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4 women leaving their imprint on the Arab world

Women play a prominent role in shaping the Arab world. From cinema to sports, Arab women have left their mark on this region of the world.

Ons Jabeur

Ons Jabeur is a Tunisian tennis player born in Ksar Helal, Sousse. From an early age, Jabeur showed an incredible gift. Her dedication paid off when she won the junior singles title at the French Open in 2011, becoming the first Arab to win a major junior tournament since 1964. Jabeur’s accomplishments have made her a source of pride and inspiration for Tunisians, especially women and young girls, who look up to her as a role model.

Jabeur’s career has been marked by a series of remarkable milestones, including reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2020, the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2022 making her the first Arab woman to achieve these feats. In 2021, she also became the first Arab woman to win a WTA Tour title at the Birmingham Classic, cementing her place as a pioneer in the sport.

Jabeur’s remarkable achievements have not gone unnoticed, and in 2019 she won the Arab Woman of the Year award, highlighting her impact on and off the court.

Her incredible talent and success has propelled her to a career-best No. 2 ranking in the WTA in 2022, making her the most accomplished Arab female tennis player in history.


Nadine Labaki

Nadine Labaki is a Lebanese director who is making her mark on the international film industry. Her second feature, Where Do We Go Now, won the Cadillac Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles. Her third feature, Capernaum, is a poignant and powerful exploration of the lives of children living in poverty in Beirut.

Nadine Labaki’s commitment to authenticity is evident in her approach to Capernaum, as she spent three years researching the lives of children living in the city’s slums. She used mostly non-professional actors, including the lead actor, Zain Al Rafeea, who played with his friends in one of the slums and was himself a Syrian refugee. His willingness to capture the lived experiences of his subjects resulted in a powerful and moving film that won the Jury Prize at Cannes and earned Nadine Labaki the Best Director Award at the 12th Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Labaki’s success is a milestone for Arab women, as she is the first Arab woman director to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.



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Une publication partagée par Nadine Labaki (@nadinelabaki)

Queen Rania

Queen Rania of Jordan is a prominent figure in the Arab world, known for her humanitarian work, advocacy for education and efforts to promote intercultural dialogue. As the wife of King Abdullah II, Queen Rania has used her position to raise awareness of important issues affecting people in Jordan and beyond.

Queen Rania has also used her platform to advocate for greater understanding and cooperation between cultures. She has spoken at prestigious events such as the Jeddah Economic Forum as well as the Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University, stressing the importance of building bridges between different communities and working together towards a common goal.

In addition to her efforts to improve education and promote intercultural dialogue, Queen Rania has also been recognized for her work on behalf of the environment. In October 2020, she was appointed to the board of the Earthshot Award, an initiative by Prince William to find solutions to environmental challenges.



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Une publication partagée par Queen Rania Al Abdullah (@queenrania)

Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney is a renowned Lebanese human rights lawyer who represents her clients in international courts. She is known for her work representing victims of mass atrocities, including genocide and sexual violence. In one of her landmark cases, she represents a group of Iraqi victims from the Yazidi community, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad.

Clooney is widely acclaimed for her activism. The attorney has received numerous awards for her contributions to social justice and human rights, including being recognized alongside her husband George Clooney by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for their work for modern freedom at the International Freedom Conductor Awards. In 2022, she was named Woman of the Year by Time magazine.



See also

Olive oil in Tunisia, a female-dominated industry

Published on 8 March 2023

#Arab world