100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40
Lama Younis
86

Lama Younis

Industry: Culture and society

Company: Hissah Enrichment Centre

Designation: Founder

Country: UAE (Saudi Arabia)

Age: 32

An academic high achiever who recently entered the world of entrepreneurship, Lama Younis is vocal in her belief that individuals, families and communities can be transformed through empowerment, and has put her money firmly where her mouth is.

The Hissah Enrichment Centre — named in honour of Younis’ mother — was launched in December 2013 with the aim of enriching interpersonal skills, developing personal empowerment, and improving social relationships on personal and professional levels for adults, youths, and children.

Younis began her career in forensic psychology, taking a degree at Effat University, followed by a double masters in criminology and forensic psychology at Middlesex University in London — the first woman from the Middle East to take the course. She then took a PhD in international child studies at Birkbeck College, also in London, as well as yet another degree in post-traumatic stress disorder.

Younis is now using her considerable talents to help others improve their lives. “As a Saudi woman, what I’m doing is something new, and it’s a challenge for me to stand up in society and talk about it,” she told us last year. “It’s not something women do in everyday life. Not everybody supported me — still don’t support me — but what matters is to have passion and love for what you do.”