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LDF Fellow From Yemen Bags The Vital Voices Global Leadership Award

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LDF 2012 Fellow from Yemen, Shatha al-Harazi, adds another feather to her hat and raises the profile of the Leaders for Democracy project sponsored by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the U.S. Department of State! The Executive Education Programs at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University would like to congratulate Shatha for winning a coveted Vital Voices Global Leadership Award.

On June 6th, the international NGO Vital Voices presented its annual Global Leadership Awards at Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center.  This award as described by the organizers “honors and celebrates women leaders around the world who are the unsung heroines working to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity, and protect human rights.”  Constituted in 2002, this year’s ceremony specifically recogznied female leaders like Shatha who emerged during the Arab Spring.  Shatha was also honored with theGlobal Trailblazer Award, presented to women who advocate for women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa.

Shatha is a human rights and political reporter at the “Yemen Times,” the first independent English-speaking newspaper in Yemen, as well as a freelance journalist who has published extensively in the Middle East and in Europe.  She was a member of the main coalition participating in the Yemeni revolution and was part of the negotiating team who met with President Saleh.  A human rights activist, she is one of the founders of the ADWARNA campaign to empower Yemeni youth, and a board member of the International Press Institute, which has worked on defending freedom of speech for the last 60 years.

Cheering Shatha among the audience was Executive Education MENA program manager, Julia Ganson, and Shatha’s fellow participants in the LDF 2012 cohort.

For more information on Shatha’s profile click here:


Written by shatha

November 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Posted in ME by others :)

Vital Voices Global Partnership honors female leaders, Washington Post

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By Published: June 6

As the sightseers round a corner in a chartered van, their tour guide recites facts about the capital city through a scratchy microphone. But these are no ordinary tourists. Salwa Bugaighis and Amira Yahyaoui, two of nine female activists from around the world being feted in Washington this week, are deep in conversation about feminism and its frustrations in the aftermath of their countries’ revolutions.Household names in their homelands, the dissidents — Bugaighis, one of the first women on Libya’s transitional council, who resigned to protest the role’s tokenism, and Yahyaoui, 27, Tunisia’s leading anti-censorship blogger — will be honored Wednesday night at the Kennedy Center by the Vital Voices Global Partnership. The event is sort of like the Oscars, but for the world’s toughest women’s rights activists.

Written by shatha

November 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm

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Vital Voices Celebrates Women Leaders Worldwide

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Wiswedel 120606 MG 1140-Edit

On June 6th, the international NGO Vital Voices presented its annual Global Leadership Awards at Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center. An organization renowned for its educational and financial support of female leaders worldwide, Vital Voices celebrated this year’s awards along with the launch of a new book written by the organization’s Global Partnership President and CEO, Alyse Nelson – Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World. The book’s foreword by Secretary Hilary Clinton, as well as Hilary Clinton’s annual appearance at the Global Leadership Awards, attests to the NGO’s legitimacy and far-reaching potential. Although Secretary Clinton could not make it to this year’s ceremony, her daughter Chelsea Clinton presented an award in her stead, accompanied by other famous activists, journalists, and politicians.

The event kicked off on Tuesday evening at the House of Sweden on the Georgetown waterfront, where speakers such as Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, lauded Nelson for her contributions to the organization. During Nelson’s time as President of the Vital Voices Global Partnership, the organization has expanded its network to include over 12,000 women leaders in 44 countries. Ambassador Verveer stated, “I’m very proud of Alyse,” and relayed the story of Nelson’s travels to the 1995 U.N. Conference on Women in Bejing, where she heard Hillary Clinton’s famous declaration, “Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.” Verveer attested that Nelson “told herself that day she would dedicate the rest of her life to helping women around the world, and she has truly done that.”

Ambassador Verveer also thanked the Swedish Embassy for hosting the event, noting that the majority of the Swedish cabinet is female, and that “the equality between men and women in Sweden on an array of issues, from economic participation to political to access to education” makes it “one of the most prosperous countries as well, because we know that where there is great gender equality, there is a better outcome for everybody.” Following Ambassador Verveer’s speech, previous Global Leadership award recipient Inez McCormack of Ireland commented on the humility she felt before a room full of powerful women, namely, fellow Global Leadership honorees, Vital Voices executives, and social entrepreneurship and non-profit pioneers.

The following evening’s event at the Kennedy Center Opera House also included appearances by illustrious women — and a few illustrious men. Wolf Blitzer of CNN joined an impressive group of female award presenters: Susan Ann Davis, Chair of the Board at Vital Voices; Diane von Furstenberg, former Princess of Furstenberg and fashion designer; U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison; Andrea Mitchell of NBC; Tina Brown of Newsweek and The Daily Beast; Carol Lancaster, Dean of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; Chelsea Clinton; and Mariane Pearl, a freelance journalists and columnist for Glamour.

More striking than the ceremony’s presenters, however, were the award recipients. The nine honorees at the Global Leadership Awards, representing Liberia, Mexico, Samoa, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, simultaneously incorporate and overcome their culture’s traditions in order to promote change. (Read more about the recipients here.) Although differentiated by their causes, their class, and their nationality, their views converge at internationally recognized notions of justice and equality. As Chelsea Clinton explained in her presentation of the Fern Holland Tribute, women’s empowerment is an issue affecting both sexes and certainly not limited to certain cultures. In reference to her mother’s experience as Secretary of State, Chelsea finds that she has “embedded… an ethos and understanding into the center of our American diplomacy around the world. In every American embassy, women’s voices are now paid attention to in the countries in which they’re based, and our diplomats now notice when women’s voices are silent.”

At the evening’s close, a final honor, the Global Trailblazer Award, was presented to five women who advocate for women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa: Manal al-Sharif of Saudi Arabia, Marianne Ibrahim of Egypt, Shatha al-Harazi of Yemen, Amira Yahyaoui of Tunisia, and Salwa Bugaighis of Libya. A number of these women used international mediums to share, and hopefully transform, some of their nation’s customs. Manal al-Sharif, for instance, used Youtube to upload a video of herself driving, an act that is forbidden to Saudi Arabian women. Additionally, Shatha al-Harazi used social media as a means of journalism and activism during the Arab Spring, ultimately publishing freelance work in a number of international news sources.

The evening came to its climax with an appearance by Tawakkul Karman, the 2011 co-recipient of the Nobel Prize, the first Arab woman to receive the Prize, and the second Muslim to receive the Prize. Known as the “Mother of the Revolution” in Yemen, Karman offered some wisdom on the convergence of local and international women’s rights just after leading the audience in a cheer, “One, two, three, four, Bashar al-Assad out the door!”

She said solemnly, “Every great revolution requires great women. Every great country has great women.” Her words were especially moving as they followed an announcement that Manal al-Sharif could not join the ceremony because she feared she would not be able to return to her country. But Karman was filled more with hope for the future than lamentation of the present, and echoed the Global Trailblazer recipients’ attitude that their history was not solely that of women, but also of their country at large. Marianne Ibrahim of Egypt stated, for instance, that at the frontlines of the revolution, “for a few seconds… there were no sexes, just Egyptians.” By engaging in national and indeed, international causes, these women empower females everywhere — and create, in the Melanne Verveer’s words, “a better outcome for everybody.”

Photo above by Micky Wiswedel. All photos courtesy of Vital Voices.

Farmer Diane and Rosana on stage


Diane von Furstenberg, left, presents Rosana Schaack of Liberia with the Human Rights Award. Photo: Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks.




Farmer Trailblazers with Tawakkol

Vital Voices founder Melanne Verveer, right, Amira Yahyaoui of Tunisia, Marianne Ibrahim of Egypt, Salwa Bugaighis of Libya, Shatha Al-Harazi of Yemen, listen as 2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Tawakkol Karman, right, presents the 2012 Global Leadership Awards. Photo: Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks.


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2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Tawakkol Karman speaks with audience members. Photo: Micky Wiswedel.




Farmer MENA group hug on stage


As the evening comes to a close, the 2012 Global Leadership Award recipients embrace. Photo: Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks.



Written by shatha

November 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Posted in ME by others :)

Women Who Rock the World: Activists Gather for Vital Voices Awards by Abigail Pesta

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Firebrands from far-flung corners of the planet converge in D.C. for the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards. But one Saudi activist is forced to stay home amid death threats. By Abigail Pesta.


Nobel Prize winner Tawakkol Karman started a revolution in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night. The Yemeni human-rights activist rallied a packed audience at the annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards to join her in a rousing chant to vanquish dictators.

“One, two, three, four. Bashir, Assad out the door,” she said in reference to the leaders of Sudan and Syria. “Five, six, seven, eight. Stop the killing, stop the hate.”

The crowd of 2,000 at the Kennedy Center Opera House joined in—somewhat tentatively at first, then more forcefully as Karman kept chanting.

Organizers of the event, hosted by the nonprofit group Vital Voices, which trains women leaders around the world, said afterward at the dinner that they had no idea the rallying cry was on Karman’s agenda. It’s just what happens when you bring together some of the planet’s most powerful voices for peace and human rights.

Karman, who won the Nobel Prize this past fall for her fight for freedom of the press and human rights in Yemen, joined four outspoken activists from across the Middle East onstage: Libyan human-rights lawyer Salwa Bugaighis, Yemeni journalist Shatha Al-Harazi, Tunisian blogger Amira Yahyaoui, and Egyptian women’s rights activist Marianne Ibrahim. All have put themselves in harm’s way through their work, with journalist Al-Harazi receiving death threats after suggesting to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh at a face-to-face meeting that he resign. The four women shared the Global Trailblazer Award.

Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s Abigail Pesta interviews Alyse Nelson.

In another poignant moment, Chelsea Clinton described the significance of the Fern Holland Award, named for a young Oklahoma woman who went to Iraq in 2003 with the Coalition Provisional Authority to support the transitional government. In 2004, Holland was shot dead at age 34, in a car in Karbala, along with American press officer Robert Zangas and Iraqi translator Salwa Ourmashi.

Clinton spoke with poise and also a sprinkling of humor, drawing a laugh when she said her mother wants to make the world a better place for the next generation of women—including the grandchildren she hopes to have, soon.

Clinton and Holland’s sister, Viola Holland-Christianson, presented the Fern Holland Award to a death-defying Pakistani filmmaker named Samar Minallah Khan. Through her documentary films, Khan tells the stories that the militants and tribal elders would rather keep silent—such as the stories of young girls given away as domestic slaves to settle family disputes.

Hillary Clinton couldn’t make the event, for the first time in 11 years, as she was on a State Department trip to Turkey, but greeted guests onscreen. She and Madeleine Albright had inspired the nonprofit Vital Voices in 2000, after launching a government initiative in 1997 called the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative, aimed at advancing women’s economic and political roles.

Chelsea Clinton drew a laugh when she said her mother wants to make the world a better place for the next generation of women—including the grandchildren she hopes to have, soon.

The Human Rights Award, presented by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, went to Rosana Schaack, the founder of a group in Liberia that works to rehabilitate thousands of former girl soldiers. The group, called Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness, recently expanded to help survivors of rape and women displaced by the country’s long-running civil war, which ended in 2003.

Written by shatha

November 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Posted in ME by others :)

the global Leadership Award Video

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This Video was made to be shown to at least 3000 people who attended the Global Leadership Award  at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, June 2012. I was featured in the video with the other four incredible ladies who were to be awarded the Leadership award.

Our 2012 Global Leadership Awards Honorees: Adi (Samoa), Marianne (Egypt), Salwa (Libya), Shatha (Yemen), Samar, Rosana (Liberia), Ruth (Mexico) and Amira (Tunisia) at the Tidal Basin.     Photo: Micky Wiswedel.

check the video here:

Written by shatha

November 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Posted in ME by others :)

Vital Voices, global Leadership Award

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Middle  East and North Africa, Human Right

Global Leadership Awards

Shatha Al-Harazi is a social media activist and a political and human rights journalist. During the Arab Spring, Shatha reported from the front lines for a number of international news sources. Pointed and fearless in her critiques, she was invited, along with other Yemeni activists, for a face-to-face meeting with President Saleh in February 2011. “I told him he should resign,” she says. Afterward, she received death threats.

It’s no surprise that Shatha has become an intrepid reporter.  As a university student, after publishing an article about professors sexually harassing students, she was forced to change her major from journalism to public relations.  Still, in 2009, she graduated as the top student with honors. A teacher in the Faculty of Mass Communication at the University of Sana’a, she is recognized in Yemen — and throughout the region — as a bold advocate for the truth.

Vital Voices website

Written by shatha

November 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm

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الصحفية اليمنية شذى الحرازي تفوز بجائزة القيادات النسائية العالمية

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فازت الصحفية شذى الحرازي بجائزة القيادات النسائية العالمية في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية لدورها في مناصرة حقوق الإنسان في اليمن ومشاركتها في العمل الصحفي بشكل كبير خاصة خلال المرحلة الأخيرة التي شهدت فيها اليمن انتهاكات لحقوق الإنسان وأعمال عنف، وتم اختيارها ضمن تسع نساء من مختلف دول العالم بينهن خمس نساء عربيات.

ومنحت مؤسسة أصوات أساسية في أمريكا شذى الحرازي من اليمن الجائزة لدورها في إعداد التقارير الصحفية حول حقوق الإنسان في صحف يمنية محلية نالت اهتمام كبير وكان لها تأثير على وسائل الإعلام الاجتماعية.

وتعد الصحفية شذى الحرازي من أنشط الصحفيات اليمنيات المهتمات بمجال حقوق الإنسان ومشاركتها في المشاريع الشبابية والعمل المدني.

وتمنح الجائزة كل عام منذ اطلقت في عام 2002، للاعتراف بدور النساء اجتماعيا وسياسيا واقتصاديا وفي النشاط الحقوقي و المدني

مارب برس

Written by shatha

November 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Posted in ME by others :)

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