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Arab Women in Science & Technology Conference Kicks Off

Tue, Sep 29, 2009, 16:14 GMT

Dubai, September 28, 2009: Under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Honorary President of Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the conference on "Arab Women in Science and Technology" (AWST) started yesterday at the Raffles Hotel in Dubai. Over 300 scientists, experts and leading specialists at the local, regional and global levels are taking part in the event, which lasts for three days.

The opening ceremony was attended by the UAE Minister of Education, His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami on behalf of HRH Princess Haya, Dr. Abdalla Abdelaziz Alnajjar, Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) President, Dr. Moza Al-Rabban, Physics Associate Professor, Qatar University/ASTF Networks and General Coordinator of Arab Women Association on Research, Development & Innovation (AWARD), and Dr. Hadi Azizzadeh, Deputy Director General, Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), and a number of well-known personalities and representatives from various media platforms.

The opening ceremony commenced with a speech by DBWC Vice President, Faiza Al Sayed, who spoke on behalf of HRH Princess Haya. Welcoming the delegates, she said: "I am pleased to welcome you here in Dubai on behalf of HRH Princess Haya. You are most welcome to Dubai, the incubator of distinctive achievements and the launch pad of creative initiatives, the city which has always supported innovative ideas and firmly realised them on the ground, and a place which works to consolidate the role of women in society so that one-half of the population is enabled to shoulder great responsibilities armed with high qualifications and capabilities. I wish to note here that the Emirati woman has proved over and over again that she is well qualified to carry the responsibilities given to her by our wis leadership."

She continued: "The Government of Dubai has shown great interest in the utilization of modern technology. It has aptly increased investments and worked hard to attract the capital for investment in it, in order to follow the guidance set by the view of his His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai. This vision, which solidified through the implementation of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, aims to achieve sustainable development, with the added intention of making Dubai a vital scientific and technological center in some specially targeted fields."

"The latest statistics showed that the percentage of graduate females from the center of technology at Dubai University was 39 per cent in the year 2008-2009. Dubai Women's college statistics show that 55 per cent of the graduates had specialized in the field of technology. Also add another 7.5 per cent graduates who have specialized in related fields to this figure and you will get some idea of the immense strides women are making in the field of S & T," Mrs Faiza said.

Dr. Abdalla Abdelaziz Alnajjar, ASTF President said: "Arab women had a prominent role in the renaissance of the Arab nation in the beginning. But this role was later reversed, perhaps because history was made by men. This conference is therefore an opportunity for Arab women not only to rewrite their past, but also write their present and also to once more make their future with their own hands. Women working in the science and technology field participate in more than 14 per cent of the institution's activities and programs. But such participation is small; therefore we want to raise the percentage to make them more effective. This conference is a good occasion to realise that aim."

"This is the first of its kind of event in the region that aims to locate the reality of scientific and technological research in the Arab world and the status of women in it. It will, among other things, look into the subject of the outstanding role played by Arab women and launch the template of an electronic system that will gather all Arab women working in the field of science, to increase the interaction among them, and help to form working groups to develop real-time work projects," Dr.Najjar added.

He emphasized the women's role by noting that "the present period is witnessing the tremendous development of women's capabilities in science and technology which is encouraging many private sector companies and civil society organizations to invest in their human capital at the level of recruitment and training, so that they can take leadership positions, especially since many of them have proved themselves to be highly efficient in their work."

Dr. Moza Al-Rabban, Physics Associate Professor, Qatar University/ASTF Networks and General Coordinator of Arab Women Association on Research, Development & Innovation (AWARD) said: "Though Arab women had an active role in the renaissance of the Arab nation, one reason why this has been affected in recent years is because of social pressures and traditions that restrict women from giving all their energies to social development. However, AWARD has opened the doors of opportunity for them, to activate their role and give them wider scope for the development and for the advancement of the Arab community through science and technology."

Dr. Had Azizzadeh, Deputy Director General, ISESCO also delivered his speech where he outlined some of the organization's achievements and its role in the service of humanity. Later, a UNESCO report on "Science & Technology and Gender Dimension" was launched along with the website for the AWST conference. In the evening, the participants attended a gala dinner, during which Dr. Abdulla Al-Saleh Al-Uthaymeen, General Secretary, King Faisal International Prize, recited poetry.

On Tuesday (September 29), the sessions at the AWST conference will commence. The AWST conference is being organised by the Arab Science & Technology Foundation (ASTF), in cooperation with the DBWC, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) and Etisal Event Management company and is sponsored by GET Group (platinum sponsor), EMARAT, Mawarid UNID, IDRC CRDI Canada, Schlumberger Foundation,HP and Media sponsor, CNBC Arabia.



About the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) "A vehicle towards a sustainable development of the Arab World":

The Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit regional and international organization. ASTF was formed out of a need expressed by Arab scientists to develop practical means to advance science and technology (S&T) in the Arab region. During the first international symposium on "Scientific Research Outlook in the Arab World and the New Millennium: Science and Technology," which was held at the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in April 2000, 400 Arab scientists from around the world decided to found ASTF as a non-governmental, non-profit Pan-Arab organization. ASTF plays the role of mediator between those who produce, develop and fund scientific research on the one hand and those who benefit from it on the other. In all its activities, ASTF assumes the role of Catalyst, Mediator, and Supporter of innovation in Science and Technology in the Arab world. For further details on the foundation, please visit

About the Dubai Business Women Council:

Its mission is to proactively encourage business and professional women in Dubai to participate in a variety of business segments in order to enhance the contribution, productivity and activity of business and professional women locally and internationally.

Its objectives are the following:

1. To represent the DBWC at Arab and international conferences and forums related to business and professional women.

2. To cooperate with local and international institutions to increase awareness about the council and to share and contribute business ideas between the business women and different organizations.

3. To negotiate problems that women face at the workplace and find solutions and recommendations to solve these problems.

4. Providing facilities and introducing business women to the Dubai Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), its services and activities.

5. Organizing networking opportunities by inviting business women to participate in a variety of events organized by the Dubai Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

For more details, log on to DCCI website at:

About ETISAL Event Management:

Etisal Event Management is a leading creative services firm that provides effective, award-winning public relations and events management services to clients seeking to carve out a niche in the competitive world of business. It specializes exclusively in corporate communications, event management, public relations, conferences and exhibitions. For more information, please visit our website at:

Contact: Mrs. Rania 050-1417116

ETISAL Event Management

Phone: 04 222 54 25

Fax: 04 224 06 56


Address: Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel, Deira, Dubai


Press Release 2009

Article originally published by Press Release 28-Sep-09

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