Emirati politician Dr. Amal Al-Qubaisi made history Wednesday when she was elected the President and Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), the UAE's federal authority.
Qubaisi's appointment in the council's 16th legislative chapter makes her the first woman in the Arab World to become the president or speaker of a national council or assembly. Thus, she is the first woman in the Arab World to hold the highest parliamentary position.
“I am proud to take this seat for the first time as a woman in the Arab world. I dedicate this achievement to the great women of the UAE, and to the Mother of the Nation, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak," said Qubaisi at the Abu Dhabi inauguration, which marked her third term in the council.
The FNC, which acts as the advisory and law-drafting body of the UAE, consists of 40 members that represent the Emirates. Half of them are elected by citizens through a general election. Eight members other than Qubaisi are currently women.
This is not the first time that she has made history however, as she became the first woman to be elected to the FNC in 2006, the first woman to become its deputy speaker in 2011 and the first woman to chair one of its meeting in 2013.
Qubaisi, who focuses on education and young people's issues, was the first woman to be appointed to the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. She also won an Abu Dhabi Award in 2008 and was appointed as the director general of Abu Dhabi Education Council in 2014.
In addition to her political career, she is a former architect and former professor of architecture at the UAE University, which she also graduated from. As an architect, Qubaisi worked with UNESCO on the documentation and preservation of some of the UAE’s most significant heritage sites.
Qubaisi also took the number seven spot on Arabian Business' 100 Most Powerful Arab Women list in 2013 . She will surely continue to serve as an inspiration for all Arab women.