"What would the future look like if it were driven by women?" That is the question the BBC hopes to have answered with its recently published list.
Titled "BBC 100 Women 2019," the list highlights some of the world's most inspiring and influential women from around the world. Of those mentioned, 15 hail from Arab countries, making 15 percent of the entire list.
There is no shortage of Arab women who have challenged norms and this list only serves to highlight the few whose works have bettered their communities and have received international attention for it.
Here are the 15 groundbreaking women featured in this year's list:
1. Manal AlDowayan (Saudi Arabia)
Contemporary artist Manal AlDowayan is all about diversity in her work. From black and white photography to large-scale participatory installations, the artist focuses much of her work on Saudi women and their representation.
In 2018, two of her artworks were placed in The British Museum on long-term display in the Islamic Gallery.
2. Alanoud Alsharekh (Kuwait)
Alanoud Alsharekh is a Kuwaiti women's rights activist as well as a regional politics and security researcher. She has published several books focusing on gender and kinship including "Challenging Limitations: The Redefinition of Roles for Women in the GCC".
Alsharekh was granted an honorary knighthood by the French Government (National Order of Merit) for her efforts in promoting women's rights in the Gulf and the Middle East. She also won the Arab Prize for best publication in a foreign journal (2013-2014) by the Doha Institute in 2014, and the Voices of Success Kuwait award in 2012.
3. Marwa Al-Sabouni (Syria)
Marwa Al-Sabouni is an architect with a PhD in Islamic architecture who has written a book documenting the time when war erupted in her home city of Homs. Titled "The Battle for Home," Al-Sabouni focuses on Homs and the damages the city has undergone before and after the war.
She has also sketched up plans to rebuild the destroyed Baba Amr district, as pointed out by the BBC.
She runs a private architectural studio in Homs and is the co-owner of the online media site Arch Net, which reports on architectural news in Arabic.
4. Rida Al Tubuly (Libya)
Fighting for women's rights and gender equality from a war zone is what makes Rida Al Tubuly the fierce warrior she is. Her organization, Together We Build It, pushes for women's involvement in solving Libya's ongoing conflict.
She believes peace and security for women will only come once there is security for all Libyans – men and women alike.
5. Dayna Ash (Lebanon)
Born in Lebanon but raised in the U.S., poet Dayna Ash was told to hide her sexuality after returning to Lebanon at the age of 16. In 2011, she founded a collective dedicated to the arts, Haven for Artists. It aims to encourage and collaborate with artists to provide them with better exposure in the region.
The platform is Beirut's "only cultural and creative space for women and the LGBTIQ+ community," according to the BBC.
6. Ayah Bdeir (Lebanon)
Ayah Bdeir is a Lebanese engineer, interactive artist, and founder/CEO of littleBits, "an award-winning platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks that is empowering kids everywhere to create inventions."
The MIT media lab alumna's career was always centered around creating a platform that would make innovation and education available to as many people around the world as possible. She is now considered one of the leaders of the open source hardware movement and has made a huge impact on the lives of millions across the world. Her company has sold millions of products and now writes curricula that are used in 3,500 schools worldwide.
7. Rana El Kaliouby (Egypt)
Egyptian scientist Rana El-Kaliouby is a major contributor to facial expression recognition research and technology development after founding MIT startup Affectiva to help computers read facial gestures more accurately.
Affectiva currently has 2 million faces in its repository, the world's largest facial emotion repository.
8. Raja Meziane (Algeria)
9. Farida Osman (Egypt)
In 2017, Farida Osman became the third-fastest female swimmer in history. Born in the U.S. and raised in Egypt, Osman began swimming at the tender age of five at Al-Gezira Sporting Club. Since then, she has earned several regional and international swimming titles, becoming one of the most accomplished female Egyptian swimmers.
According to SwimSwam, Osman holds the African record in the 50-meter freestyle race and the Egyptian records for the 100-meter freestyle and butterfly races. At the 2011 FINA World Junior Championships, Osman broke the championship's record in the 50-meter butterfly, becoming the first Egyptian woman to win gold at the meet.
10. Najat Saliba (Lebanon)
Najat Saliba is conducting world-leading research on the chemical and toxic composition of polluted air. Through her work, she hopes to address the most pressing environmental challenges burdening Lebanon and the Middle East.
She is a professor at the American University of Beirut's (AUB) Chemistry Department, as well as the Director of the AUB-Nature Conservation Center (AUB-NCC).
11. Hayfa Sdiri (Tunisia)
Hayfa Sdiri is a Tunisian blogger and social activist. In 2017, Hayfa founded [email protected], an online platform for Tunisian youth looking to materialize their entrepreneurial ideas. The platform gives these individuals a chance to connect with like-minded people and investors. It also provides a variety of different courses from management to accounting.
She also works with the UN in Tunisia on gender equality initiatives.
12. Noor Shaker (Syria)
In 2008, computer scientist Noor Shaker left Syria for Europe to pursue her passion for Artificial Intelligence. Academia was the first step; an entrepreneurial storm was the second.
She co-founded GTN, a company that combines quantum computers with AI to speed up the design of new drugs.
"Noor has put herself in a position where she can leverage her expertise to make a far greater impact — the type of impact that can be measured not by the number of papers published, but by the number of lives it saves," as one writer put it.
13. Samah Subay (Yemen)
Samah Subay is a lawyer who provides legal support to families whose children have "disappeared" during the war in Yemen. Her team at Mwatana for Human Rights have managed to reunite some of these kids with their families.
14. Ahlam Khudr (Sudan)
Ahlam Khudr lost her son in a peaceful protest in 2013. She has been seeking justice for him ever since then. Her fight extends beyond just her son as she is fighting for the rights of all those killed in Sudan.
15. Gada Kadoda (Sudan)
Named a UNICEF innovator in 2014, Gada Kadoda helps women in remote areas use solar power to light up their villages. How so? She trains them to be community engineers.
Aside from that, she is the force behind Sudan's innovation lab, which gives students a space for "collaborative working and problem-solving." She is also the founder of the Sudanese Knowledge Society, allowing young researchers in the country to reach out to scientists and scholars inside or outside the country.
Kadoda is an independent researcher who received her PhD in Software Engineering in 1997.