as long as you have the belief to overcome any hurdles. A winner in 2018, Farah became a source of inspiration to many for her determination to overcome this speech disorder, which she referred to as ‘just another accent’ while working hard to educate and change people’s perceptions.

Her efforts saw her launch the ‘Stutter UAE’ initiative, the country’s first support platform where people who suffer from stuttering can meet and interact. Her story was also told in a documentary film ‘Just Another Accent’ which was screened to an international audience at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Today, she is the Assistant Manager at Mubadala Emiratization, having started her professional career in Mubadala Investment Company in 2011.

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Zaafarana Khamis

Zaafarana Khamis is a mother of eleven - including two Special Olympics champions, Hamda, and Maryam - but to the public she is best known as the "mother for people of determination".

For years, she has always been a mother figure who goes the extra mile in helping those members of society in need, she was rewarded for her time and dedication with the Abu Dhabi Award.

As a volunteer for more than 15 years, she first started giving back to her community in 2007 by doing voluntary work at the Abu Dhabi Sports Club for People of Determination and has gone on to devote her time to support more People of Determination during national and international sporting events. She was also part of the volunteering team when Abu Dhabi hosted the Special Olympics World Games in 2019 – the first time the global event was held in the MENA region.

The Abu Dhabi Awards recognises contributions from anyone working to improve UAE society, regardless of their age, gender, nationality, or place of residency. The single and only criteria that nominees must fulfil is to have made a positive contribution towards the emirate and community of Abu Dhabi.

Nominations for the 11th edition of this prestigious ceremony can be submitted any time by visiting the Abu Dhabi Awards website

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