Beirut hosts The 2nd New Arab Woman Forum (NAWF)
- Lebanon: Thursday, September 11 - 2008 at 10:56
- PRESS RELEASE
A press conference was held at the Lebanese Ministry of Information in Beirut to announce the the 2nd New Arab Woman Forum (NAWF) scheduled to take place on October 23-24, 2008 at the Intercontinental Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut.
The press conference was attended by the Lebanese Minister of Information Dr. Tarek Mitri, Raouf Abou Zaki, the General Manager of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group, Mazen Hayek, Group Director of Marketing, PR and Commercial Affairs at MBC Group and the Executive Chair of the "New Arab Woman Forum (NAWF)" Dr. Nadine Abou Zaki.
The press conference was also attended by key business and social personalities, as well as representatives of the Lebanese and Arab Press.
Dr. Tarek Metri The press conference started with a welcome speech by the Minister of Information Dr. Tarek Metri who expressed his pleasure on the occasion and said that "our friends in Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal always surprise us with new creative events and open doors that were closed in Lebanon".
Explaining further, Dr. Mitri stressed the importance of the New Arab Woman Forum in that:
a. It is an activity based on a partnership between a number of cooperating institutions which are all working for its success, and this sets a new tradition in Lebanon.
b. It is an event concerned with the Arab woman, and we are in a region that is increasingly convinced day after day that there is no real renaissance without the full role of woman, and appreciation of the importance of woman in our cultural and public life. In fact the forum is an occasion to highlight the pioneering role of women in many fields.
c. The event also highlights the pioneering spirit of Lebanon and the Lebanese for in spite of all the difficulties and what happened to Lebanon, and in spite of the suffering and the immigrating of many Lebanese, Lebanon still plays a leading role in the region.
Raouf Abou Zaki The General Manager of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group pointed out that the launching of the New Arab Women Forum by Al Iktissad Wal A'amal Group was the outcome of two main factors.
The first factor was undoubtedly Al Hasna'a Magazine, which is member of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group and a pioneering women's and family magazine in the Arab World first published nearly 100 years ago.
Al Hasna'a has looked at this forum as a natural extension to its continuous development, and a complimentary activity that focuses on circumstances and issues that face Arab women at a time of change and evolution.
The second factor was Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal's faith in the important economic role of the Arab woman whether in production or in business and public leadership, or indeed as mother and head of the household.
Mr. Abu Zaki further added that the resounding success of the first forum that was held in Dubai was proof enough that the Arab economy and society needed a major and serious platform to consider issues of the modern Arab woman and to follow up on her increasing involvement in the world of business, politics, culture and other areas and activities.
Mr. Abu Zaki stressed that Al-Iktissad Wal-A'amal Group considers the New Arab Woman Forum not only an event for women, but a vital platform for Arab society in all its diversified and active components.
And on that basis, the Group and Al Hasna'a Magazine had been keen to include among organizers of this year's event, in addition to the Arab League, ESCWA and MBC, the Ministries of Information and Culture in Lebanon in recognition of the role these two ministries have played in developing and enhancing the role of women and increasing public awareness of its importance. Keeping in mind, of course, that women's issues cut across the activities and responsibilities of most ministries and public bodies.
Mr. Abu Zaki ended by expressing the deep appreciation of the Group and Al Hasna'a to the First Lady of Lebanon Mr. Wafa Michel Suleiman for her patronage of the conference as well as to the ministers of information and culture and all organizers and private and public bodies that are working to ensure the success of the forthcoming forum.
Mazen Hayek The Group Director of Marketing, PR and Commercial at MBC Mazen Hayek said: "when we met a year ago to announce the cooperation of MBC group with Iktissad Wal Aamal group and Al Hasnaa Magazine to launch the first ever "New Arab Woman Forum (NAWF)" in Dubai, we urged our fellow Arabs to look into the different ways that advocate openness, reform and progressiveness and thus allow Arab women to participate and play a more powerful role in society, as opposed to traditional patterns. And today, we urge you to do the same, more than ever!"
Mr. Hayek added that "as MBC and as a leading broadcaster in the Arab world, we have continually advocated the Arab woman to be a pioneer in achieving excellence and innovation, and this attempt is clearly reflected in our well-known and reputed female figures on screen, who were able to enter the hearts and minds of millions of viewers.
This is true especially of our entertainment and news programs, as well as talk shows, drama and comedy series, and I can distinctly name "The Turkish Drama" which was dubbed in Arabic, in addition to the many other series which are of interest to women's concerns: "Oyoun Aliyah", "Sharr Al Nufous", "Aswar", "Kalam Nawaem", "Suoudiyat Mouaasirat", "Sabah El Kheir Ya Arab" on MBC 1, and "Oprah", "Dr.Phil", and many others on MBC4...."
And he said: "This is not to say that these programs were particularly produced to incite the Arab woman to play a more important role, however, we cannot ignore the fact that the special focus on women's concerns allowed her to voice her opinion, be it directly or indirectly, across the different channels and platforms which MBC offers. This contributed to raising awareness amongst young females to enter the work field in the hope of building better societies and families."
Commenting further on the success of Noor, Mr. Hayek referred to audience interest figures, particularly amongst the female population in the Arab world where the final episodes of that series on MBC4 reached 85 million viewers above 15 years of age in the Middle East and North Africa region, out of whom 50 million were female, A number that equals more than half of the adult female population in the Arab world."
Dr. Nadine Abou Zaki The Executive Chair of the "New Arab Woman Forum (NAWF)" Dr. Nadine Abou Zaki expected total attendance at this year's forum to exceed 600 and reiterated that the success of the first forum in Dubai last year was an added incentive for Al Hasna'a and the other organizers to redouble efforts in developing this year's forum which enjoys the participation of a distinguished group of personalities, including women ministers and leaders in business, culture, the arts, and social work, media representatives, experts in different fields, the heads of government bodies and social institutions and other personalities and activists in different areas and sectors from Lebanon, the Arab world, and other countries.
Ms. Abu Zaki provided some details on the program of the forthcoming second forum and pointed out that the agenda will mainly focus on the changing and developing role of Arab women, whether in public affairs or in social, economic, cultural and educational and scientific activities. But the forum will also take a step further to look at the challenges facing the Arab woman today, and will be bold enough to engage in frank discussion of major questions and controversial issues that fall under the following headings:
• The Arab woman in political life.
• The mystique of leadership and the growing leadership role of Arab women.
• Arab women and modern technology: does it help strengthen their position and will it determine their future identity?
• What is the role model of women that should be promoted and consolidated in the Arab world.
• Do the achievements of Arab women jeopardize traditional values in the view of the Arab men, and what is the opinion of Arab societies and men in particular on the changing role and status of the woman in the region?
The following companies are sponsoring the Forum: Philip Morris International;
Procter & Gamble;
HP- Hewlett- Packard.
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