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

Industry: Science

Designation: Professor

Country: Jordan

Rana Dajani is making waves on several fronts in her home country of Jordan. Her main job is as an assistant professor and the director of studies at the Hashemite University in Zarqa, where her research concentrates on diabetes and cancer in ethnic populations in the country. She is perhaps one of Jordan’s most qualified scientists, with a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Iowa, and she is also a Fulbright visiting professor at Yale University. Dajani is a strong advocate of the theory of biological evolution and its compatability with Islam.

But Dajani has many other strings to her bow. She is also an ardent proponent for higher literacy among children. Her ‘We Love Reading’ campaign — which encourages children to read for pleasure — is now active in nearly every Arab country, as well as locations as diverse as Thailand and Turkey. It aims to set up a library in every neighbourhood in the Arab world, with each one staffed by a volunteer that will read out loud books to local kids. According to the campaign’s website, We Love Reading has already helped over 12,000 children across the region.

Dajani has also been appointed a higher education expert by Jordan’s TEMPUS, and has established a network for female mentors.