Abu Dhabi: Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, the first Federal National Council's (FNC) elected woman member, continues to inspire other Emirati women to voice their concerns and serve the society better.
Dr Terfa Al Shaiba Al Sharyani, an expert in the United Nations environment and energy programme, and head of environment and culture at the Statistics Centre — Abu Dhabi (Scad) — said Dr Amal has played a pioneering role for the Emirati women and would encourage other young women to follow suit.
"Four years ago, I was very happy to know that Dr Amal had the right to voice her opinions openly. This was a wake-up call for the Emirati women throughout the country. It made me realise that we all have the right to do the same," said Dr Terfa, who is running for elections for the second time.
"I didn't succeed in 2006. However, I gained a lot of experience and awareness on how the election process goes," said the environmental expert, who has a her PhD in environmental science from Cairo University.
Asked about her plans for Abu Dhabi, Dr Terfa said: "I helped develop a UN clean production centre in 2009 at the Scad, which is now certified in that sector. I wish to introduce environmental ‘go green' campaigns which I have experience with. I will not copy the UN environmental programme as is; instead I will tailor it according to our needs in Abu Dhabi."
Dr Terfa also inspired the Ministry of Education to introduce a UN clean production centre in order to enhance their "go green" initiatives. When asked what her biggest challenges are, Dr Terfa said "Abu Dhabi is doing great in terms of development ... however, the pace has become very fast. I have to make sure I can keep up with that speed."
The 2011 FNC regulations, according to Dr Terfa, were similar to the 2006 regulations with some changes. "There was only one major difference in this year's elections. Emiratis with special needs are now being given a chance to get elected, which is great." The media, street posters and word of mouth are the main measures Dr Terfa plans to use in order to gain more nominations from public.
Hamama Al Qubaisi, Administrative Assistant at the Ministry of Finance, who graduated in 1989 from the General Information Authority (GIA), is eager to help Emiratis who have financial, social, educational and health problems. "There are many less privileged Emiratis who need help. Since I am a volunteer at Sanad [voluntary project], I have learnt to help during an emergency. I'm well-trained in dealing with cardiovascular problems for instance," said Hamama.
When asked whether she plans to leave her job during the electoral process,
Hamama said: "I definitely plan to take a month off in order to focus on the electoral process. However, as an Emirati woman, I do have the right to leave my work after 25 years. But I'm not sure I am ready to do that. I have so much energy, which I can use at work for another 10 years."
Hamama intends to give public speeches about the sort of changes to help the less privileged she can offer if elected, with focus on helping the less privileged. "I have a strategy plan and suggestions/ideas which I would like to share with my people."