2015 was a year full of victories for various causes in the Arab World and beyond, and behind many of those victories were Arab women who pushed the boundaries in their respective fields.
From athletics to politics to the media, we take a look at some of the incredible achievements of these Arab women in 2015.
1. Amal Al-Qubaisi
The prominent Emirati politician made history in November when she became the first woman in the Arab world to be the president of a national council. After years of breaking records, Al-Qubaisi was elected the president of the Federal National Council, the federal authority of the UAE.
2. Raneem El-Weleily
The Egyptian athlete made history this year when she became the first Egyptian female athlete to occupy the No. 1 spot in any sport and the first-ever Egyptian to become the world's top ranked squash player.
3. Rasha Hefzi
The prominent Saudi businesswoman, who is a well-known activist for numerous community initiatives in Jeddah, was one of the first women in the history of Saudi Arabia to be elected to public office .
Hefzi used her influence and reach to campaign for women's participation in the historic municipal elections in early December and she then won a seat in Jeddah's local council.
4. Hatoon Agwad Al-Fassi
Al-Fassi is a prominent Saudi women's rights activist and historian; she has been campaigning for women's right to vote in her country for years before they were granted the right to both vote and stand in this year's historic elections.
Through her initiative Baladi, the Riyadh-based scholar launched a widespread campaign ahead of 2015's elections to increase awareness and encourage women to participate.
5. Zainab Salbi
The prominent Iraqi women's rights activist started her own talk show in October to educate and inspire Arab women, after 20 years of working in the non-profit sector to help women in conflict zones, including founding Women for Women International.
Salbi launched "Nida'a" on the Discovery Channel's TLC Network. The show is broadcast in 22 countries across the Middle East and North Africa and discusses various social and cultural issues. It has had multiple prominent guests including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and fashion designer Donna Karan.
6. Dalia Mogahed
The Egyptian-American scholar, author and public speaker has been well-known for years for her work in the field of Muslim studies and for promoting cross-cultural understanding. Mogahed was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
But in 2015, Mogahed became one of the most influential advocates for Muslim communities. Using her social media platforms, articles, public speaking and TV appearances, Mogahed fiercely and tirelessly campaigned against Islamophobia in the wake of the Paris terror attacks and many other events that have encouraged Muslim hate this year.
7. Farida Osman
The Egyptian swimmer smashed national and continental records all year long, including when she became the first-ever Egyptian to qualify for the women’s 50 meter butterfly final at the 2015 FINA World Championships.
She reset her own Egyptian and African record when she finished fifth in the 50-meter butterfly final in 25.78 seconds, and she set another national record at FINA in the 100-meter butterfly after finishing in 58.22 seconds. Osman also won the “Female African Swimmer of the Year” title at the 2015 Swammy Awards.
8. Aseel Shaheen
The Kuwaiti umpire became the first Arab woman to officiate at Wimbledon in July. The former swimmer and coach had always wanted to become an international umpire in the largely male-dominated officiating field. She went to officiating school and got her white badge in 2011 before making it to the prestigious tennis tournament.