So the last two weeks have been pretty hectic and I have done exactly nothing for my Masters but I’m having a great time. Why, I hear you ask. Well, basically because I have been working on two articles on the most amazing, awe-inspiring Muslim women. I actually think my pride in Muslim women has doubled. I’m being serious here! There are just too many cool Muslim women for words but I’m gonna try anyway….
Here’s part 1: Muslim women in Science
Professor Samira Islam is clearly a busy woman. The first women in Saudi to complete her primary, secondary education, to graduate with a degree, a PhD and become a professor, she also heads the Drugs Monitoring Unit and was shortlisted for the L’Oreal/UNESCO “Women in Science Award” in 2000. In May 2009 she was awarded the “Makkah Award for Excellency” the highest distinction ever awarded to Saudi citizen for exemplary contribution to Science & Research.
I have been chasing her for about two months for an interview on Muslim women in Science and I was worried I was starting to look a little stalkerish. Actually, a little stalkerish is probably an understatement as I have left her emails on every email account I could find, I’ve rang her on every number I track down and I’ve added her on Skype, Linkedin, Facebook… I think you get the picture. But when I finally get to speak to her she is so worth the trouble.
“I am so sorry, my dear” she says with an odd Egyptian twang considering she’s from Saudi Arabia. “I have just been so busy and I recently received the bad news that my brother passed away suddenly.” Damn, now I feel like an insensitive creep. She then goes on to explain that she’s actually about to head off as she needs to catch a plane to Cairo in two hours time. She gives me all her details and says to ring in the next day or two. Well that doesn’t tell me much but it does explain the slight Egyptian accent…