SHARJAH: Two women who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour have been selected as the first ambassadors of the Sharjah Girl Guides (SGG), which is part and parcel of the UAE Girl Guides Association (UAEGGA).
The SGG was established in 1973 by ambitious women who believe that girls, when provided with opportunities, would develop their untapped potential to the fullest and become role models. It paved the way for the formation of the UAEGGAwhose membership to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts was recognised in 1984.
UAEGGA chairperson Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, presented the two women ambassadors before selected guests at the 40th anniversary of the SGG and UAEGGAon Sunday.
The morning ceremonies were held at the SGG Camp in Al Badee’a, wherein Sheikha Jawaher also unveiled the new SGG slogan or identity, “Take the Lead.”
The two SGG ambassadors are Emirati Sheikha Amal Khalid Al Qasimi and Palestinian Suzanne Al Houby.
Educator and Al Khaleej columnist Al Qasimi and mountain climber Al Houby were chosen for their “many accomplishments.”
“Their appointment serves Her Highness’s vision for prominent figures in Sharjah to give back to society and contribute to the development of young generations,” a press release stated.
Al Qasimi, cited for being an educator, a model for women empowerment who is very active in community affairs, is also a recipient of the Taryam Omran Journalism Awards.
Al Houby, recognised for her patience and determination, grew up being a Girl Guide herself in Sharjah and began climbing the world’s seven summits from 2002.
Speaking about the new SGG identity, Sheikha Jawaher, in her speech, asked mothers to encourage their daughters experience the joys of being Girl Guides.
She said: “The leaders of today were the Girl Guides of yesteryears. It is my dream for girls to become leaders. This is not difficult to achieve with the guiding movement that inculcates in them patience, determination, self-confidence, leadership and communication as well as interactive skills.”
CARING FOR COMMUNITY
Asked by The Gulf Today on what she had learnt from being a Girl Guide herself and which she wants every Girl Guide all over the world to imbibe, Sheikha Jawaher said: “I feel strongly about the passion Girl Guides have for community service. All over the world, they live by the principle of caring about their community and finding ways to help others.”
“Girl Guides have this love to serve others in need and help better society. They get involved in work that has to do with the environment, the elderly, children, special needs. They also spread awareness about health issues and nutrition to name a few,” she added.
Sheikha Jawaher said her life as a Girl Guide gave her confidence and helped her open up to community service.
“When I grew up, I had plans for my community and I set about implementing them in all the projects which I have initiated,” she said.
‘BE A ROLE MODEL’
Asked to comment on being nominated as one of the first two SGG ambassadors, Al Qasimi recalled what her first boss in 1981, Sheikha Aisha Al Qasimi, had reminded her and that was being a role model before her students.
Saying she has been oriented to the virtue of volunteerism alongside community service throughout her life, Al Qasimi related her being an ambassador to her being a journalist or writer.
She said: “The most difficult job is to be a writer because whatever you write will affect generations. We have to impart the right message like keeping an open mind while retaining our values and culture.”
‘AIM FOR EXCELLENCE’
According to Al Houby, it is an “honour and a privilege” to be an ambassador.
She said this includes encouraging girls and women to “explore” their potential and excel in various disciplines without forgetting the values of humility and respect for other people and cultures.
It was learnt that aside from the traditional courses on personality development, community and global awareness, health and nutrition, and international guiding, new courses are going to be introduced to the SGG and UAEGGAmembers such as photography, horseback riding and organic farming.