From the editor’s chair, Liz O’Reilly shares the things that have piqued her interest this month.
Toy maker Mattel honoured Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab, as a Barbie Shero by gifting her a one-of-a-kind doll in her likeness. The doll was unveiled at the Glamour Women of the Year LIVE Summit, an annual event that gives young women the opportunity to hear from select past and present Women of the Year honorees, as well as other influential leaders from a variety of fields.
The Barbie Shero programme recognises women who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls. Ibtihaj was presented with her doll by last year’s Shero, body activist and model, Ashley Graham.
Three Arab women have made the cut to take their places on the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2017.
The UAE’s Minister of Tolerance, Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, is the world’s 36th most powerful woman. Appointed in 2016 as part of a cabinet reshuffle, she has previously served as the Minister of International Cooperation and Minister of Economy and Planning for the UAE. Saudi national, Lubna S Olayan, is the world’s 59th most powerful woman. She serves as the CEO of the conglomerate Olayan Financing Group, which has businesses spread across the Middle East. And Raja Easa Al Gurg, managing director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group in the UAE, is the 90th most powerful woman. She is responsible for the operations of all 27 of the group’s companies and also heads the Dubai Business Women’s Council.
An advert by drinks giant Coca Cola, which shows a Saudi woman struggling as her father teaches her to drive then performing perfectly after taking a drink of the fizzy pop, has attracted mixed emotions. Some say it’s a great celebration of the sea change across the border, which allows women to get behind the wheel. Others reckon the subject is too serious and sensitive to the be used in an ad campaign. Personally, I thought it was a lovely way to mark this great news. I’d love to hear what you think.
ON THE WATER
I’m very excited at the launch of the Bahrain Rowing & Canoe Centre, which opened its doors at Bahrain Bay during the recent sea festival. We’re surrounded by water, so it’s long been a cause of consternation to me that there was nowhere to try sculling or to dig a paddle into the waves from a dragon boat. I’ve tried the latter, many years ago, and can’t wait to get back on board – it’s great fun and a good work out too. Hopefully we’ll even see dragon boat racing in the waters round Bahrain Bay in the not too distant future.
I wouldn’t normally be overly impressed at the opening of yet another new hotel. But, with 441 rooms, the Wyndham Garden in Juffair is the brand’s biggest property in the world! And what for me is more interesting is that it boasts seven speciality restaurants (be still my greedy beating heart) including Via Brasil, an all-you-can-eat barbecue outlet with meats served churrasco style, and Terasse@28, a rooftop bar serving Belgian and German delicacies. I feel a bit of after work sampling coming on.
WORD OF THE MONTH
Exploding Head Syndrome
It’s not actually a word but rather a term – Exploding Head Syndrome – it’s that moment when you’re dozing off to sleep and are awoken by a loud noise, only to realise the sound is actually in your head!