Women who Inspire Us – American University in Dubai NEWS

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AUD students enrolled in the MEST 353 Women and Gender in the Middle East course with Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, organized an international women’s day event titled “Women who Inspire us.”

The International Women’s Day 2017 theme is Be Bold for Change. The MEST 353 Women and Gender in the Middle East students and Dr. Pamela Chrabieh chose to celebrate this day at AUD by highlighting women’s achievements and contributions to change in the Southwestern Asian and North African societies: from women who ensure the transmission of culture to future generations in the private sphere to women who are deconstructing stereotypes in the public sphere and challenging societal norms; from women whose food carries the stories of families and communities, as well as survival struggles and migration journeys, to women poets, authors, painters, politicians, businesswomen, educators, etc.

Women who inspire are women who step up to take bold actions, whether in the private or public spheres, on local or international levels, in the classroom or the kitchen, behind a desk, while running for presidency or helping others in need. Women who inspire are bold for change; they are change-makers!

This is how Dr. Chrabieh started her speech to celebrate the International Women’s Day with her students. She continued, “And while listening to the courageous voices of men and women who were reciting powerful poetry for gender equality, watching talented artists deconstructing stereotypes of women in Southwestern Asia and North Africa and attendees having a visceral experience with foods that tell stories of women in the students’ families and neighborhoods, I felt hope: hope in the future of a region torn by colonialist legacies and decades of wars, and by the rise of exclusivist discourses and conflictual identities.”

Dr. Chrabieh explained that the event was indeed a celebration of women who inspire her students as individuals, but more, she was celebrating their hard work, perseverance and their courage in taking on critically important causes that will improve the lives of all: building more equal communities and societies. “I was celebrating their high expectations, their aspirations and commitments. These students, and others like them, are not to be seen as part of a doomed generation or a generation of idiots with technology surpassing human interaction. I see them believing in themselves, filling a table and sitting at it, taking risks and supporting each other, trying to break down barriers that hold them back, and creating or contributing to inclusive flexible cultures. They are already leaders in their own spheres of influence. They are catalysts and vehicles for driving greater change.”

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