Abu Dhabi: Nashwa Al Ruwaini, an Emirati entrepreneur, was awarded the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice 2018.
Al Ruwaini was granted the award this week in Mumbai, India at a ceremony organised by the Harmony Foundation following a conference held under the theme ‘Protect Her Empower Her,’ said a press release.
The first Emirati woman to win this accolade, Al Ruwaini received the award from the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Tushar Arun Gandhi, in the presence of Mohammad Al Jalah Al Tunaiji, the UAE Consul General in Mumbai.
She was awarded for all her philanthropic efforts in revolutionising the image of women in the Middle East, as well as all the charitable activities that she has undertaken to improve the lives of women and children through her humanitarian organisation, the Nashwa Foundation. The charity is dedicated to philanthropic work across the Arab world.
Al Ruwaini is currently board member and CEO of Pyramedia Group and Chairwoman of the Nashwa Foundation.
On the occasion, she said: “It is such a great honour to win this accolade that is very dear to my heart. Mother Teresa is one of my favourite role models, and who I aspire to emulate, because I need to continue my philanthropic work, which is just as important as my professional career.”
Al Ruwaini added that under the wise guidance of the UAE leadership, especially Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, also known as the ‘Mother of the Nation,’ women are provided with all the necessary resources and systems to enable their success, fulfil their goals and become an integral and significant part of society. Al Ruwaini wished this was the case for all women and young girls in the region.
Initiated in the year 2005, the award is given annually in honour of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, felicitating people who relentlessly encourage everyone to lend a helping hand to those in need.
This year, other awardees alongside Al Ruwaini include the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor of rape and atrocities by Daesh, and Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist who provides medical, legal, psychological and economic support to survivors of rape.
Former winners include Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in 2016, Mahathir Mohammad, current Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Dalai Lama and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.