Zayed University celebrates International Women's Day with inspiring Emirati writers


March 8, 2016

A group of inspiring Emirati writers gathered in Dubai campus to celebrate the International Women’s Day and rejoice acts of courage and determination made by extraordinary women, who played an outstanding role in the history of their country.

Organized byZayed University’s Office of Student Life, the event was held at Sheikha Latifa Bint Hamdan Al Maktoum Center at Zayed University’s Dubai Campus.

Fathiya AlKhamiri, Director of Student Life at Zayed University in Dubai campus, said: “It is a great privilege for Zayed University to celebrate this day and recall the achievements of Emirati women, who have excelled in various sectors and emerged as role models.”

“Emirati women have gained new dimensions, played powerful roles in their society, and reached an outstanding local, regional, and international status due to the encouragement and support of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” Fathiya added.

The event saw the presence of some inspiring Emirati writers: Aisha Musabbeh Al Ajel, Head of Media Department at the Government of Sharjah, Badriya Yousuf Al Shamsi, an Emirati novelist, narrator and poet, and AlHanouf Mohammad, Cultural Affairs Officer at Emirates Writers Union.

The gathering also marked books signing ceremony for the three Emirati writers.

As part of the “Writers Exchange” category of Dubai International Program for Writing, launched by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, which aims to build innovative paths in the transfer and dissemination of knowledge as well as to enhance the status of Arab talent in the global markets, AlHanouf narrated her prominent visit to Japan for Zayed University students.

AlHanouf, who reflected a bright-civilized image of the UAE while staying in Japan for nearly three weeks, closely observed the culture, social values, and lifestyle of Japanese people during her visit.

AlHanouf, author of “Path to Japan” book, also pointed out that one of the special characteristics of Emirati women abroad is respecting their culture and norms and preserving their national identity, including national dress and language.  

Aisha Al Ajel, who signed her book “The Return of Meera” during the conference, said: “Emirati female writers have contributed to the UAE’s literary history, which has seen an increasing number of Emirati writers in recent years, who are full of enthusiasm and passion. The UAE has created a suitable, healthy, and competitive environment for writers to increase the value of their books and to push them to be more creative and innovative.”

Additionally, the event saw the presence of Badria Al Shamsi, who began her writing journey with poetry and participated in various literary competitions. Her collection of short stories, Ambitious Mirror, won first place at the sixth short story competition organized by the Ministry of Youth and Community Development in 2014.

During the event, Badria signed her novel “Other Selves”, which narrates the life of a young mixed-race woman caught between her Emirati half and her Indian half.

 Zayed University students have expressed their excitement to meet successful Emirati role models, who have worked day and night to make their dreams a reality.

Najla Al Kaabi, senior student at Zayed University, said, “I am extremely proud and happy with what Emirati women have achieved so far. We are lucky to have ش wise leadership that gives us all kinds of support, empowers us and promotes our roles in the society.”

Hamda Khaled, who dreams to be a diplomat and whose role model is Reem Al Hashimy, said: “There are no limits to what UAE women can achieve and sky is no longer the limit for us. I feel so privileged for so many opportunities offered in the UAE to be a distinguished and successful woman, thanks to our wise leadership that keeps pushing us forward.”

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