In amongst the expanding COVID-19 fear which is taking hold of the world, it is important to reflect on the good things that are happening too. Always seek perspective and be grateful for the positive things that you do have in life, both tangible and intangible.
Since we have recently celebrated International Women’s Day, let’s reflect on some of the many women who are silently and loudly chattering their own success stories around the world.
These amazing women are highly engaged, enterprising, take an interest in relationship-building, have learnt to say “no”, are great mentors, and bring balance to the workplace across multiple verticals.
These strong women know the importance of mutual support, are highly intuitive, and think big.
Shaikha Lubna bint Khalid Sultan Al Qasimi
She is one of the most powerful women in the Arab world. She holds several distinguished positions, and currently, Her Excellency is the Minister of State for Tolerance. She is the first woman in the UAE to hold a ministerial position.
She has contributed extensively to boost UAE as a major donor. Forbes listed her as the 36th most powerful woman in the world in 2017. She is a board member and trustee of several prestigious organizations in UAE. Likewise, she’s won several honors and awards.
Mariam al Mansouri
As a teenager, she dreamed of becoming a military pilot in the UAE. During those times, women were not allowed to become pilots. Nevertheless, she stood resolute in her determination, and eventually joined the army. Soon the rules changed in her favor, and she was the first woman to join the UAE Air Force Academy. She upped her game by becoming the country’s first female pilot.
Nowadays, she flies F-16 Fighting Falcon and even led the airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. In 2008 she told the National newspaper, “A woman’s passion about something will lead her to achieve what she aspires, and that’s why she should pursue her interests.”
At the tender age of 11, Malala Yousufi was blogging for BBC about life under the Taliban under the nickname Gul Makai. But soon, her identity was shown out to the world, and she was awarded Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize.
But this tender soul was shot point-blank by a masked gunman while on her school bus. She was in a critical condition, and the whole world prayed for her. The prayers were answered. Now she’s studying at Oxford University and has won the Nobel Peace Prize at the young age of 17.
She’s the world’s first billionaire author. She got the inspiration to write the Harry Potter series on a delayed train from Manchester to London way back in 1990. Soon a lot of changes happened in her life, her mother died, and she gave birth to her daughter.
After a fierce argument with her husband, she was thrown out of her house and became a single parent. She worked hard to make ends meet and relied on state provisions but continued writing her a book. Twelve significant publishers rejected her book. One small publisher accepted it, and you know the rest is history.
Serena Williams is considered one of the all-time great tennis players. With 39 Grand Slam titles under her belt, she has dominated the tennis landscape for nearly a decade. She started playing tennis at the young age of 4.
She was a strong little girl who withstood the rigors of a daily two-hour practice. That resolve took her to great heights. Life had its ups and downs. She had to undergo knee surgery, in 2003 and later, her half-sister was murdered.
All these led to burnout and a general lack of motivation, but she gained her passion back after a life-changing journey to West Africa. Soon she started winning accolades for her commendable performances on the court.
Believe in yourself
Despite the odds, these women have risen to the surface to let their light shine. Of course, the above-mentioned are not by any means the only women who are pioneering in their respective fields. From Shawq Al-Shehhi, Sharjah Women’s Club Champion in Bow and Arrow Competition of the 3rd Arab Women’s Games Sharjah in 2016 to Zahra Lari, the Emirati figure skater training to compete in the Winter Olympics and even Ines Boubakri, a Tunisian foil fencer and two-time Olympian. The list of inspiring women shining their light in sports and business is (thankfully) too long to mention here, but we salute them all.
Never give up, be relentless in your pursuit for whatever it is that drives you. You are worth all the good things this life has to offer.