Not a single adjective or representation nor any of her numerous (ten, to be exact) former employments could sufficiently and properly introduce the unique individual that is Rumaitha al-Busaidi. Undoubtedly, this young activist’s energy could easily fuel at least a few people around her and still keep her going.
The beginning of her career is connected to the football field. She co-created one of the world’s first national women football teams associated with FIFA. In 2007, after its unfortunate disintegration, a radio producer introduced her to a proposal of undertaking – as the first female in the Arab world – a radio broadcast on women’s football that she gladly accepted. As a sports commentator in this heavily masculinized environment, she has been repeatedly threatened along with being pressured to resign from the position she held. As Al-Busaidi keeps saying nowadays, “With time, people got used to it and today they show a lot of support”. Her passion for sport is nurtured by her continuous trips around the world. Above all, encouraging other women to follow her steps is her goal. The activist has already reached the South Pole. Now she is in the process of reaching the Volcanic Seven Summits.
In the meantime, Al-Busaidi managed to work on her language skills and mastered her English by studying at foreign universities. She obtained her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard. She also graduated in Environmental Engineering Services LLC from Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. Thanks to her education, she was hired to work on a governmental project focused on creating integrated aquaculture systems. The aim of it is to develop ecological forms of management of the natural environment. Moreover, Al-Busaidi works with governmental agencies on issues concerning food production, fisheries development and nature conservation.
Cooperation with female ambassadors of Oman – the first women in such positions in the Arab world – made her realise the privilege of working in such a progressive country in the context of the geographical region. She has emphasised that privilege by establishing WomeX – a platform that brings together female activists from countries of the Persian Gulf and supports their self-development. Meanwhile, she is also working towards expanding women’s involvement in the field of nature conservation. In her TED Talks, she speaks up about women who are affected by climate change. Al-Busaidi emphasises the fact that their involvement in the case is as powerful and impactful as political and technological instruments.
Today Rumaitha Al-Busaidi is said to be “the role model to follow” by the Global Shapers Community and European Commission (One Young World Peace Ambassador). She also became an ambassador of the Challenge 22 Project – Qatar’s program to support innovative entrepreneurs of the region in the upcoming World Football Championships. The wide range of activities undertaken by Al-Busaidi are best summarised by herself and represented by her slogan of last year’s International Women’s Day that says:
From challenge comes change so let’s all choose to challenge.
Translated by Justyna Krawczyk. Article by Michał Misiarczyk. Reviewed by Maja Robaszkiewicz.