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HH Sheikha Mozah Nasser Al-Missned, a role model for all women in the Arab world

Intelligent, elegant, highly educated and ambitious are just some of the qualities of the very complex personality of Her Royal Highness Sheikha Mozah Nasser Al-Missned, the second and most influential wife of the His Royal Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, the small Gulf state which has been developing at an astonishing pace under his rule. The State of Qatar is set to register a record 28% increase in its GDP, unmatched by any other country in the world.

While many tend to associate Qatar with Dubai, its development strategy has been different, focusing its investments on infrastructure, industry and energy. Qatar has today some of the finest hospitals, sports facilities, universities and research labs in the world. In contrast, Dubai has been developing lavish and extravagant projects especially in residential and office buildings, which are now at the core of its troubles. 

Unlike many other monarchial wives in the Middle East, Sheikha Mozah has been a high-profile figure in her nation’s politics and society, actively involved in Qatar’s government.  She married the Emir (at the time Crown Prince) in 1977 at the age of 18, while she was attending Qatar University. She is the daughter of Nasser bin Abdullah Al Missned.

It is widely believed that HH Sheikha Mozha is behind much of the embroyonic reforms being instigated in Qatar, the vote for women, the encoragement of women to study and to work and to take control of their lives.Sheikha Moza travels extensively as a representative of Qatar and was recently honored with an honorary doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University in the United States.

The most important role allocated to Her Highness by her husband His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, is ‘Chairperson of The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development’.  This is a private, chartered, non-profit organization in the state of Qatar, founded in 1995 by His Highness. Guided by the principle that a nation’s greatest resource is the potential of its people, the Qatar Foundation aims to develop that potential through a network of centers devoted to progressive education, research and community welfare.

I would say that the principle reason for the huge success of the Qatar Foundation, and consequently it’s flagship projct Education City, is the commitment, dedication and vision of Her Higness.  It is Her Highness that has brought to Education City five branch campuses of major Americanuniversities.:  Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar , Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

HH Sheikha Mozah Nasser is also considered one of the most elegant first ladies in the world. Whether on official state visits or at social events, she has been seen wearing the most elegant dresses, her taste being considered ”timeless elegance”. She perfectly complements a simple dress with the most elegant hat or wearing a very elaborate scarf.

HH Sheikha Mozha’ s favourite designers are Valentino Garavani,  Stéphane Rolland, Jean Paul Gaultier and  Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, who mostly design couture dresses. Her favorite shoe brand is Christian Louboutin. Despite her wealth, she has never been spotted wearing ostentatious gowns and she wears small pieces of jewellery usually to match the dress.

S. Lavalle