TAS Weekly: Happy International Women’s Day!

Taking the ‘Inspire Inclusion’ 2024 campaign theme of the International Women’s Day (IWD) forward, The Arabian Stories (TAS) Weekly offers insights into the journeys of four remarkable Omani women who have emerged as leaders, exemplifying the empowering global message, ‘The future is female!’

While throwing the spotlight on the achievements of these selected individuals, TAS acknowledges the scores of inspirational Omani women, who, by their sheer dint of courage, confidence and determination, embody the nation’s commitment to advance the overarching IWD theme, ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’. They continue to inspire both men and women, within and outside the country, as they champion the principles of inclusivity and drive progress forward.

H.H. Hujaija Jaifer Al Said: A Trailblazer in Disability Advocacy

“On this International Women’s Day, I extend my heartfelt admiration and gratitude to the extraordinary women who tirelessly champion the rights and dignity of all individuals. As an advocate for people with disabilities, I am profoundly inspired by the resilience and unwavering spirit of women worldwide. Together, let us celebrate the invaluable contributions of women in shaping a more inclusive and compassionate society, where every child, regardless of ability, is embraced with love and opportunity.”

– Her Highness Sayyida Hujaija bint Jaifer Al Said, International Ambassador for Social Responsibility and advocate for people with disabilities

 For over two decades, Her Highness Sayyida Jaifer Al Said has been a steadfast advocate for individuals with disabilities, a commitment she embraced even during her university days. Her passion for aiding people with disabilities pushed her to serve as the Chairwoman for The Association of Children with Disability (ACD Oman) for an impressive six consecutive years.

In her role as the Chairwoman, H.H. Hujaija spearheaded numerous initiatives, from organizing vibrant carnivals to hosting engaging events and fundraisers. These efforts not only raised crucial funds for the association but also significantly heightened awareness about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. Moreover, her initiatives provided a platform for showcasing the talents of individuals within the disability community, fostering connections and creating opportunities for both individuals and organizations.

Recognized as a prominent ambassador for the disability community in Oman, H.H. Hujaija firmly believes in the vision outlined in Oman 2040. She understands the importance of supporting local businesses, particularly startups, home businesses, and SMEs. Alongside her advocacy for people with disabilities, she has championed numerous local businesses by providing them with a platform at the events she organizes, allowing them to showcase their products and services.

Photographs by Sarah Hale

Rumaitha Al Busaidi: Embracing Collective Strength

“To women in Oman and worldwide, International Women’s Day is a reminder of our collective strength and the significant role we play in shaping the future; the way we embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and innovation. Remember, your voice is crucial in advocating for change, whether in sustainability, technology, or any field you are passionate about. Support one another, as collective empowerment is the bedrock of progress. Let’s continue to break barriers and build a sustainable, equitable world for future generations.”

–  Rumaitha Al Busaidi, Founder of WomeX 

An Omani climate change activist, women’s rights activist, radio presenter, marine scientist, entrepreneur and footballer, Rumaitha was named in the BBC 100 Women of 2023. This is, in short, how she describes her journey:

“My journey began with a fascination for Oman’s marine biodiversity, which steered me towards environmental science. The path was challenging, particularly entering fields where female representation was scarce and advocating for sustainability in a region economically tied to oil. I faced skepticism and cultural barriers, but my resolve was fortified by embracing collaborative approaches, engaging with international forums, and leading by example in sustainability initiatives. Overcoming these challenges involved relentless advocacy, leveraging my academic background, and demonstrating the tangible benefits of sustainable practices.”

Her career inspiration stemmed from a profound connection to Oman’s natural beauty and a keen awareness of global environmental issues. Influential figures in environmental science and policy, alongside trailblazing women leaders who defied societal norms, inspired her to pursue her passion relentlessly.

“But, most importantly, it was the resilience and achievements of my own family members, like my grandmother and mother, that showed me the impact of dedicated effort and the importance of contributing to meaningful change, no matter how big or small,” she states.

Dr. Matlooba Zadjali: Pioneering Healthcare Entrepreneurship

“On International Women’s Day, I celebrate empowerment, equality, and appreciation for women. I emphasize the importance of acknowledging women’s achievements, advocating for gender equality, and breaking down barriers in society. I recognize and celebrate the diverse roles women play, both in Oman and around the world, advocating for a future where everyone, regardless of gender, has equal opportunities and respect. Through my entrepreneurial journey and commitment to excellence, I strive to serve as an inspiration to women everywhere, proving that with determination and vision, anything is possible.”

– Dr Matlooba Ayoub AL Zadjali, Founder & Managing Director of Heart and Vascular Centre (HVC) Oman

As a Senior Consultant in Public Health and Cardiovascular Disease, Dr. Matlooba Ayoub Al Zadjali initially believed that owning and operating her own center would be a daunting task. However, armed with her clinical credentials and a master’s degree in Public Health and Hospital Management, she gained invaluable insight and experience in hospital administration, paving the way for her entrepreneurial journey.

In the medical field, where business management is often considered a distinct specialty, Dr. Matlooba’s determination led her to pursue additional education, including a diploma in entrepreneurship, to enhance her abilities and expertise. As she puts it.

Despite the inherent challenges of the medical sector, including navigating complex healthcare regulations, managing operational costs, adapting to technological advancements, ensuring data security and privacy, addressing workforce shortages, Dr. Matlooba’s unwavering commitment to innovation and efficient healthcare delivery propelled her forward.

“I managed to overcome the challenges… Successful businesses in this sector often prioritize innovation and efficient healthcare delivery, and that is what I always keep in my mind,” she notes.

Driven by her dream of creating an innovative healthcare center that prioritizes the latest evidence-based practices, Dr. Matlooba found that the private sector provided the ideal environment for such endeavors. Her center, the Heart and Vascular Centre (HVC) Oman, became a testament to her dedication to excellence and patient-centered care.

Ibtihal Al Zadjali: Breaking Barriers, Challenging Norms

“On International Women’s Day, I want to convey a message of empowerment and solidarity to women in Oman and around the world. Let us continue to break barriers, and challenge norms. I urge all women working in the media industry to embrace their power and voice and advocate for inclusivity and pave the way for future generations of women to thrive in media roles. Together, we can cultivate an environment where women are valued, respected, and celebrated for their contributions to shaping narratives and driving meaningful impact.”

– Ibtihal Al Zadjali, renowned media personality in Oman

In her journey towards success, Ibtihal Al Zadjali faced a multitude of challenges, from maneuvering the ever-changing landscape of the media industry to grappling with the lack of representation in her field, while balancing personal and professional responsibilities.

“However, by staying resilient, seeking mentorship, and continuously learning from setbacks, I managed to overcome these hurdles. Each challenge served as a learning opportunity, enabling me to grow stronger and more determined in pursuing my goals,” she states.

Born out of a familial influence that introduced her to the media industry at a young age, Ibtihal’s passion for the industry blossomed into a lifelong commitment. Guided and mentored by her family, she found the motivation and clarity to pursue her dreams with unwavering dedication.

“It started as a passion and tuned into a career, one that I am still passionate about,” she muses.

Her journey taught her invaluable lessons in perseverance and adaptability, instilling in her a profound understanding of the power of resilience in overcoming adversity. Through her relentless pursuit of excellence, Ibtihal carved her niche in Oman’s media landscape. Today, as a renowned media personality, she stands as a beacon of empowerment, inspiring women to chase their ambitions without inhibitions.


The post TAS Weekly: Happy International Women’s Day! appeared first on The Arabian Stories News.

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