The BBC has released a list of the world's 100 most "inspirational and influential women" of 2016. Thirteen of these are Arab.
These women "bring you groundbreaking moments of defiance," BBC explained .
From doctors and innovators, to journalists and cartoonists, hundreds of Arab women are flipping the script on social norms and making huge strides in closing the gender gaps in their communities. They deal a major blow to rhetoric and practices surrounding female oppression in the
They hail from from Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen and Syria. Here they are:
1. Amna Suleiman, Bike Protester, Palestine
Dubbed as a 'bike protester' by the BBC, Suleiman led the first group of female cyclists to pedal in public since the Islamist Hamas movement came to power in the Gaza strip and restricted women's participation in sports.
The women protested against the taboo surrounding female cyclists by biking from Gaza's southern tip to Gaza City.
2. Amy Roko, niqab stereotype smasher, Saudi Arabia
Based in Riyadh, the outspoken, creative and hilarious Vine star and Instagrammer smashes stereotypes surrounding Saudi women, especially those who wear the niqab. She has garnered well over one million followers on Instagram, using Amy Roko as an online pseudonym.
She shares short comedy sketches showcasing her funny take on everyday experiences in the kingdom. Unfortunately, her work has faced backlash from the conservative community who thinks this is not how a Saudi/niqabi woman should act.
"I don’t even care how society views me anymore. [...] I’m sick and tired of the image that views women as weak and fragile," she told AJ+. "I see women as powerful beings because they are. I’m not hating on men, but I’m trying to make my voice reach all these clueless young girls."
3. Ashwaq Moharram, war-time doctor, Yemen
The 41-year-old doctor refused to flee the war-torn country with her family and instead chose to stay and serve the community. She distributes food and medicine and medicates patients, especially malnourished children, using her car as a mobile clinic. She does it all out of her own pocket.
"I keep thinking: 'What if it were my children?'", she told BBC.
4. Carolina De Oliveira, mental health activist, Syria
Born in Damascus to a Syrian mother and a Brazilian father, the 40-year-old is a TV show host, actress and social activist. She has worked at Lebanese TV channels including Future TV, Orbit TV and NBN, as well as MBC.
De Oliveira became a metal health activist after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 34 years old. Since then, she has been speaking up against the taboos regarding mental illness in Lebanon, where mentally ill people are often marginalized and their struggles undermined.
De Oliveira has taken part in many civil movements and served as an official ambassador for the Ruban Rouge organization against HIV-Aids in Africa and the Middle East.
5. Dalia Sabri, founder of an ochestra for blind children, Jordan
The 31-year-old music teacher is working on starting an orchestra for blind children, being mostly blind herself. "Music became my special language. It's my way to communicate with the world I don't see," she told BBC.
She earned a PhD in music from the USEK University in Lebanon, where she was granted a scholarship.
6. Doaa el-Adl, cartoonist that combats taboos, Egypt
In a field mostly dominated by men, the 37-year-old is arguably Egypt's most famous female cartoonist. Her work tackles important social and political issues, such as female genital mutilation and political appropriation of religion in Egypt.
"Arab women face a choice between being a hostage of wars and conflicts, and resisting," she told BBC.
Egyptian authorities have charged el-Adl with blasphemy for a cartoon criticizing Egyptians who politicize religion. It features an angel telling Adam and Eve that they could stay in the Garden of Eden if they voted for the right candidate.
7. Liliane Landor, champion of minorities in media, Lebanon
Born and raised in Lebanon, Landor worked at the BBC for 26 years and was one of its most senior female executives. As head of languages at the World Service, Landor was one of BBC's "strongest champions for women and ethnic minorities", according to The Guardian.
She told The Guardian. "I think you'd agree that there is no fair representation of women and women's issues anywhere in the media. It's something that I'm always concerned about."
8. Lubna Tahtamouni, Jordan
The 40-year-old professor has won several international awards in science and technology, and has been honored by UNESCO and the US embassy.
She encourages her female students to make smart decisions and transcend gender norms. She told BBC, "Smart women are often labelled as unattractive, not feminine enough, or even masculine."
9. Nay el-Rahi, harassment fighter, Lebanon
This 30-year-old Beirut-based journalist, researcher and activist co-founded HarassTracker.org, a website to track and report harassment in Lebanon. It also educates the public on the laws related to harassment in Lebanon and the different organizations that help victims.
El-Rahi researches women's rights in the media, gender dynamics and sectarian politics in Lebanon. She says sexual violence against women in Lebanon is "normalized" and often neglected. "The point is to refuse that harassment be silenced or put on the backburner," she told BBC.
10. Yasmine Mustafa, innovator against sexual assault, Kuwait
The 34-year-old entrepreneur is the co-founder and CEO of ROAR for Good, which produces jewellery that combats assault against women. It alerts friends and family about the woman's location whenever she feels unsafe. It is paired with an app that lets women know if they are entering dangerous areas.
Part of the company's proceeds are going towards partnering up with non-profit organizations that educate the youth on the importance of respect and consent, as well as raise awareness about abuse. This would help "really get to the root of the problem, so that one day these devices are hopefully obsolete", Mustafa told The Cheap Revolution.
11. Um-Yehia, accountant-turned-nurse, Syria
Um-Yehia is a 41-year-old accountant who trained to become a nurse, aiding victims of the attacks on Aleppo. She talked to BBC about the agony of working in a war-zone, saying, "The faces of injured children haunt my sleep. I can never forget the children screaming in pain and crying for help."
12. Nadia Khiari, political satirist, Tunisia
The 43-year-old cartoonist is widely known for creating Willis from Tunis, a cat character who features prominently in her politically-satirical caricatures. Willis from Tunis takes to social media Khiari's critical comments on Tunisian affairs.
Khiari has been championing freedom of expression and voicing political commentary since the Tunisian revolution, before which there was little room for criticism in the country. "There wasn't a single issue we could address without talking about the regime and getting into trouble," she told The Guardian. "One of the only concrete achievements of the revolution is freedom of speech. We must remain watchful everyday to keep it alive."
13. Reham el-Hour, Morocco
The 39-year-old cartoonist was the first woman to join the Union of Moroccan Professional Caricaturists. El-Hour has been sketching cartoons since she was a child. She started drawing caricatures for newspapers when she won an award from UNESCO in 2000.
Her work revolves around the latest social, political and economic issues.