They're charismatic, authentic and determined, but above all, they're Lebanese. While some have made it to international media such as Amal Clooney, Shakira or Salma Hayek, others remained rather discreet. Welcome to the club of women's success stories of Lebanese origin.
Vera el Khoury, a diplomat and UNESCO general director
With more than twenty years of experience in multilateral diplomacy and international affairs, Vera el Khoury Lacoeuilhe is officially nominated for the position of general director of UNESCO.
In January 2016, she became a member of the "Independent Advisers Team" established by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to give recommendations on the long-term positioning of the United Nations development system. She currently teaches the Master 2 seminar entitled "Institutions and International Organizations" at Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and has chaired several intergovernmental committees as well as ministerial meetings and she is an advisor for the Ministry of Culture in Lebanon. "Among the skills of Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe, there's the search for consensus through her famous leadership," written in her official biography published by UNESCO. Doubly decorated, the diplomat is the Knight of the National Order of Merit in France and has received the Vytautas Order Badge in Lithuania.
Ayah Bdeir, when science is a piece of cake
In 2011, this Lebanese-born Canadian founded littleBits, a startup that designs electronic modules to assemble. The goal is to democratize the language of electronics and hardware. In other words, LittleBits designs small functional electronic blocks that fit, like a good old lego, to allow all sorts of inventions, from shoes with flashing laces to moving plates.
"With LittleBits, I wanted to put the immense power of electronics in everyone's hands. Says the graduate of the prestigious MIT. If today a 34 year old woman is among the 10 most powerful Arab women according to the Forbes ranking, it is because the Littlebit Technology group reached in 2016 a turnover of 374 million dollars.
For the rest of the article, check out our October 2017 issue.