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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Amal Almalki: A Qatari woman’s path to success

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Dr. Amal Almalki is the only Qatari faculty member in Education City, a cluster of international, renowned universities and institutions.

As a Qatari woman, Almalki has overcome expectations and stereotypes in her own community, as well as battled the misperceptions held by expats about her people.

Almalki recently shared her story and path to success in a commencement speech at a local all-female high school, which she blogged about on her website.

Here are some excerpts:

I come from a generation that had limited ambitions, our dreams reflected our reality. It was a reality that wasn’t totally open for women; there were many doors shut and many paths forbidden and many dreams off limit…

I spent most of my twenties studying; some people tried to put me down for not choosing other conventional paths. While some of my contemporaries started their own families and had children, others established their careers, I chose the hard way. I chose to break the norm and do something different…

I have come to discover that there is a myth created about the lazy Qatari and that lots of the people around me subscribe to it. The myth includes Qataris being filthy rich, paid monthly stipends by the government, and not needing to work, and the list goes on. Qatari women are a part of a bigger and older western rhetoric and that is the “oppressed Muslim women,” who are passive and voiceless.

So I have made it my job to expose all of these stereotypes and debunk them…

Although women in Qatar enjoy a larger space of freedom than other women in other countries or than women of my generation, we could still do much better. And this is where each one of you can contribute. Each one of us could make history through hard work and devotion. Each one of us should be educated about her civic responsibilities and her rights under the law and in Islam and contribute in making this country greater…

Read the full speech here.

Credit: Top graphic from Qatar Foundation Achievers campaign

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