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Lana Abu Hijleh Among the Top 100 Inspiring Women in the World

BBC selected Lana Abu Hijleh, Global Communities Country Director in West Bank/Gaza, as one of the 100 most inspiring women in the world in 2015. This is the third year of BBC’s initiative to highlight inspiring women, with the goal of sharing the stories of these pioneering women with the rest of the world. Abu Hijleh was selected for her role in development, humanitarian work, and leadership in Palestine over the past 30 years.

BBC’s selection this year included women from various sectors including business, sciences, academia, politics, arts, social work, and humanitarian assistance. Regarding being selected among the 2015 women, Abu Hijleh stated: “I am honored to have been selected and to have the opportunity to share my story because it represents the many women in Palestine whose families invested in ensuring they receive a good education. Despite the challenges that Palestinians face, especially Palestinian women, these women [used their education] to work in a variety of fields and succeeded in many areas, including areas that were previously dominated only by males.”

Abu Hijleh further commented, “I hope that my story will inspire young Palestinian and Arab women, and that it will motivate them to work hard, to have faith in their abilities, to overcome challenges, and to be active in any work in which they can excel. There are so many stories of success and inspiration.”

Abu Hijleh hopes that her story will not only inspire other women, but will also encourage them to serve the needs of their country. Speaking of her commitment to Palestine, in her interview, Abu Hijleh states, “I cannot leave here as long as my country needs me. I have never found a place more beautiful or with nicer people than Palestine, and despite the sometimes overwhelming challenges here, this is what motivates me and helps me move forward with a smile on the face.”

She also stated, “My dream is to keep working, and to keep inspiring other Palestinian women, and to see the day when today’s young bright women have gained the experience and knowledge to take over my role and the role of other Palestinian women in working for the good of Palestine.”

In 2013, BBC began dedicating one month each year to focus on women around the world, highlighting their opportunities and challenges. BBC stated “Women achieved incredible successes over the past year. However, despite their great strides, they continue to face huge challenges as compared to men.” This is what motivated BBC to focus on women leaders each year and to open the discussion about women’s horizons in the 21st century.

Please refer to this link for the full report: http://www.bbc.com/arabic/multimedia/2015/12/151202_w100_engineer_lana_abu_hijleh_palestinian_woman