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InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society

Welcome to CEO Middle East’s sixth annual list of the world’s most powerful Arab women — our yearly look at the most important female influencers across the Arab world.

InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
2 (#42 in 2015)
\nZainab Salbi
\nActivist, talk-show host
\nUS (Iraq)
\nCulture and Society

\n\nZainab Salbi is an author, women’s rights activist, humanitarian, \nsocial entrepreneur and media commentator. But as of last year, she is also an influential talk-show host. Nida’a, which launched last October, is designed to “celebrate the dreams and achievements of Arab women” and Salbi has already interviewed the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton on the show. The founder and former CEO of Women for Women International has dedicated her life to serving female survivors of war, and it has distributed more than US$103-million in direct \naid, and has impacted more \nthan 1.7-million people.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
4 (#55 in 2015)
\nDalia Mogahed
\nDirector of research
\nInstitute for Social Policy \nand Understanding
\nUS (Egypt)
\nCulture and society

\n\nDalia Mogahed is front and centre in the battle to change public opinion about the Muslim world. She was selected by US President Barack Obama to advise the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships, and is the former executive director of the Gallup Centre for Muslim Studies. Recent interviews with the likes of The Daily Show host Trevor Noah have seen her raise important issues, such as the vilification and discrimination of Muslims. She is also President and CEO of Mogahed consulting in Washington D.C.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
14 (#62 in 2015)
\nAmira Yahyaoui
\nActivist, journalist
\nTunisia
\nCulture and society

\n\nA long-term resident on this list, Amira Yahyaoui’s work to bring accountability to her home country of Tunisia continues. She is the founder of Al Bawsala, a public policy and accountability NGO, and is also a Meredith Greenberg Yale World Fellow. She co-chaired the World Economic Forum in Davos this year.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
15 (NEW)
\nLujain Al Ubaid
\nEntrepreneur
\nSaudi Arabia
\nCulture and society

\n\nLujain Al Ubaid co-founded Tasamy in 2011, which started as a volunteering network in Riyadh, and then became a company that teaches young Saudis about their community. Two years ago Tasamy launched Kun (meaning ‘to be’), a 60-day social entrepreneurship course. Al Ubaid is a global fellow at Acumen, the company that raises donations to invest in companies and leaders.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
16 (#7 in 2015)
\nMona Almunajjed
\nSociologist
\nSaudi Arabia
\nCulture and society

\n\nDr Mona Almunajjed is an award-winning and prominent sociologist at the forefront of women’s affairs in her home country. Her latest book, A Celebration of Success, challenges the misconceptions and misunderstandings about Saudi women. She is also an advisor to many universities and agencies, including the UN.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
17 (#2 in 2015)
\nAmal Clooney
\nHuman rights lawyer
\nUK (Lebanon)
\nLaw

\n\nLawyer Amal Clooney — nee Alamuddin — is taking on governments in Azerbaijan, the Maldives and Egypt over human rights. Her clients have included Julian Assange and Yulia Tymoshenko. Clooney has also been appointed to a number of UN commissions, including advisor to Special Envoy Kofi Annan on Syria, and Counsel to the 2013 Drone Inquiry by the UN’s Ben Emmerson QC.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
24 (#17 in 2015)
\nLeila Al Solh
\nVice president
\nAlwaleed Philanthropies
\nLebanon
\nCulture and society

\n\nThe youngest daughter of former Lebanese prime minster Riad Al Solh, Leila Al Solh served as Lebanon’s minister of industry, but is best known as vice president of Alwaleed \nPhilanthropies. Under her \nmanagement, the foundation \nhas supported education, \nhealth and social organisations \nthroughout the country. Al Solh was the first woman to be \nappointed minister in Lebanon when she took the industry \nportfolio in 2004, a year after taking the role with Alwaleed Philanthropies. Al Solh has published two books on Lebanon: Les élections de 2009, les enjeux culturels(The 2009 Elections, CulturalIssues) and Un Liban à retrouver (A

InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
25 (NEW)
\nGameela Ismail
\nActivist
\nEgypt
\nCulture and society

\n\nPolitician, activist, human rights defender and television presenter, Gameela Ismail is a well-known figure in Egypt. Her 1.8 million followers on Twitter receive regular updates on the political scene. Ismail is the co-founder of the Al Ghad party, and also founded Egyptian Women for Change.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
26 (#44 in 2015)
\nMuna Abusulayman
\nPhilanthropist
\nSaudi Arabia
\nCulture and societ

\n\nWhether it’s fashion, television, education or community development, Muna AbuSulayman has done it all. She is still the co-host of Kalam Nawaem, the longest-running TV show in the Arab world, and is the co-founder of Meedan, an Arabic content translation site, as well as sitting on the boards of many organisations. The former head of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, AbuSulayman is also a noted public speaker, who has focused on breaking down \nstereotypes that exist about Arab or Saudi women.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
28 (NEW)
\nRaghida Dergham
\nFounder
\nBeirut Institute
\nLebanon
\nCulture and society

\n\nThroughout her long career, Raghida Dergham has made it her mission to foster a better understanding of Western and Arab cultures. She is multiple award-winning journalist, a popular lecturer, an expert on foreign relations and the dean of international media at the UN. She is also the founder and chairman of the Beirut Institute, an independent thinktank for the Arab world.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
33 (#29 in 2015)
\nRaja Al Gurg
\nManaging Director
\nDubai Business Women’s Council
\nUAE
\nCulture and society

\n\nNot only does Raja Al Gurg excel as managing director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, but also sits as a board member of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, president of the Dubai Business Women’s Council, and board member of the Dubai Women Association. She is also the chairperson of the Al Jalila Foundation.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
34 (#12 in 2015)
\nRana Dajani
\nScientist, activist
\nJordan
\nCulture and society

\n\nSocial innovator Rana Dajani’s main job may be a molecular genetics associate professor at the Hashemite University in Zarqa, but it is her bold literacy programme We Love \nReading that most inspires. The founder and director of the initiative aims to create a library in every neighbourhood in Jordan, in order to foster a love of reading among Jordanian children. Her work on this front began in 2006 at a community mosque where Dajani held weekly storytelling session with children aged four to 10. The programme has spread to 24 countries worldwide, and has indirectly impacted 50,000 people.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
36 (#54 in 2015)
\nJoumana Haddad
\nAuthor, activist
\nLebanon
\nCulture and society

\n\nJoumana Haddad’s forthright views have left her facing death threats in her native Lebanon. Not that that has stopped her. Her books, including Superman is an Arab and I killed Scheherazade have been translated into many languages; she’s the founder of a controversial quarterly women’s magazine; and she’s also served as the administrator for the Arab Booker Prize.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
41 (#61 in 2015)
\nNawal El Saadawi
\nActivist, writer, feminist
\nEgypt
\nCulture and society

\n\nNow 84, Nawal El Saadawi has been a thorn in the side of \nconservative Egyptian \ngovernments for decades. \nShe is a feminist, writer, activist, physician and psychiatrist, \nas well as being the founder and president of the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association, and the co-founder of the Arab \nAssociation for Human Rights.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
52 (#3 in 2015)
\nLoujain Al Hathloul
\nWomen’s rights activitst
\nSaudi Arabia
\nCulture and society

\n\nAl Hathloul was arrested along with Maysaa Al Amoudi, and referred to a terrorism court for defying the Saudi Arabian driving ban for women. Making the most of her large social media following, Al Hathloul live-Tweeted the journey to Saudi Arabia for the world to watch.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
54 (#14 in 2015)
\nBayan Mahmoud Zahran
\nLawyer
\nSaudi Arabia
\nLaw

\n\nAfter becoming the first Saudi female practicing lawyer in 2013, Al Zahran opened the country’s first ever all-female practice in 2014. Her career started after working as a legal consultant, before being allowed to become a fully licensed lawyer. Her company now fights for the rights of local women, and helps courts understand legal disputes from a female perspective.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
75 (#65 in 2015)
\nTawakkul Karman
\nNobel Peace Prize
\nLaureate
\nYemen
\nCulture and society

\n\nKnown in Yemen as ‘Iron Woman’ or ‘Mother of the Revolution’, Karman is a journalist, politician and senior member of the Al-Islah political party. In 2011 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in human rights, the first Yemeni, Arab woman and second Muslim women to win the highly-coveted award.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
95 (#59 in 2015)
\nSarah Shuhail
\nFounder
\nEwa’a Centre for Women and Children
\nUAE
\nCulture and society

\n\nSince opening her shelter in 2008, Shuhails’ work has raised awareness of prostitution and saved hundreds of women and girls from sex trafficking.
InPics: The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 - Culture & Society
98 (#82 in 2015)
\nManal Al Sharif
\nActivist
\nSaudi Arabia
\nCulture and society

\n\nArrested for getting behind the wheel of a car in her home country of Saudi Arabia in 2012, Manal Al Sharif remains a focal point for women’s rights in the kingdom.