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A Prestigious Honour

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Dr Bahia Jawad Al Jishi hounoured with World Rania Award 2024

By Raji Unnikrishnan

Renowned Bahraini diplomat Dr Bahia Jawad Al Jishi clinched the esteemed Muslim World Rania Award 2024 for her notable strides in women’s empowerment and diplomacy.

The former Bahraini Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union, and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and a member of the Supreme Council of Women (SCW), Dr Al Jishi, was conferred upon with the prestigious accolade by the First Lady of Malaysia, Wan Aziza Wan Ismail, in Malaysia. The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, a number of ministers, and members of the diplomatic and consular corps.

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The award is a prize dedicated to the efforts of Muslim women in all spheres of life, awarded by the International Trade Centre of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) International Business Centre based in Malaysia, with the participation of the Islamic Centre for Trade Development (ICDT) based in Morocco, a subsidiary organ of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) tasked with promoting trade and investment in OIC countries.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive the Muslim World Rania Award 2024 for my contributions to diplomacy, politics, and women’s affairs,” Dr Al Jishi told Bahrain This Week in an exclusive interview.
“This prestigious recognition serves as a testament to the collective dedication and hard work of all those who have supported and collaborated with me on this important journey. I firmly believe that focusing on women and the advancement of diplomacy are essential components for a brighter and more equitable future, not just in Bahrain, but across the world.”

She extended her heartfelt gratitude to the organisers of the Muslim World Rania Award 2024 and to all those who have supported the mission.
“Together, we will strive to build a more inclusive and equitable world, where every individual, regardless of gender, can thrive and contribute to a prosperous and peaceful global society.”

Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of HM the King and SCW President, congratulated Dr Al Jishi on winning the award, emphasising the recognition as a significant addition to the latter’s record of achievements.

HRH Princess Sabeeka also reiterated her belief in the capabilities of Bahraini women and the strong support they receive from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and through the efforts of the government, led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

“I am immensely grateful for the support and encouragement that I have received from the leadership in Bahrain—HM the King, HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, HRH Shaikha Sabeekha bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, and from my colleagues, mentors, and the community. I am very grateful to HE Dr. Abdullatif Alzayani for nominating me to this Award which is dedicated to every Bahraini women” said Dr Al Jishi.
“This award reinforces the significance of our ongoing efforts to create meaningful impact in the lives of people and to foster constructive diplomatic relations.”

Dr Al Jishi, boasting a PhD in education and educational media from the University of Boston and a Master’s in Middle East Studies from the University of London, has been deeply engaged in Bahraini politics. In 2000, she played a pivotal role as a committee member drafting the National Action Charter. Subsequently, she ascended to the Shura Council, the upper house of the bicameral parliament, where she wielded significant influence as the second deputy chairperson. Renowned for her advocacy for women and family rights, her ambassadorship in Brussels marks her inaugural diplomatic appointment.

“We are celebrating a milestone event for Bahrain—25 years of HM’s accession to the throne,” she said.
“We are marking Women’s Day. We are gearing up to observe the holy month. As we celebrate these milestones, I am reminded of the collective responsibility we share in championing gender equality and promoting inclusive diplomacy. I am committed to utilizing this platform and my award to further amplify the voices of women, advocate for their rights, and continue the advancement of diplomatic collaborations. It is my sincere hope that this honour will inspire and encourage future generations to pursue their aspirations, embrace leadership roles, and contribute to meaningful change in their communities and beyond.”

The award was presented for the first time at the Muslim World Biz Exhibition and Conference held in September 2017, where five Malaysian women, two from Iran, and two from Turkey were honoured. In the second edition of the award held in September 2019, 12 women personalities from Malaysia, the UAE, India, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Qatar, and Iran were honoured.

Fourteen women from Bahrain, the UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, Nigeria, Senegal, and Iran were awarded the prize this year.

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