- ‘KLIM Women of Strength' attracted a large number of social media interaction with more than 46,000 likes on Facebook and amazing entries from women of strength across the region
- Esteemed judging panel selected five incredible women whose stories moved and inspired them
- Public voted for three winners via Facebook who will each receive a cash prize of USD 20,000 to help them continue along the road to making their dreams come true
Dubai, UAE – 30th April 2013:- Nestlé Middle East today announces the three winners of the ‘KLIM Women of Strength' program, a region-wide initiative aimed at identifying and recognizing outstanding women in the Arab world. The three winners are:
- Nermin Said, a Jordanian engineer living in KSA
- Manal Zayed, a pioneering optician from the town of Rusayfeh in Jordan
- Veronique Mrad, an innovative children's author from Lebanon
Over 200 women participated via social media forums or were nominated by friends, family or co-workers. The Nestlé panel of judges – which includes Sarah Shuhail, Executive Director of Ewa'a Shelters for Women and Children; Nisreen Shocair, President of Virgin Megastore, MENA Region; Heba Al Shaar, Consultant for Strategy Marketing and Communication; Rasha Al Danhani, Chairman and Owner of PappaRoti Cafés and Zeinab Maktabi, Corporate Nutritionist at Nestlé Middle East - then reviewed the submissions and chose five inspiring finalists: Nermin Said, Manal Zayed, Fatma Al Qassimi, Haifa Khalid, and Veronique Mrad.
The stories of the five finalists were posted on the Nestle KLIM Facebook page, and the public was then able to vote for their favourite Woman of Strength. The voting ended on the 28th of April and the three women with the highest number of votes were Nermin Said, Manal Zayed, and Veronique Mrad. These three winners will each receive US$20,000.
Nermin Said is a Jordanian engineer living in Saudi, who faced huge challenges when trying to get back in to the professional engineering work environment after having children. Her innovative efforts led to the creation of her online business ‘Handasiyat' which has enabled female engineers in both Jordan and KSA to continue to work as engineers from home.
Manal Zayed is a determined entrepreneur from Rusayfeh, Jordan. She started her own business despite facing significant challenges, and used her drive and ambition to help change negative attitudes towards wearing glasses in the rural area in which she lives, by visiting schools and educating parents and teachers. She also undertook charity work by providing eyeglasses to the elderly at a very low cost.
Veronique Mrad from Lebanon is a children's author with a difference. She creates children's comic books that feature superheroes who help teach them right from wrong, and help them make sense of the violence and war they see around them. She started this in response to the on-going conflict in her country and the region, as she felt children needed to be equipped to process their fears and anxieties rather than suppress them.
The three ladies will be crowned the winners ‘KLIM Women of Strength' at a gala ceremony in Dubai. Each winner will receive a cash prize of USD 20,000 to help them continue along the road to making their dreams come true.
“I applaud all the women of strength who took part in the programme, each and every one of them has made a significant contribution to her community and society and has worked in some way to change and improve the world around her,” said Rainer Mueller, Communications Director at Nestlé Middle East. “It's a privilege for Klim and Nestlé to have the opportunity to honour these outstanding ladies and reward their efforts.”
The ‘KLIM Women of Strength' programme was open to all Arab women over 18 years of age residing in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, and Lebanon, with the aim of recognizing the struggles, achievements and inner strength of women in the Middle East.