In Pictures: 100 under 40: The worlds most influential young Arabs 2016 - Culture and society

Welcome to the 2016 Arabian Business guide to the worlds most influential young Arabs.
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13. Hadeel Ibrahim\nAge: 32\nNew entry\nExecutive Director, Mo Ibrahim Foundation\nUK (Sudan) \nPhilanthropy\n@Mo_IbrahimFdn\nHadeel Ibrahim is the founding executive director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation – a position she took on aged just 22 - which was established in 2006 to support great African leadership. The Foundation was established by Mo Ibrahim, Sudanese-born telecommunications billionaire, and offers a $5m prize to an African head of state who has demonstrated excellence as a leader based on the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance. She is also co-chair of the board of directors of the Africa Center in New York, which will attempt to help the US better understand and engage with contemporary Africa. Ibrahim sits on the boards of the Clinton Foundation and the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice. She is a member of the Royal African Society Council and a patron of Restless Development, a youth-led development agency.
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20. Yousef Munayyer\nAge: 32\n16 (2015) \nExecutive Director, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation\nUS (Palestine) \nCulture and society\n@YousefMunayyer\nYousef Munayyer has been front and centre during the battle to change American minds about a slew of issues that affect the Arab world. From the occupation of the Palestinian territories to the rise of Donald Trump, Munayyer provides regular commentary on US media. He is executive director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and has also served as executive director of the Washington DC-based not-for-profit the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development and The Palestine Centre. Both organisations aim to provide humanitarian support to Palestinian people and promote Palestinian-Arab culture in the United States. Munayyer contributes to American newspapers including the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe and has appeared on numerous international television and radio programmes to discuss the Middle East. In particular, he has criticised Israeli occupation of Arab territory and called on the US government to implement a fundamental policy change.
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25. Ahmad Alhendawi\nAge: 31\n78 (2015) \nUN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth\nJordan\nCulture and society\n@AhmadAlhendawi\nAlhendawi became the youngest ever senior official at the United Nations when he was appointed the first Envoy on Youth, working directly under secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, in January 2013. His mandate includes harmonising and enhancing the organisation’s response to youth issues, as well as youth involvement, and to advocate the development of their needs and rights. The Envoy on Youth also acts as the advisor to and the representative of the Secretary-General on youth-related matters. \nWith a Master’s Degree in Advanced European and International Relations and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems, Alhendawi has spent the majority of his career advocating for youth. He was previously youth policy advisor to the League of Arab States and has worked on several major youth projects across the Middle East, as well as with non-government organisation Save the Children. \nHe co-founded the Youth for Democracy Network in Jordan and the International Youth Council, based in New York. \nIn February, he made a speech to a UN youth forum challenging ten common misconceptions of youth, including that they are the ‘future’ rather than the ‘present’. He said it was imperative that youth have greater participation in decision-making processes at all levels.
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33. Jawad Nabulsi\nAge: 34\n1 (2015) \nSocial entrepreneur\nUS (Egypt) \nCulture and society\n@jawadnabulsi\nJawad Nabulsi paid a significant price when he stood up to the Hosni Mubarak regime in Egypt in 2011, taking a gunshot wound to the eye. But as soon as he was well and despite wearing a permanent black eye patch, rather than hide, he used his entrepreneurial skills to launch the Nebny Foundation, which immediately provided medical assistance to 2,200 people during the first uprising. \nHe turned down a post-revolution offer to become Minister of Youth and instead dedicated his time to providing Cairo’s slum poor with education, medical assistance, micro-loans and business advice. His work has had such a great impact, the World Bank chose the foundation from among 40,000 Middle East non-government organisations to become one of its donor recipients. Jawad also received the 2011 Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award. Now living in the US, Nabulsi has spent the past two years improving his own education, completing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in mid-2015. Shortly before graduating, he co-authored an article with fellow members of the Harvard Muslim Society, titled ‘A Call for Tolerance and Understanding’ following the massacre of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill. \n“As Muslims in America, we feel that the average American, and even the average Harvard student, knows very little about who we are, where we come from, and what we stand for,” the co-authors said. \nHe is now studying a Master’s in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, while continuing to run the Nebny Foundation.
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35. Mohamed El Dahshan\nAge: 32\n39 (2015) \nEconomist, writer\nEgypt\nCulture and society\n@eldahshan\nMohamed El Dahshan is a regional economist at the African Development Bank, helping to establish links between the bank and private sector partners to further Africa’s development goals. He is also a non-resident Fellow with the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington, DC, and a professor of development economics at Cairo’s Ain-Shams University. \nThe Harvard Kennedy School of Government graduate specialises in private sector development and investment promotion and entrepreneurship, particularly in post-conflict countries. He has worked for the Center for International Development at Harvard University, and consulted for international organisations including UNDP, the World Bank, IDRC and UNIDO, as well as for the governments of Palestine and Dubai, and various think tanks and research centres. \nEl Dahshan is also an activist and has received applause for his writings on both economic development and Egyptian politics, with articles published in media including The Guardian, Huffington Post, Foreign Policy magazine’s Transitions blog, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and on his eponymously titled blog. \nHis coverage and analysis of the 2011 Egyptian revolution earned him the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Journalism Award for traditional and social media. He also co-author “Diaries of the Revolution”, a collective memoir of the uprising. \nEl Dahshan remains based in Cairo but travels extensively, often for speaking engagements.
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38. Amira Yahyaoui\nAge: 31\n41 (2015) \nBlogger and activist\nTunisia\nCulture and society\n@Mira404\nHaving been raised by a father who spoke out about the lack of justice in Tunisia and experiencing the death of her equally outspoken cousin in 2005, Amira Yahyaoui was unafraid to follow her own human rights activist path at a young age. She was still only a teenager when she was forced to flee to France where she was stateless until the downfall of former president Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali’s regime in 2011. \nThat year Yahyaoui returned to her homeland and founded the non-profit, non-government organisation Al Bawsala. The organisation is strictly independent from political influence and works to hold the Tunisian government to account, but also to enhance relationships between elected representatives and the public and thereby help avoid another revolt. The country’s peaceful transition to democracy indeed saw it named The Economist magazine’s country of the year in 2014. \nHer activism during and following the revolution saw her win a Vital Voices Global Trailblazer award for women transforming the Middle East. In 2014 she became a Meredith Greenberg Yale World Fellow and was awarded the Prize for Conflict Prevention by the Fondation Chirac, established by former French president Jacques Chirac.
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41. Amine Raghib\nAge: 30\nNew entry\nBlogger\nMorocco\nCulture and society\n@Mr_raghib\nAmine Raghib is one of a growing number of young Arabs taking to social media to document their interests, activities and expertise to the world. From Marrakesh in Morocco, Raghib started his YouTube channel Al-Muhtarif (which means ‘Arabic for the professional’), five years ago and it now has 1.3 million subscribers. \nIn 2014 he became the first Moroccan to win a YouTube ‘Silver’ Award, handed to content creators on the platform who reach 100,000 subscribers. At the time he had more than 365,000 subscribers — the next award is ‘Gold’ when creators reach one million subscribers. Raghib told local media: “I am a very simple person. I started from zero. What I want to tell you is to hold on to your dreams. Do not make excuses.” He has been awarded a ‘best blogger’ prize in Morocco and participated in several technology competitions across the Arab world, including one organised by the Universal Center for Journalists in Morocco. He has also appeared on sevelocal TV shows to discuss his work.
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46. Bader Saleh\nAge: 31\nNew entry\nComedian\nSaudi Arabia\nCulture and society\n@BidzSaleh\nThirty-one-year-old Bader Saleh is a stand-up comedian and host of the hit Arabic language YouTube show Eysh Elly. Since its inception in 2011 the channel has attracted more than 2.7 million subscribers and each fortnightly episode regularly receives more than 1 million views. \nEach ten-minute show is a mix of skits and segments poking fun at other YouTube clips, and Saleh has been quoted as saying its success is down to its ‘good, clean fun’. \nOften credited as helping to establish the stand-up comedy scene in Saudi Arabia, he was one of the first to regularly perform on the circuit. He told the media last year those shows were challenging. “This was especially the case when you are not playing in the main cities such as Jeddah, Riyadh or Damam. The crowds just didn’t know what to expect in a stand-up show.” \nHe has maintained his stand-up career, however, performing at shows across the region including at du Forum on Yas Island, last year as part of Abu Dhabi Summer Season. He has 2.2 million Twitter followers.
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57. Mona Seif\nAge: 30\n64 (2015) \nActivist\nEgypt\nCulture and society\n@Monasosh\nPart of a family of social activists, Mona Seif grew up taking an early interest in many of the social issues facing her home country of Egypt. Her father is a human rights attorney who was imprisoned for five years, while her mother helped organise demonstrations against the Mubarak regime during the decades before his downfall. Her brother, Alaa Abd El Fattah, was imprisoned for 45 days for his blog Manalaa, through which he used to document abuses by the Mubarak regime. Following in her family’s footsteps, Seif became known for her participation in dissident movements during and after the 2011 Arab Spring. \nShe co-founded the campaign, No to Military Trials for Civilians, which pushes for the release of those detained during the Egyptian revolution, and manages a blog called Tahrir Diaries — Diaries Under Military Rule. \nShe also regularly writes on her blog Ma3t, requesting that people come forward with their own stories for publication. \nIn 2012, Seif was a finalist for the Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk, and in 2013 she was a finalist for Geneva human rights prize the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, presented by Human Rights Watch. She told the press in February: “They [the authorities] cannot silence people with bloodshed.” \nWhen not campaigning for human rights in Egypt, Seif is a biology graduate student investigating the BRCA1 breast cancer gene and its mutation pattern in Egyptian patients.
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60. Ali Al Saloom\nAge: 37\nNew entry\nCultural ambassador\nUAE\nCulture and society\n@AskAli\nRising media star and public speaker Ali Al Saloom aims to increase cultural awareness of the UAE across the Gulf and beyond. Educated in the US and Canada, Alsaloom has lived in several countries, including the UK, France, Hungary and Spain, and says this has given him a deeper appreciation of his Emirati heritage. \nWith a university degree in hospitality management and tourism and a Master’s in Brand and Cross-Cultural Management, Al Saloom wanted to apply his knowledge to his hometown’s fast-growing tourism industry. \nHe joined the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority in 2005, helping to build the city’s first Meeting, Incentives, Conference and Exhibition (MICE) department. His strong communication skills and sense of “showmanship” meant he became the go-to employee to deliver special city tours and presentations to VIP guests, including actor Antonio Banderas and architect Frank Gehry. \nSince leaving the authority to build his own business, he is now a recognised cultural and tourism ambassador for the UAE. He has delivered hundreds of cultural awareness talks and seminars to businesses looking to set up or expand in the emirates via his holding company Maestro Enterprises, as well as advising tourists and other members of the public via his TV show ‘Ask Ali’, which answers questions on all things Emirati, from the country’ working hours to must-see destinations. \nHe was chosen as the Best Male Personality in 2010 by Ahlan magazine for his work and was named as one of Time Out Dubai’s 40 Local Heroes in 2008. Al Saloom is also a member of the Professional Speakers Association of the Middle East.
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62. Hassan Al Damluji\nAge: 33\n81 (2015) \nHead of Middle East relations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation\nUK (Iraq) \nCulture and society\n@hassandamluji\nAs head of Middle East relations for the world’s largest private foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hassan Al Damluji is helping to manage colossal change in the Arab world. Last year, he led a $2.5bn development fund in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank that aims to tackle poverty in the Islamic world. The Lives & Livelihoods Fund will finance projects in areas of health, agriculture, and basic infrastructure. Al Damluji also focuses on health issues including polio and malaria, which he says are major health concerns in the Arab world. \nThe Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation itself aims at improving healthcare and education as well as decreasing poverty worldwide. Though it focuses on Sub Saharan Africa, South Asia and parts of China, it has attended to the Middle East’s poorer areas as well as sought cooperation from Gulf countries, who have given heavily to the foundation. \nPrior to taking on his position at the foundation, Al Damluji worked as an engagement manager at consultancy McKinsey. He has an Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University and a double first in Classics and Arabic from Oxford.
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63. Hayla Ghazal\nAge: 20\nNew entry\nBlogger\nUAE (Syria) \nCulture and society\n@HaylaTV\nBlogging has changed the lives of many, not least Hayla Ghazal. Now the owner of a fashion boutique and a successful blogger, she began by launching her own YouTube channel and blog, HaylaTV, at 18. \nIntended to help shy teenagers like herself deal with peer pressure, the channel comprised everything from makeup tutorials to cooking tips and style advice. \n“It’s great to see more women recognising how technology can empower them to own their own voice, speak up and share anything they want,” she told Arabian Business recently. \nAt 20, Ghazal now has her own brand extension, including a fashion boutique called Hayla Couture, featuring evening gowns and bridal dresses, and a strong following of over 400,000 on her blog and social media pages. But they were not Ghazal’s first career ventures. At 15, she took a part-time job at a fashion agency, which helped to push her into her current direction. Ghazal is also pursuing a business management degree.
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65. Ramzi Jaber\nAge: 30\n83 (2015) \nCo-founder, Visualizing Impact\nPalestine\nCulture and society\n@RamziJaber\nRamzi Jaber is changing the world one infographic at a time. Alongside Joumana Al Jabri, he co-founded Visualizing Impact (VI), a non-profit organisation that uses design and technology to create infographics, or data-based stories, aimed at informing the public about social justice issues and encouraging social change. It was under this firm that he started Visualizing Palestine, a similar initiative focused on social injustices in Palestine, from unfit drinking water in Gaza to the imprisonment of Palestinian civilians without trial. \nThe idea for VI first came to Jaber after he quit his job as a civil engineer to organise an independent TEDx event in Ramallah. The event had such a profound impact on him, for 18 months afterwards, he kept “asking myself two questions over and over again. Why are we in this mess? And who is doing something about it?” he told Kalimat magazine. \nToday, Jabri’s infographics have been used in publications including The Guardian, and on Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and Daily Beast. They also have been used in books and universities to help design students. \nJaber is also the co-founder of onlinecensorship.org, a platform for people to crowdsource examples of censorship enacted by social media companies. \nIn 2013, Jaber was awarded a fellowship by Ashoka, the world’s largest network for social entrepreneurs.\n
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67. Zeina Abou Chaaban\nAge: 33\n50 (2015) \nFounder, Palestyle\nUAE (Palestine) \nCulture and society\n@ZeinaAbuChaaban\nThere are few people empowering women refugees. One of them is Zeina Abou Chaaban. Originally a logistics planner for Procter & Gamble (P&G) in Dubai, Abou Chaaban is the co-founder of heritage-based fashion brand, Palestyle. The business model involves paying women in refugee camps for embroidery work, which is then stitched into a Palestyle design. Part of the proceeds of sales also are diverted to social development projects in the camps. \nSo far, the brand has employed 100 refugee women to produce the embroidery and benefited over 4,000 refugees with social projects such as a water tank exchange program and olive tree plantation. \nAbou Chaaban told The National newspaper that what makes embroidery unique is that it speaks the language of a culture. The refugee women use the traditional Palestinian embroidery style for all their work, which is then used for Palestyle products such as pillow covers, bags and menswear. \nPalestyle has become so popular it is now being sold in some of the world’s top high-end retailers including Bloomingdales, Etoile, and House of Frasier. Its products have been seen on celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Eva Longoria and are available in boutiques across the UAE, Qatar, Pakistan, and the UK. \nThe idea to merge heritage and fashion came to Abou Chaaban while on a visit to a refugee camp in Lebanon. She was inspired by the colourful embroideries of refugee women who, despite living in harsh conditions, continued to engage in the age-old Arab tradition. \nToday, she runs the firm alongside her brother Ahmed, who joined her in 2011.
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71. Omar Samra\nAge: 37\n47 (2015) \nEntrepreneur, adventurer\nEgypt\nCulture and society\n@omarsamra\nIt does not get much more exciting than Omar Samra’s life. He is best known for being the first Egyptian to climb Mount Everest and the Seven Summits and ski to both the Geographic South and North Poles. The adventurer reached the highest point on Earth in 2007 and completed the Seven Summits challenge in 2014, becoming the first Egyptian to complete the “Explorer’s Grand Slam”. \nBut Samra’s impressive list of accomplishments does not stop with physical endurance. The 37-year-old graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in economics and a minor in business administration and earned an MBA, particularly concentrating in entrepreneurship, from the London Business School in 2007. Two years later he founded Wild Guanabana, a carbon-neutral travel company specialising in ethical and adventure travel. Guanabana has offices in Cairo and Dubai, where Samra lives. \nSamra had worked at HSBC in London and Hong Kong for two-and-a-half years before he threw it in to embark on a 370-day journey across 14 countries in Asia and Latin America that sparked his fascination with travel and adventure. Where to next Samra?
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72. Loujain Al Hathloul\nAge: 26\n21 (2015) \nActivist\nSaudi Arabia\nCulture and society\n@LoujainHathloul\nLoujain Al Hathloul made global headlines when she was arrested for driving in Saudi Arabia, defying the kingdom’s informal ban. The women’s rights activist and social media figure was again detained on December 1 last year, when she attempted to drive from the UAE to Saudi Arabia to highlight the discrepancy in the kingdom’s ban compared to other Gulf states that allow women to drive. Arrested on the Saudi side of the border, she was held for 73 days. \nIn an interview with The Telegraph, Al Hathloul revealed that her father, who supports the campaign, was in the passenger seat at the time. She credits her freedom to her liberal father. \nAl Hathloul was also among the first women to run for local council in Saudi Arabia’s historic elections in December, last year. But she said she was not interested in competing or winning. “I’m focused on increasing the number of women who stand in elections,” she told the British daily. \nThe activist is married to Fahad Albutairi, a renowned YouTube personality and Saudi’s first stand-up comedian to perform professionally.
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73. Lama Younis\nAge: 33\nNew entry\nFounder, Hissah Enrichment Centre\nUAE (Saudi Arabia) \nCulture and society\n@LamaYounis\n“You were born unique and you should continue your life journey being unique.” Lama Younis is without a doubt unique. The Saudi national is a forensic psychologist, criminologist, and founder of Hissah Enrichment Centre. As a Saudi woman, it was not easy for Younis to acquire the three titles, which is why she is also an advocate for personal and social improvement and hopes to push women in the GCC to “follow what they really want to be”. \nHer enrichment centre, named after her mother and launched in 2013, focuses on the prevention of child abuse and the empowerment of its victims in the region. It also works to enrich interpersonal skills, develop personal empowerment, and improve social relationships on personal and professional levels for adults, youth and children. \nYounis completed her counselling psychology studies at Effat University in Saudi Arabia in 2005. She then went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Criminology and Forensic Psychology from Middlesex University in London, after which she finished her PhD in Childhood Studies in the UK.
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74. Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon\nAge: 32\n85 (2015) \nFounder, IloveQatar.net\nQatar\nCulture and society\n@iloveqatar\nKhalifa Saleh Al Haroon graduated with a law degree and worked in investment banking, but he ended up as an online specialist — and a successful one too. \nHe is best known for founding several companies including a popular digital network of websites including the brands iLoveQatar.net, Qatar Events, and Qatar News, as well as online programmes such as QTips, Mr. Q Visits, Karak Time, Raqami TV, and Top 5 Everything. He is also the founder and CEO of Haroon United Group (HUG), a holding company housing a range of brands and start-ups including Shake Shake and King Koil, as well as the executive director for marketing and communications at Qatar Stars League, Qatar’s top football league. \nFor his achievements, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Qatar’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology in 2011, made an ambassador for Qatar’s National Cancer Programme, a board member of the Internet Society (ISOC) and vice president of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (Qatar). \nAl Haroon is currently working on Identity Qatar, a joint venture with PJ Media, run by Peter Jones from Dragons Den, ILQ Radio, Shake Shake and Misha.
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77. Awni Farhat\nAge: 27\nNew entry\nJournalist\nUK (Palestine) \nCulture and society\n@awnifarhat\nYou would never guess that Awni Farhat was born in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. He is multilingual and has worked as a translator for international journalists and activists, has project managed the Children Monitoring and Reporting Groups Coalition — which supports Palestinian children and is funded by Save the Children International — and is the products and endorsements coordinator for the international campaign Gaza’s Ark. It is safe to say that he has achieved more than many would have hoped to achieve in their lives. But his resume does not stop there. \nIn 2014, Farhat set up a crowdfunding website that allows visitors to donate money towards any of the not-so-typical causes listed on the site. His own cause? Farhat was inspired to create the site because he needed help funding a Master’s Degree programme in Violence, Conflict, and Development in the UK, a qualification he wanted so he could return to Palestine and help make a difference. \nA year later, Farhat hit his target. He responded aptly on his website: “I have come to believe strongly that knowledge and education are the most powerful tools that we can use to change the world”.
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83. Abdullah Al Jumah\nAge: 29\n78 (2015) \nAuthor\nSaudi Arabia\nCulture and society\n@aaljuma\nAs well as lecturing on law at King Saud University in Riyadh and acting as legal counsel to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Abdullah Al Jumah is an acclaimed author. \nThe Harvard Law School graduate was inspired to become a travel writer after the impressive response he received from his Twitter followers each time he tweeted about his travels. Jumah wrote the book Tales of a Saudi in Europe after being inspired by those who followed his journey with him online. \nIn the book, a collection of 11 stories and anecdotes from nine different European countries, Jumah writes from the perspective of a Saudi trying to relate to entirely different cultures. \n“It was all about travelling as a traveller and not as a tourist. It’s a different experience that people should try once in a while, because it gives them a chance to deeply explore the country they are visiting and engage with other cultures in a more meaningful way,” Al Jumah said in an interview with Gulf News last year. \nHe makes an effort to interact and mingle with locals wherever he travels to, which he says creates a more complete travel experience. \nJumah’s other books are ‘Greats Without Schools’ and ‘Orphans who Changed the Course of History’.
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86. Raha Moharrak\nAge: 29\n97 (2015) \nExplorer/Mountain climber\nSaudi Arabia\nCulture and society\n@RahaMoharrak\nAt the age of 25, Raha Moharrak became the youngest Arab and the first Saudi woman to conquer Mount Everest. \nPrior to tackling the world’s tallest mountain in 2013, Moharrak had already climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Vinson (Antarctica), Mount Elbrus (Russia) and Aconcagua (Argentina), along with a host of other peaks on different continents. \nShe said in an interview that in searching for something different and adventurous, she explored the idea of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, having already mastered scuba diving, sky diving and shark diving. \n“I got a lot of resistance from my society and the people around me, which further pushed me towards taking the decision to actually climb it. I felt like this was something that I really wanted to do and it would give me a completely new and different outlook on life in general,” she said in an interview with Edarabia education journal. \nShe spent months in Nepal before executing her plan to conquer Mount Everest. She was joined by 34 other mountaineers and 29 guides in reaching the summit on May 18, 2013 from the Nepalese side of the mountain. \nSpeaking about her achievement, she said: “I really don’t care about being the first, so long as it inspires someone else to be second.” \nMoharrak also has revealed details of a planned book entitled ‘For All Us Dreamers’, the story of the Saudi woman who endeavoured to touch the sky. She is also studying an MBA in Women’s Leadership at Synergy University Dubai Campus.
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87. Kais Salman\nAge: 39\n51 (2015) \nArtist\nLebanon (Syria) \nCulture and society\n@SalmanKais\nAs a Syrian, Kais Salman’s homeland provides him with plenty of inspiration for his paintings. The contemporary art pieces use satire to subvert the normalisation of greed, vanity, and ideological extremism. \nSalman says each of his series of works has sought to reflect a type of psychological violence that occurs when excess becomes rationalised and accepted by societies. Terrorism, consumerism, cosmetic surgery, and the voyeurism of the digital age have all served as topics of Salman’s carnival-esque compositions. \nBorn in Tartous, Syria in 1976, Salman now lives and works in Beirut. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus in 2002. His paintings are currently housed in private collections throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. \nSolo and group exhibitions include the Alexandria Biennale (2014); Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2014, 2010); Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2015, 2014, 2012); Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2014, 2011, 2010); Damascus Museum of Modern Art (2009); The Park Avenue Armory, New York (2008); Carthage Festival for Coast Mediterranean Sea Artists, Tunisia (2005). \nIn May 2010, a work from his Fashion Series appeared on the cover of the Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Edition magazine, a first for an Arab artist.
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90. Aya Chebbi\nAge: 27\nNew entry\nActivist\nTunisia\nCulture and society\n@aya_chebbi\nAya Chebbi, an award winning Pan-Africa feminist, activist and blogger, started her activism at summer camps, as a peer educator on sexual health and HIV/AIDS and as a Red Crescent volunteer. \nAs a children’s mentor, Aya helped direct a national organisation for Tunisian children, improving to improve their lives and protect their rights. She organised workshops and events for orphans, handicapped and hospitalised kids, mainly suffering from cancer. \nAfter the 2011 revolution in Tunisia, she volunteered at the refugee camps on the Tunisian-Libyan borders to help Libyan children during the refugee crisis. \nShe considers that her life’s mission is to put smiles on children’s faces. \nShe has spoken widely about social movements worldwide for conferences and rallies in the US, Canada, Poland, Turkey, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa, among other countries. She is also a regular guest speaker at settings such as the African Union and the United Nations. \nIn recognition of her achievements, Aya was named as one of Africa’s most Outstanding Young Women Leaders in 2013. \nAya has travelled to over 20 African countries working with young people and represented Africa internationally for the past four years. She considers her life’s mission uniting North Africa with the rest of the continent based on her pan-African vision, changing the narratives about Tunisia, Africa and the Middle East and promoting youth agenda regionally and internationally.
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91. Sherine Abdel Wahab\nAge: 35\n84 (2015) \nSinger, actress\nEgypt\nCulture and society\n@SherineOfficial\nSimply known as Sherine, Egyptian singer and actress Sherine Abdel Wahhab began her music career with the single ‘Ah Ya Leil’ (Oh, night!) in 2000, and has since released several albums. \nMore recently, she has been a judge and coach on the Arabic version of ‘The Voice’ (‘The Voice Ahla Sawt’), a reality television competition for musicians now in its third season. \nIn the latest series, Sherine’s chosen act Nedaa Sharara won the competition, which had 150 million viewers across the Middle East, according to broadcasters MBC. Prior to the airing of the season finale, Sherine made newspaper headlines when she criticsed US presidential hopeful Donald Trump for his pledge to temporarily ban Muslims from entering America. \n“I don’t like politics and I don’t like delving into politics,” she said, “but not anyone in America can speak about us and insult us and say we shouldn’t be let into his country, especially considering how little he knows about us and about our talents.”
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94. Hisham Fageeh\nAge: 28\nNew entry\nComedian, actor\nSaudi Arabia\nCulture and society\n@HishamFageeh\nIf he was not already known for his comedy, Riyadh-based Hisham Fageeh’s Bob Marley-inspired ‘No woman, No drive’ satire made sure he was. Produced with fellow comedians Fahad Albutairi and Alaa Wardi, the clip went viral the same day that a number of Saudi women defied the kingdom’s driving ban. \nFageeh began performing stand-up while at Columbia University and performed in Arabic in his YouTube series Isboo’iyat Hisham, which subsequently went viral. \nFageeh has also turned to acting, first with a role in the short film ‘Daughter’, and then a small part in the hit Middle East-based feature length film ‘From A to B’, about childhood friends who embark on a road trip from Abu Dhabi to Beirut. \nFageeh landed the leading role in the hit Saudi romantic comedy ‘Barakah Meets Barakah’, which was a surprise hit at the Berlin Film Festival.
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95. Huda Kattan\nAge: 32\n94 (2015) \nFounder of Huda Beauty, blogger\nUAE\nCulture and society\n@hudabeauty\nDubai-based Huda Kattan is one of the top beauty influencers and bloggers in the region. \nShe used her public profile to go on to found her own beauty brand, Huda Beauty, under which she runs a line of false lashes, false nails and henna tattoos, all of which are best-selling products at worldwide branches of French cosmetics giant, Sephora. Her lip contouring kit also is in the pipeline. \nThe 32-year-old makeup artist started her career in 2010 by writing makeup tips and tricks and filming YouTube tutorials. \nWith a 12 million-strong following on her Instagram account alone, Kattan has proven that she does more than just blog. While the blog itself made little money for the first four years, Kattan told Arabian Business this month that her cosmetics business had more than doubled over the past two years, driven largely by the beauty products.