Happy International Women’s Day!

On the eve of International Women’s Day, we sat down with some of our colleagues at QNRF, to learn more about their experiences as women in the workforce, what motivates and inspires them, and what message they have for other women.

Dr. Aisha Al-Obaidly - Director of Capacity Building

Happy International Women’s Day! In addition to being the cornerstone in every society, women are an essential factor in the knowledge, business, and economic arenas, and their contributions are needed more than ever for our development.

I am a proud member of Qatar’s vibrant RDI ecosystem and currently work as the Capacity Building Director at QNRF, where I lead the formulation of strategic plans for education, training, and development within Qatar Foundation’s Research, Development and Innovation enterprise. Moreover, I also oversee the implementation of numerous education and research programs offered by QNRF to address the national need for developing human capacity in Qatar.

Before joining QNRF, I worked as an Assistant Professor at the Biology Department of Qatar University, and later at the Qatar Science and Technology Park as the Research Manager for Health. I completed my undergraduate studies at QU and then went to the UK for further studies, where I pursued my master's and PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Wales, Swansea, United Kingdom.

Having been a member of the Qatar Foundation community, I have had the opportunity to witness closely the visionary work of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the founder and Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. Her Highness’s dedication to promoting education and transforming societies serves as a role model for people around the world.

Moreover, Her Highness’s guiding vision behind Qatar Foundation, which has now turned into a reality and is continually growing, has played an impactful role in identifying and developing top local talent and providing them with the opportunities to take on the challenges faced throughout the world. In Qatar too, QF has provided unprecedented opportunities for the women living in the country to play an impactful role in developing their country.

International Women’s Day helps us remember the efforts and sacrifices of women from different societies along with their contributions. Moreover, this occasion is also an opportunity for young girls to grasp the monumental role women play in today’s world, be inspired, and broaden their horizons to emerge as leaders of tomorrow. My message to all women and girls is to be proud of your identity and have a firm belief that if you set your mind to do something, there is no stopping you and you will find tons of support for your success.

Dr. Enas Mohamed - Program Manager, Biomedical Sciences & Health

I was born and raised in Baghdad, where I earned my medical degree (MB ChB) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Anesthesiology. After successfully practicing medicine for about ten years, I opted to follow my real passion and pursue a career in clinical research. Consequently, I obtained a professional degree in Applied Biotechnology and worked at multiple well-renowned international medical research centers in the US.

After moving to Qatar, I joined the Qatar National Research Fund aiming to contribute toward establishing a dynamic research-based healthcare system that is capable of generating world-class strategies in health promotion, disease prevention, and advanced therapeutic measures to attain a healthy vigorous population. Of course, my learning process never stopped, as most recently, I received a master’s degree in public health from the University of Liverpool, UK, with a major in Health Management.

We all see our mothers as our role models, but the list starts growing once our world gets bigger. My mother was a science teacher who planted the love of science in me, at an early age. A few years later, my high school Physics teacher became my hero, because she was able to answer my countless questions with ease and fun. In college, reading the biography of Marie Curie inspired me immensely. Despite being a mother of two and widowed at an early age, she managed to earn two Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry. She taught me that knowledge alone is not enough, but the determination to reach a noble goal is what makes a difference.

I am also moved by the sincere dedication of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, towards nurturing the love of science among her people, while preserving the Arabic Islamic identity. A smart vision that has inspired me since then, and I look forward to following her steps in Iraq when peace returns to my homeland.

My message to all the women and girls is to be proud of who you are because no matter what others do, you are the most generous individual in the circle of life. Women who offer their love and care selflessly, while nurturing generations after generations of scientists and heroes, at the cost of their health and precious time, deserve the world’s acknowledgment on a daily basis- not only on a dedicated day. Dear ladies, be confident that the world will stop evolving without you; your feminine touch is as unique as you! Happy International Women's Day to you.

Dr. Hind Mamlouk - Program Manager in Energy & Environment

Gender equality in the workplace is a concept we often talk about but can sometimes be difficult to put into practice. QNRF is committed to promoting gender equality, and women’s empowerment in the workplace, workforce, and community.

This is what I found working at QNRF since I joined it in 2019. I am a Program Manager in Energy & Environment and support different energy businesses such as CO2 conversion, petrochemicals development, and new energies.

I hold a PhD in Supramolecular Organic Chemistry from the University of Strasbourg on the development and synthesis of liquid crystals supramolecular materials for the development of high-added value chemicals. 

In 2010, after my post-doctorate in nanomedicine for breast cancer diagnostic, I joined Total at Qatar as a project leader in polyolefin catalysis and CO2 conversion where I elaborated on and developed new research projects. Then, in 2015, I started working at Texas A&M University at Qatar where I worked on the Metal Organic Framework Catalysis. 

Many people inspire me inside and outside of my work for a range of reasons. However, the first influential female figure is my mother, who has always believed in me, supported, and encouraged me. Another influential female figure is Marie Curie who had two Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry and has always been an example for me as a committed scientist who supported women's rights, emancipation through knowledge, social progress and promoted peace between people.

I encourage women to pursue careers in sciences and to highlight the contribution and diversity that women scientists can bring to the table. Never give up, and always believe in yourself to realize your dreams. Happy International Women’s Day!

Nadine Younes- Pre-Award Administration Manager

I currently work as the Pre-Award Administration Manager at Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), which I joined 12 years ago as an ICT Program Officer. In my role, I manage QNRF’s flagship program, the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP), and oversee the policies and procedures related to the pre-award activities.

Before joining QNRF, I gained industrial experience in key roles in government and the research sector and have an academic background in telecommunication and network engineering, and experience in the study, design, installation, administration, and maintenance of telecommunication networks in addition to delivering training to end-users.

Working at QNRF has been an enriching experience for me and I find it to be a supportive work environment for everyone as their policies have helped me maintain a healthy work-family balance. I am fortunate to be surrounded by supportive and encouraging colleagues. In my experience, I have found QNRF and QF highly supportive of the personal and professional development of the women working with them. However, this support is not limited to employees only, but goes well beyond, as is reflected by the various initiatives under the banner of QF that are empowering and enabling women to make a real impact in their communities around the world.

A remarkable woman behind these efforts who is a source of inspiration for me is Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the founder and Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. Her Highness’s dedication to improving education and opportunities for women and children all over the globe is exemplary and she has contributed a lot to promoting gender equality and empowerment.

I salute all the extraordinary women who have risked everything to make their voices heard. Women have always been a force to be reckoned with, and more must be done to speak out about the issues that matter most to them. From fighting for social justice to standing up against discrimination, various women are leading vital and genuine global and local efforts to help improve the lives of people.

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