Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser: A Woman of Many Talents
By Ghana Harb Conord
May 22, 2013
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al Missned, wife of His Highness the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, has been garnering praise in the fashion world for years. As she showcases her much admired fashion sense (while at the same time adhering to the conservative nature of Islam) with floor-grazing hemlines and chic turbans, her style shines through in every outfit, resonating with women from all walks of life. Whether she is in a full-length, cranberry dress or a lime green pants suit with matching turban, HH Sheikha Moza always hits the right notes.
Ranking second in Vanity Fair’s 2011 International Best Dressed List, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser is always impeccably dressed, using a marvelous array of headpieces and belts to accentuate her outfits of bold, eye-popping colors. In fact, top British designer Julien Macdonald remarked, "Not since Jackie O has any first lady had such global resonance in terms of fashion. Her personal style is rich with power and confidence, yet retains a real femininity that many women aspire to.”
Dedicated to Making a Difference
Not surprisingly, HH Sheikha Moza’s influence and confidence are also felt far beyond the realm of the fashion world. You need only ask any young Qatari citizen what their thoughts are of Her Highness and they will eagerly begin to tell you about her ongoing encouragement of young men and women to better themselves by pursuing higher learning, and to serve their country and the world in productive and humanitarian ways. HH Sheikha Moza also plays a key role in supporting her husband’s far-reaching and visionary agenda to transform Qatar into a thriving, knowledge-based society capable of competing in the global economy. In fact, she has been a driving force behind education and social reforms in Qatar for more than 15 years.
It is the shared belief of His Highness the Emir and Her Highness Sheikha Moza that the character, potential and empowerment of the Qatari people are the nation’s most valuable assets. Therefore, it is fitting that the vision for Qatar combines all of their efforts to shape the country into a place where the best aspects of tradition and modernity thrive together in a way that enables Qataris to secure their future in the global marketplace by building a knowledge-based economy at home.
To support this vision, HH Sheikha Moza has pursued fresh ideas and created many opportunities to evolve the status of Qatari women. As a result of this work, she was named a UNESCO special envoy for basic and higher education in 2003. In 2008, she was appointed Alliance of Civilizations (AOC) Ambassador by the Secretary General of the UN, and in 2010 she became a member of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Advocacy Group, focusing mainly on MDG’s second goal – achieving universal primary education by 2015.
In addition, HH Sheikha Moza has taken on other key roles in expanding civil society, which have in turn enabled her to focus on creating education opportunities and empowering women in Qatar. Such roles have included President of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs since 1998; Vice-President of the Supreme Education Council since 2002; Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development since 1995; and Chairperson of the Arab Democracy Foundation.
In line with her vision of giving academics a stronger role in crafting Qatar’s future and her belief in the role of education in healing and nurturing humanity, HH Sheikha Moza serves as a member of the Board of Overseers for Weill Cornell Medical College. Furthermore, she was a driving force behind Education City and Al Jazeera Children's Channel, and, most recently, she became Chair of the Sidra Medical and Research Centre – a training and research hospital that is envisaged to become a leading institution for women and children’s specialty care.
Ranked 74th on the Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Women List, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser is actively involved on the international stage, spearheading projects to promote peace and human development throughout the world. Such initiatives include the International Fund for Higher Education in Iraq, and the Silatech initiative which is focused on addressing the growing challenge of youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa. Additionally, she is involved with Education Above All, a policy research and advocacy organization singularly focused on protecting the right to education in conflict-affected areas.
HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser always looks the part of a First Lady, captivating and alluring, with an amazing graceful ease. She is elegant and sophisticated; yet, the beauty of her commitment and dedication to advancing the role of women in public life and promoting the importance of education outshines even the most glamorous photo.