I believe when women come together, magic happens. I was first inspired by Oprah Winfrey. She has shown me what a powerful woman is. She has shown young girls and women that they are unstoppable and capable of whatever they set their minds to. She believes in educating girls and providing the right tools for them to conquer the world.
In the process of preparing this article, I was searching on social media and asking friends to provide names of women who have achieved in our society. I was blown away by the number of messages I received and am also so proud of them all. I will be sharing with you a number of Libyan women that I am sure you will be inspired by and motivated by just as I am.
1. Rahma Belaid
Before leaving Libya for the US, Rahma was one of the founders of the first students’ union in Janzoor county in Tripoli. Rahma Belaid is now an Aerospace Engineering student in Iowa State University. She is also majoring in Economics. She has been enlisted in the university’s Dean’s List for Spring 2017 and was selected to take part in the university’s I-LEAD programme. She is now enrolled by her academic supervisor to be an orientation leader to lead new students to cope with the new environment in Iowa State University. She is learning German alongside her studies and was rewarded for her astonishing performance.
2. Serein Sharda
Serein Sharda is a 23 year old senior in European Economics and Finance in the University of Lithuania. She has now won a scholarship to study in Germany and remains an active member in an organisation called “I am Tawfik”, which fights for the rights of free speech in Libya. She speaks German in addition to English and has worked with many other organisations in Libya.
3. Rawassi Abd Al-Jalil
Rawassi Abd Al-Jalil is a 21 year old dental student. She works as a radio presenter and a reporter for Aljazeera Live. She is an apprentice in the art of debate, participating in national debate championships. She works with different civil society organisations and aspires to empower Libyan women through her work.
4. Lubna Zantouti
Lubna Zantouti is 23 years old. She is an Electrical and Electronic Engineering senior in Tripoli University. After Libya’s uprising in 2011, she began her journey in volunteering and social work in the Hemayat Alwatan Association, a national liberation movement. Lubna is one of the founders of Awn Libya Association and the Ambitions movement, organisations dedicated to similar objectives in terms of empowering civil society in Libya.
I am incredibly proud of them all. I am inspired by those who broke barriers and defied their society’s gender norms to prove themselves. I believe that empowering the women of today will transform the societies of tomorrow.