The Knightsbridge Edit was delighted to attend a glittering ceremony to honour and celebrate inspirational women from the Arab world
Arab Women of the Year Awards 2023
On Wednesday 15 March, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah hotel in Knightsbridge hosted a lavish ceremony to celebrate the Arab Women of the Year Awards 2023.
The event was organised by Omar Bdour, CEO of the London Arabia Organisation, who began proceedings by highlighting the ‘one clear mission’ of the awards ceremony: ‘to recognise the Arab women who have excelled against all the odds and show them our respect.’
The ethos of the awards is not to rank the recipients, but simply to celebrate them all equally. The theme of this year’s ceremony was “Tell Her Story”, which sits under the Unlock Her Future campaign to help break down stereotypes and inspire other young women of all backgrounds.
As the evening progressed, we heard the extraordinary stories of the winners, which included Dima Aktaa (Community Spirit Award), a Syrian athlete who, after losing her left leg in a bombing in 2012, was told she would likely never walk again. Aktaa has defied all the odds and is now based in England and is training for the 2024 Paralympics. Another deserving winner, Dr Nada Al-Shammari (Achievement in Innovation), is an inspirational interdisciplinary educator and space technology entrepreneur. HRH Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza Al Nahyan received the Achievement in Cultural Development Award, while Lebanese model-turned-entrepreneur Nour Arida collected the Achievement in Social Impact Award and veteran political talk show host Dr May Chidiac was rewarded for her Achievement in Media Activism.
In attendance, the Rt Hon Sir Hugh Robertson KCMG, chairman of British Olympic Association and Arab Women of the Year advisory board member, said:
‘Behind the glamour, tonight exists to showcase the talents and achievements of many remarkable women from the Arab world and, more generally, to celebrate the close ties between the United Kingdom and that part of the world. It is a key fixture in the London calendar and one of its most important and worthwhile events.’
HE Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, dean of Arab Diplomatic Corps, and ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United Kingdom said:
‘Through these awards we recognise the remarkable accomplishments of the nominees and winners who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, innovation and dedication in so many fields, including business, arts, education, science, sport and the media.’
He went on to say: ‘May this year’s awards be another reminder of the strength and resilience of Arab women, and may the creativity and talent of its winners and nominees serve as a source of hope and inspiration for generations to come.’