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Global Women's Forum Dubai 'live': 'Against UK-France, UAE metrics better'

By Team Emirates 24|7

Day 2, Global Women's Forum Dubai

Becky Anderson head of CNN, Abu Dhabi bureau

“Most journalists, or an architect or lawyer. All of those are about making a difference.

“Always find a bespoke area to enter journalism.

“Post Arab Spring, difficult time in the region, I believe we needed to have stories from this region, from a prism in this region."

Arab woman stereotype

"I agree they are stereotyped more. People discuss this region a lot.

“There were perceptions of this region that I have now put to bed.

“Now it's the job of a journalist to knock off misconceptions."

Are perceptions changing?

“We aren't getting job done. An event like this forum should be important as the job individual journalists do.

“This country is making noise for women's empowerment.

“When I stack up against UK or France, UAE metrics are much better.

“International media say one story about Saudi, that women don't drive. Saudis say let's talk about women in business, about women in legislation."

Role of women in UAE?

“I employ a number of Emirati women. Their role is similar to one I have. They want to get out, work. And family is very important to them, unlike the West.

“As a culture, it's misrepresented at times around the world.

“Create a role for yourselves and don't be shy about it.”

Youth active in changing perception. True?

“Absolutely. You are using a mobile phone. You are engaged. It's about messaging, like a rap duo in Kuwait doing it through music.

“Any new show should be li‎ke a good dinner party.

“You don't only talk about that story, you talk about lots of topic at a dinner table.

“”The story from here is more exciting than San Francisco.

“Local media talk about stories that matter. And not just news.

“My role as a journalist is to talk about stuff that makes a different.”

Foreign vs local journalist

“Journalism changed in last 20 years. The way we gather and disseminate.

“It's about trust and impartiality.

“As a fourth estate, you are there to ask questions about the other three estates.”

What keeps you up at night on the future of region?

“Same thing that worries Queen Rania or anyone else. The potential for a generation amidst this roiling conflict in region.

“Best journalist is telling story from eyes of humans, the people.

“Watching the suffering here, child washed up in Turkey.”

Sarah Amiri talks of Growth of Science and Technology

When we started off in the 70s there was practically nothing. This is a generation of highly skilled professionals, doctors and scientists, etc.

At the space center for example we have been designing our own systems and providing the right environment for scientists to allow them to flourish. That's what we have been doing for the past seven years.

We need to have that idea to push boundaries. Especially, space program programme has a wide impact on various other sectors, in particular the various sciences.
When you are doing space systems you have to put in place strict regulations because there is life involved or there are other factors more precious. You are sending the system out of the world.

How do you feel as a woman?

These questions are quite sad... Because I have reached here because of my hardwork.

How do you qualify a person to be a scientist?

I will speak on behalf of space sector. The thought just did not come just like that. It has been in the making for the past ten years. You need to have your own infrastructure to do, your own lab. We started developing the human element first, then came the facilities. It takes a long time to produce scientists and these scientists have to move out of the conventional term and into every realm of society.

Did you imagine yourself in this position?

We need to start at a very young age and there is a dedicated team specially geared towards that. Furthering Science and technology among society. The spend on science and tech is 0.18 per cent of GDP

In the scientific field how is competition handled between women?

Knowledge is not owned by a single individual. Individuals are there to support the organisation. It is always the team that enables growth. What I mean is the entire back-office. It has to be a complete system. A healthy competition.

What will be your legacy?

I would like to see UAE spending the most on R&D. We have to be number one.


Session: I am because I tweet

Twitter has developed into a powerful platform for showcasing the talents and achievements of Arab women for a wider international audience.


Dr. Heba Al Samt, Director of Digital, Dubai Channel Network, Founder and president of social media club, UAE

Fida Chaaban, Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Iman Ben Chaibah, Editor in Chief for Sail Magazine

‎Question: Describe journey on Twitter

Fida: I make it a point to be on Twitter. Career-wise, though, it has helped me immensely, ‎partly because I keep a clean digital footprint. Even when I was recruited, they mentioned my Twitter presence.

Iman: Twitter helps create awareness and creates connection with important people in my line of work.

Heba: I literally stumbled across Twitter; I moved from an IT background to Twitter.

Question: Is Twitter catering to a conservative society in the Arab World?

Fida: Twitter is not conservative in the Arab world… people, they are selective.

Iman: We put boundary. If we do in public, you can do on Twitter. It’s an Arab thing. You don’t overshare life. Period.

Heba: Society has changed from 2009. There was no constraint back then. It isn't a society thing then, it was our families accepting or not. I was afraid of what my family would say.

Question: What holds women back on making inroads on Twitter?

Heba: What holds a woman back is herself. Don't make excuses. You are not taking steps then you are making excuses.

Iman: I don't think anything told by society, but rather family issues. To not share on twitter

Fida: I've reached out to hard to meet people. Do not be afraid to tweet to anyone. Use Twitter to develop yourself and positively contribute to Mena.

Iman: Express opinions on twitter. You are representing Mena. Have an opinion and don't have trash on timeline.

Heba: I reply to everyone. Don't know if this healthy. Everyone who speaks to you deserves your reply.


Question: How do you advocate change on Twitter?

Heba: Just be yourself. I tweeted what's in my head, what I would say in public. You will amazed by the amount of engagement.

Question: Role of entrepreneurs on Twitter

Fida: The entrepreneur eco system very active on Twitter. It’s up to us to continue to engage. Tweeting live about small and big wins. Everyone is responsible of their own Twitter account. Whatever facet of life you are in, you need to engage. I like to think, I seek out accounts that are making a change. We have to use our leverage to help out those less account. Followers don't matter, engagement does. Promote those amazing stories that aren't getting the attention.

Question: How can people ‎pave the way?

Fida: I use Twitter, the way I mentor them, make sure they use Twitter. Follow 10 peopple in your space and then 10 outside your space.

Iman: Let's innovate: play with new stuff and what other magazines doing and get inspired. Ask people and engage audience.

Heba: Be yourself, don't be afraid to tweet. Don't be afraid to expose yourself. Don't think of followers, retweets. Just engage. Influencer annoys me. Stop looking for them. Look for advocates.



Session: 80 is the new 50

Speaker: Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, Host of 'The Dr. Oz Show' and Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, USA



Research indicates we will continue to live longer.

The life expectancy of women has risen even faster than that of men. But does living longer mean living better?

Dr. Oz challenged what we take for granted about our allotted time on the planet. He shared his views on how we can disrupt and reinvent the basics so we may adapt to our future.

Sooner than we think, 80 will be the new 50, he said.

If you are healthy, you have the chance to live longer, he said.

Our biological age is 120, he noted, adding: “I bring to you the opportunity to live to 120.”

There are technologies that can increase biological limits ahead of 120, he said.

Not eating meat doesn’t make u live longer, he explained.

Processed meats lead to reduction of your age… like hot dogs. 

Men, he said, spend most of their lives the way they want… to the maximum. Women, on the other hand, face mortality from the point that they attain puberty. Then they get babies, and they always think about their lives and the lives of their families, he said.

Allow me to start at the beginning… What is good life?

It’s many things, not fast cars or money… It’s about food, fun, beauty, sleep, doing things that make you live your lives 100 per cent. 

Many of us think we are healthy because we are not taking medicines or are at hospitals.

“We should began to treasure our lives and bodies,” he said.

“I am a heart surgeon,” he said, adding: “We do open heart surgeries. I will sit in my office. We all have to work hard. And sometimes, we don’t think about anything but work,” he said. 

“80 is the new 50,” Dr. Oz said. Half the people who reached 80 can reach 90, he noted. But we have to seek to reach that age gracefully.”

Dr. Oz outlined the key points to b ring about a change in your lifestyle that will help us not only live longer, but in a more meaningful way. The #1 thing is time, he said. “It is not about time management, but energy management,” he explained.

The second thing is money. “Most of things you need don’t need money,” he explained, suggesting we stop running after it at the expense of leading a good life today.

The third key factor is knowledge, he said. “The reason we fear change is that we don’t know what is there or how to do that,” he said.

Another reason we fear change is because we fear that people might not love us if we change, he said.

He then went on to tell the audience how to bring about a change in their lives. “These are lessons I learnt from opera,” he said.

“Feelings change minds more than facts,” he said. “If you are a smoker, you already know cigarettes are bad for you. When you open a refrigerator, you eat the first thing in front of you as this is what your mind will go to. So, put fruits and juices in the top and leftovers and soft drinks down or in an invisible place,” he suggested. “Make it easy to do the right thing.”

Also, “adore your solutions,” he advised. “Don’t eat healthy foods, but eat healthy foods that you love,” he explained.

“Live the good life,” was his advice.

These are five life adjustments, and we control 70 per cent of them, he noted.

No. 1 is blood pressure. Cholesterol is the body plaster to repair a hole in the body. There are good and bad holes. The UAE has a high percentage of diabetics. This, along with blood pressure, turns skin yellow and also makes you age faster.

Second is that exercising for at least 30 minutes a day is important.

Third, don’t eat just healthy food, but healthy food that you love.

Fourth, control stress and sleep well.

And finally, curtail addiction. We should control our addiction like bad food addiction or bad habits, he said.

The number 1 reason we die of today is heart attack, he explained. “Women live longer than men, so they have more chances of a heart attack,” he said.

“What you eat today can make you get a heart attack tomorrow,” he explained. “What do we do about it?”

Many people don’t even have knowledge about their high blood sugar, he said. 

Physical activities with proper diet can help this, Dr Oz said.

We don’t want people to live longer with more health problems and need to afford to manage their health conditions and disease. We give them medications, but these medications help to slow down the problem, but don’t cure it. The battle for this starts from home, he said.

“Start to change your lifestyle to prevent getting sick to live long with no need to live long on medications,” he said.

He also is put forward a formula to calculate the ideal waist size. "Waist, not weight, is the problem," he said. The ideal waist size, he said, is less than your height divided by 2. Anything above that leads to complications, he said.

"Men should check their waist seize. They don't want to go to hospitals and they don't want people to know their weight," he said.

If you eat good food, your liver loves it. If you eat bad food, this cause problems. You insulin doesn’t work proper, you get diabetes, or high cholesterol or other problems.

“How can we stop sugar craving in 14 days?”

1. All white foods go away. No white bread, no white sugar, and no white food. It is the same like when someone is treated for drugs afflictions in a rehab.

2. Spicy food increase your appetite but also lower your appetite for the next meal.

3. Have protein in breakfast as it keeps you full so you don’t eat much in the next meal.

4. Don’t drink low fat milk as when they remove the fat, then all what is left is water and sugar. So don’t drink low fat milk. Drink full fat milk.

5. Eat eggs.

6. Eat nuts. People don’t eat nuts thinking they’re bad. Always travel with nuts as when you feel hungry, eat nuts. It prevents you from eating bad snacks.

7. Drink coffee. Drink green tea.

8. Don’t drink fizzy drinks because it’s basically sugary water. It also makes you crave to drink more sugar.

9. Exercising is critical. Yoga, Pilates, basic exercise can help a lot. Ten minutes a day will help you. This will not help u to lose weight, but it will allow you to go to 80 and beyond.

Remember, people don’t die of cancer… we don’t’ die of cancer, we die of frailty. 

Human has to endure activities up to the age of 60.

Squat sitting – this is the best exercise.

Sleep increases growth hormones. This is important to look good and feel good

Why we can’t sleep… because of stress. 

Those with big bellies have stress because they don’t sleep well.

Melatonin tart cherry juice has lots of melatonin. Drink at dinnertime to get good sleep. Also, stay away from noise. Women who live in busy areas die faster of heart attacks.

Wear lose pyjamas. Sleep in a temperature you are comfortable at. You have to also control your anger to manage your stress.

An important aspect is to breathe well. Most of us breathe the wrong way. It’s not about full breath. Muna: The right way is to breathe and let the belly button come out. Then exhale by letting the belly button in. Singers are taught this in classes to be able to sing well. Breathing will allow you to calm yourself. You should also use your meditation as it will help.

Life is about doing things again and again. If you forget things and do things wrong, then you can always make a ‘you’ turn.

It takes only two weeks for your body to get used to good things.


Q: How can we manage stress and sleep well when our life is full of stress from work and other things?

A: My job is difficult, as I am a heart surgeon and people die if I make a mistake. I meditate. I use breathing techniques. Too much stress takes us to a dark point, and good stress makes us do good.

I meditate before sleeping. The value of sleep before midnight is much better than after midnight. So, go to bed early, and don’t look at phones after meditating.

Q: What about adduction to screens like iPhones and iPads?

A: Use walking desk while looking at a screen. Social media is a real powerful tool, I love social media, but it takes you to virtual life and it can lead to real problems and death.

Whenever I go to an event, we all are texting and are on social media. We have to live our lives and put limits. So put a limit to it and control it.

Q: What’s your opinion on Cosmetology?

A: I have no problem with Botox or fillers. I tell my wife when I married you, it was for a reason. I like the way you are. But then I noticed that she wants to do it for others. What I don’t like about liposuction is that when uou do liposuction, the fats which were supposed to grow on your belly start growing on your chin. You should exercise and lose weight… not to gain in other places.

Q: What’s the importance of Omega 3?

A: Fish oils are a good source of Omega 3, but you can also get it from nuts. I try to take it daily… but women must take it daily.