100 under 40: The world’s most influential young Arabs
Sun 27 Mar 2016 07:37 AM
Iqbal Al Asaad
70

Iqbal Al Asaad

Company: Medicine

Designation: Doctor

Country: Qatar (Palestine)

Age: 23

Few can say they graduated from high school aged 12 only to
become the world’s youngest Arab doctor at 20. No one but Iqbal Al Asaad, that
is.

Earning the title in 2013, Al Asaad completed high school in
Lebanon with exceptional skills in mathematics and biochemistry. She then
caught the attention of Lebanon’s education minister who helped secured her a
medical scholarship in Cornell University’s Qatar branch, Weill Cornell Medical
College. Al Asaad completed her residency in paediatrics at the Children’s Hospital
in Cleveland, Ohio.

However, working in the US was not in Al Asaad’s plans.
Growing up in Lebanon, she had visited her relatives in refugee camps and
dreamt of building them hospitals and providing them with free medical care.
But her dream is yet to be fulfilled. She is banned from working in Lebanon’s
public hospitals because of her Palestinian heritage, despite support from
government ministers.

But Al Asaad is doing well nonetheless, having been
recognised for her accomplishment and honoured by former Lebanese president
Michel Suleiman and the Palestinian National Authority with a Qods award.

Al Asaad credits her success to her toddler self, who spent
days listening to her father tutor her older brothers.