The World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women
Mon 03 Mar 2014 03:25 AM
Hayat Sindi

Hayat Sindi

Industry: Science

Designation: Inventor, scientist, entrepreneur

Country: Saudi Arabia

Hayat Sindi has made a habit of breaking new ground in whatever endeavour she puts her mind to.

The Saudi-born medical scientist has been trailblazing since she embarked on her first quest, as an ambitious teenager speaking no English but with a passion for science, to study in the UK.

Her career has been marked by a succession of accolades as her research into diagnostics and biotechnology, and her inventions, have been heralded internationally.

The first Saudi and female scientist to become a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for sciences, last year Sindi added to her achievements an historic selection as one of the first tranche of 30 women to be appointed to Saudi Arabia’s Consultative Assembly, or Shura  Council, which is the formal advisory body to King Abdullah.

But for the woman named by influential US magazine Newsweek as one of 150 Women Who Shook the World in 2012, her focus these days is on mentoring the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs through her fellowship programme, the i2 Institute. “In the Middle East people are tired from hearing that we don’t have inventors,” Sindi told Arabian Business in September. “We have lots of TV shows about Arab Idol and music and things, but we need to celebrate something else, we need to celebrate the brains.”

More recently, Sindi has continued to work on the patent for a portable MRI scanner.