March of every year is declared as National Women's Month.
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
This year's Women Empowerment's month theme was “We Make Change Work for Women", the celebration aimed to highlight the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development.
This is why we have decided to dedicate our second newsletter issue to celebrate MEPI-TL women's' achievements. Raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.
Meet our women of this month, this year and every year!
Maria Mouzzanar Takes a Stand and the Lead Role in the “I understand and talk politics. End gender stereotypes" video shot by Al Asfari Institute.
Rawan Al Sammarraie Leadership to Empower
"Reading and hearing about war in history and movies sound terrifying but living in it is a new level of horror.
As a young woman living in a war-torn country, I lost hope in everything but rising from ashes is what women in my country Iraq did because facing war was the only way out.
Furthermore, my war experience was reflected through my work in translation/ transcription for NGOs were I understood and felt what I heard. There were a lot of real life stories of Syrian and Iraqi female refugees and although they were filled with tragedy and suffering, underneath the pain were powerful tales of survival, and resilience in time of war.
I for one, tooK it upon myself to try and leave a positive fingerprint by pursuing a career in the field of Ecosystem Management, where
being a part of the MEPI-TLG program will be the building block to achieving that, and fulfilling my destiny of being a female role model to the future generations of young women in my country, acting on what Bill Gates once said: “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others."
Nouran Moram Empowering Women with “She Can"
In 2019, it was the first time I attended the first women-based event in Egypt called She Can. She Can is a women-focused entrepreneurship event that takes place every year on International Women's Day March 8 at the Greek Campus in Egypt. I attended the event for the first as a participant, and I was amazed by the success stories I heard.
In 2020, I attended She Can as Events Manager. I worked on empowering program for women as I was empowered before by them and by my mother. As a team, we put a plan in the event to work on leadership skills and raise the awareness of women to be able to effectively join their career paths. In 2021 and 2022, I started my journey with MEPI-TLG. Now, I am working on the high school girls’ technology empowerment to avoid technology illiteracy, especially in their assignments in the computerized world.
Sara Hamad goes to Pennsylvania and takes part of the “Women in Physics Mentorship Program"
a woman in STEM, I find it extremely essential to form communities and events
that can empower us in a traditionally male-dominated field. As such, I
participated in the “Women in Physics Mentorship Program” during my semester
abroad at the University of Pennsylvania. Sharing advice and experiences with
amazing women who proved themselves in the STEM field was utterly inspiring.
Moreover, as the president of the Physics Students Society, I am exceptionally
proud of my team for organizing the “Women in Physics” event hosting female
professors to share their journey and motivate young female physicists.
Rima Kamel and Joodi Morhli win Best Company Award and Best Social Impact award 2021
Influenced by the harsh economic and political situation the country is going through, two students from the AUB MEPI-TLU Program, Rima Kamel and Joodi Mourhli, created MinFeed with the help of an LAU MEPI-TLU student. MinFeed stands for Modern Network Featuring Exclusive Deals. However, when pronounced, MinFeed sounds like the Arabic phrase “to help" or “to benefit." MinFeed's goal is to empower the Lebanese economy by transforming local businesses from competitors to collaborators, while providing customers with affordable bundles to shop for more by paying less.
MinFeed also provides its partners with the opportunity to be advertised through its website and social media accounts, which helps them find potential collaborators. MinFeed links similar businesses together and promotes their collaboration by creating bundles made up of the mixture of their products. After creating the bundles and advertising for them on its official website and media platforms, customers will have the option of ordering them directly from the website. MinFeed
expanded rapidly and its network covered more than 18 Lebanese local businesses, reaching out to more than 800 customers, advertising four bundles, and catering to a diversity of preferences including vegan, handmade, and eco-friendly. Through these efforts, Joodi and Rima have proudly supported myriad local businesses, increased their popularity through free advertisement, boosted their sales, and helped them prosper despite the current economic situation. Rima and Joodi iterate their goal to support more Lebanese local businesses and promote MinFeed's customer satisfaction by offering unlimited value through their diverse and customizable bundles at affordable prices with fast delivery times. In addition, one of MinFeed's favorite accomplishments is helping a young AUB student who recently started her own accessory business. The AUB student was on the verge of shutting down her business due to the unaffordability of the raw materials and the fluctuating foreign currency rate. However, MinFeed supported her by promoting her products and advertised for four bundles that featured her accessories as a measure to revitalize her business. As a result of their extended efforts, Joodi and Rima were able to advertise for numerous Lebanese local businesses, enhance their outreach strategies, and boost their sales.
Rima and Joodi, as part of their three-person team, participated in the Injaz Al Arab Company Program Young Entrepreneurs Competition (YEC) 2021. The competitions begin on a local scale and the winners of the local competition then receive the opportunity to compete with other teams from across the MENA region.
During the local competition that saw Joodi and Rima's MinFeed compete with other Lebanese entrepreneurs across Lebanon, MinFeed was able to win Best Company Award and Best Social Impact award 2021. Winning teams from Lebanon and the rest of the MENA region who engaged in their respective national competitions then competed on an international scale amongst each other.
During the international competition across the MENA region, MinFeed was able
to score their third win by achieving the title of the Best Social Impact Award
across the MENA Region 2021.
Farah Khansa “Lifts it Like a Girl" and “Stands Up Against Street Harassment International"
- Because empowering women is the key to building a prosperous flourishing future ,it's our social and worldwide responsibility to implement every single effort possible to participate in empowering every woman that chose to be successful in her own unique way so personally ,I have participated in several activities for this purpose including attending a webinar organized by UNDP on ''Sustaining Development Gains for Afghan women ,attending the ''Stand Up Against Street Harassment International Training Program ''and attending the event including the screening of a documentary titled "Lift Like A Girl " organized by the CCECS in collaboration with AUB Women and Gender Studies.
- Concerning “Lift Like A Girl" ,which is a documentary by Mayye Zayed about Zebiba, an Egyptian teenage girl who dreamt of becoming a world champion weightlifter and competed toward international championships despite all challenges and obstacles faced , I felt extremely proud for watching this documentary which personally inspired me so , I highly encourage production of such documentaries to highlight women success stories to help enhance women 's confidence and solidify their belief that nothing is impossible and I strongly believe that every single success of women should be highlighted and appreciated and every successful women should be an inspiration for the whole universe and for members of today's and tomorrow's generations .
- The event on sustainable development of Afghan women brings together several speakers to discuss the most urgent needs and rights of women in Afghanistan and to shed light on the importance of Afghan women education, livelihood, and access to justice focusing on the most urgent needs of women in Afghanistan and the conflicts these women are facing. So my duty as a responsible member in society is informing youth, which are the builders of the future and change makers about the injustice and torture Afghan women are facing including deprivation of justice, safety, inclusion, and education trying to inform others about these harsh circumstances and be a women right defender so my role is to try in any way to support these women and shed light on their struggles so that they would be supported by a larger community which strengthens them more.
Concerning the stand up against street awareness international training program, this activity is an effective step in standing up against street harassment and this is an important training program I am glad to participate in to defend woman's right and help in enhancing social security by learning how to safely intervene if witnessing or experiencing street harassment encouraging people to usher in a new era of solidarity and continue building safe and inclusive spaces for all, especially women.
So, because when asked “Where to do uniqueness bravery, limitless power, perpetual solid aspirations, patience, perseverance, passion, and courage all dwell?" The most prevalent answer is “Within Women'', let's nurture constructive power! Let's Foster Humanity! Let's participate in women empowerment!"
Sarah El Mousharrafie's “Female Talent in the Lebanese Energy Sector" Article Published by the UNDP's Salam wa Kalam
I am a senior mechanical engineering student minoring in psychology and mathematics. The past 2 semesters I have been part of the MEPI-TLS program which has led me to a number of achievements: my article “Female Talent in the Lebanese Energy Sector" was published by the UNDP's Salam wa Kalam, and that opened a door to an opportunity to host a webinar on Women in Energy on the UNDP's instagram. The program also provided many opportunities for further growth, so I am currently part of a research project on internalized misogyny and a junior editor on AUB's Mouzakara Jandariya editorial board. As for my my degree, I am currently a research assistant for manufacturing and materials projects and plan to pursue a master's degree in KU Leuven starting September 2022.
Tina Abi Raad Passes on Her Knowledge to New Nurses
Ever since joining AUB as a BSN student, I have truly found my passion for caring for people when they are in most need. To enhance my education, I have participated in several experiences that have bettered my understanding of marginalized communities and their unique needs. Through the Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing course, we supported a primary health care center in performing mental health screening for many patients. Through this, I gained a better understanding of the devastating impact of poverty on the holistic health of an individual, particularly women in vulnerable situations. Additionally, I volunteer at the HEAL clinic, a student-led initiative that provides healthcare services to vulnerable population groups, including migrant domestic workers and LGBTQ+ individuals. My experience at HEAL has furthered my drive to create a more inclusive healthcare system that transcends gender and sexuality. What I have enjoyed most was the ability to pass on this knowledge to new nursing students and see them provide care that respects the patient as an individual regardless of gender, sexuality, or race. Thanks to the MEPI-TLS Gender Scholars program I can further my knowledge in such fields to compliment my formal nursing education. Despite the compounding crises that Lebanon has been going through, I am proud to say that I have consistently been placed on the Dean's Honor List while managing clinical practice and extracurriculars. After graduating this summer, I hope to dedicate my time fully to nursing and continue to provide inclusive and high-quality care to those in need.
Danielle Salemeh a Promising Business Leader
Danielle Salemeh is a senior student majoring in Business Administration with a specific emphasis in Finance and Business Information and Decision Systems as well as a minor in International Law. She's a very driven person that proactively seeks learning opportunities to develop herself and create a positive impact on her community.
She currently represents AUB in International Business Case Competitions, most notably in (1) Universidad Panamericana's Virtual Case Competition 2020 where her team ranked 1st place among top 17 international universities, in (2) the University of Münster's Case Competition 2020, in (3) the John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition 2021, and in (4) BI International Case Competition 2022 where her team ranked 2nd place among top 12 international universities. Danielle is also currently the Vice President of both the AUB Consulting Club and the AUB Women at Work Club where she aims to create career and networking opportunities for students. In addition, Danielle founded her own NGO called Children of Today that aims to raise awareness about the right to play for children in Lebanon. Most recently, she conducted a huge toy drive which led to the distribution of 300 toys to underprivileged kids in Zahle, Saida, and Beirut. Over the summer, she interned at Kearney, one of the top management consulting firms in the MENA region, where she worked on devising a regional development strategy to propel socio-economic growth for a large GCC region. Upon graduation, Danielle will be returning to Kearney for a full-time position as a Business Analyst. Danielle's profile shows the characteristics of a promising business leader as well as a strong advocate for women's rights. She's very grateful for MEPI for always encouraging and supporting her throughout her AUB journey.
Dr. Kathryn Maude is Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies
Dr. Kathryn Maude is Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at the American University of Beirut. She runs the Women and Gender Studies Initiative, which promotes feminist research and teaching at AUB and works towards gender equality in the university and beyond. AUB's work on Gender Studies was recently profiled in the Times Higher Education's report on university progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality. You can learn more about the report here.
Dr. Mona Itani, an Advocate and Mentor of Women in Tech and Women in Entrepreneurship
Dr. Itani is currently the entrepreneurship coordinator at MEPI TLP project and an entrepreneur herself.
She has completed her PhD in Management where her thesis research was about women tech entrepreneurs in Lebanon.
Dr. Itani is a women in tech and women in entrepreneurship mentor and advocate and an ex-chair of IEEE Women in Engineering, ex co-chair of Arab Women in Computing.
She is the co-founder of Girls got IT, a non-profit initiative that empowers girls in STEAM.
Dr. Itani has participated as a speaker and panelist in many conferences on women in tech, the most recent which is tomorrow at “Role of Women in STEM Research and Innovation in the MENA region" organized by INWES (International Network of Women in Engineering and Sciences).
Alissa Helal Empowers Women within Engineering and Promotes Gender Equality
My name is Alissa Helal and I am a senior Mechanical Engineering student. I am a MEPI Scholar for two semesters at AUB: Spring and fall 20-21 with three gender studies white papers submitted for publishing. I am also a Life Scholar and an aerospace engineering enthusiast. On the other side, I am the president of the American Society for Mechanical Engineers where I created the "ASME Women's Section" within ASME AUB aimed to empower women within engineering and promote gender equality. This section has done several events and awareness campaigns: Women Wednesday where we post on our Instagram page (@asme_aub) prominent women in mechanical engineering including alumni each Wednesday, #WeAreOne campaign on international women's day where posters were distributed all over MSFEA grounds, breast cancer awareness campaign and Mechanical Power (a webinar about women in mechanical engineering and how to face gender stereotypes in the field). We also distributed cookies to women mechanical engineering staff and professors who make sure our voices count. Currently, we are posting video interviews with successful women engineers and their achievements. Last but not least, I make sure to help young girls become passionate about stem through being a member and an ex-Executive Team Leader for AllGirlsCode (An initiative started by AUB women engineering students Aya Mouallem and Maya Moussa at AUB).
TL WOMEN AND MEN
TLG-ers Participate in The Researcher's: Women Economic Empowerment.
a team including three MEPI students: Zahraa Berjawi, Maya El-Gharib (TLG) and
Joseph Bejjani (TLS), we are thrilled to have participated in one of the most
informative and interesting TV shows "The Researcher: Season 2" on
LBCI under the theme of "Women Economic Empowerment". The discussions
that ran throughout the episode highly reflected our interests in
gender-related issues. Also, we are proud to announce winning the episode’s
game with our initiative to reduce gender-bias and enhance women empowerment
using Artificial Intelligence
Melissa Ajamian: Boss Lady, Women Leader and Women Activist
MEPI-TLU Assistant Director, Melissa Ajamian is passionate about civil
society studies and is always seeking to continuously hone her academic and professional
experience to help shape civil society policies through proactively engaging
with nongovernmental organizations, community leaders, youth and women
activists, and private sector groups.
Melissa is a boss lady who thrives to empower every single person on her team while leading them in the best way possible and encouraging them to own their work. Melissa has been a great influence and huge supporter of women and their movements.
Hasnaa Yazbeck Empowering Women Left in the Dark
Hasnaa thrives to empower women especially the ones who have not had the chance to see the real world. She is a true leader and activist who aims to make the world a better and equal place for everyone.