Honorary Graduates 2013 (September)
Sheikha Sheikha bint Saif Al Nahyan
Doctor in Science
Her Highness Sheikha Sheikha bint Saif Al Nahyan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from the United Arab Emirates University. This was followed by postgraduate study at Paris-Sorbonne University. She is married to His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the son of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and the President of the United Arab Emirates. He serves as an Advisor to the President of the United Arab Emirates.
Although not formally qualified in medicine, she has taken a strong interest in both healthcare and education. She has set up a girls’ secondary school in Abu Dhabi, which prepares pupils for the UK GCSE and A-Levels and which has a successful record for university entrance both at home and abroad. She has made a special effort to inspire girls to become prominent in education, and has made great progress more generally in inspiring young women within the Gulf region. Her Highness was honoured by UNESCO by being invited to give the keynote address at the 2006 UNESCO Conference in Perugia on the role of women in the Arab World. She has also been instrumental in creating an innovative approach to women’s education in art, music and culture.
Her Highness has taken a special interest in thalassaemia, a disorder prominent in the Gulf region, probably because of consanguineous marriage amongst the nomadic tribes in the past. She is president of the Emirates Thalassaemia Society and Chair of the World Health Organization regional collaborating office for thalassaemia in Abu Dhabi. She has developed a deep understanding of this tragic disorder, which, although completely understood at the molecular level, still causes profound suffering in rich and poor countries alike.