While TIME’s 100 spotlights the world’s most influential people, including President Donald Trump, for instance, BBC releases an annual list of 100 most influential women. This year, the list includes 17 Arab women, many of whom are not necessarily headline-makers, but are working on the ground, behind the scenes, and are actively resisting the limitations set on them either by their warzone countries or gender inequality plaguing the workforce.
From environmental and political activists, to Artificial Intelligence pioneers and revolutionary ‘mother figures,’ the list includes women from different walks of life who have, in some way, become driving forces for change – and whose impact has reached global heights.
Ahlam lost her son in a peaceful protest in Sudan back in 2013. Since then, she has become a leader of Sudan's underground revolution until its culmination in the past year.
One Lebanese chemistry professor and environmental researcher, Najat Saliba, is conducting world-leading research on air pollution, a cause to which she has been devoted ever since Lebanon’s Civil War, which forced her to move to the city and experience the severe environmental circumstances that Lebanon has become famous for.
Another is Sudanese revolutionary icon, Ahlam Khudr, whose son was killed during peaceful protests in Sudan in 2013, and who has been pursuing justice from underground forums and protests ever since, becoming one of the leaders of the Sudanese revolution.
I am an educator from Manal AlDowayan's series I Am. Courtesy of Edge of Arabia.
Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan is also on the list; with recognition of her work's enlightening focus on women's place in her culture, the issue of visibility, as well as archive and memory.
There is also a host of female entrepreneurs pioneering industries in the region and beyond, including Lebanese, U.S.-based Ayah Bdeir, who founded LittleBits, a revolutionary educational start-up that introduced an open source library of modular electronics to kids in schools all over the United States.
Another woman, Syrian computer scientist Noor Shaker, founded a start-up that uses Artificial Intelligence to speed up the design of new drugs. She was also among MIT’s ‘Innovators under 35’.
Rana Kaliouby delivering a talk at TEDWomen 2015. Courtesy of TED.
Egyptian professional swimmer, Farida Osman, and AI pioneer, Rania Kaliouby, are also featured on the list, as well as women from Kuwait, Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Mauritania.
You can find the full list of BBC's most influential woman in 2019 here.