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Insight Dubai International Conference to kick off on March 18

Under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Dubai Women’s College (DWC) will inaugurate its annual Insight Dubai 5-day conference focusing on women and empowerment in the Arab world on March 18, 2012.

The conference, which is generously sponsored this year by HSBC brings together more than 150 Emirati and international students to discuss and exchange knowledge on women’s issues.

Organized for the 8th time, Insight Dubai aims at expanding participants’ global awareness regarding differing views on selected women’s issues and exploring Arabic governance structures and legal systems.

The interactive style of the conference also allows its participants to dispel cultural myths about women and facilitate lasting bonds and networks between conference participants through academic, cultural and entertainment experiences.

“I believe that Insight Dubai conference is a life-changing experience for the young women who participate. Getting the chance to spend a significant amount of time engaged in meaningful discussions about leadership and global issues with women from 35 countries results in a new way of seeing the world and building lifelong bridges between cultures.” said Dr. Monica Gallant, Business Department Chair at DWC and Co-chair of Insight Dubai conference.

International students participating in this year’s Insight Dubai event will come from Gambia, Italy, Afghanistan, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, USA, Poland, Zimbabwi, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Kenya, and Sweden.

Emirati and international students will interact in a large variety of activities including participation as a foreign diplomat in a simulated United Nations Security Council crisis, role playing a Sharia Court case, and acting as a participant in a Majlis discussing an important global issue.

Panel discussions regarding local issues such as leadership of women in the Middle East in general and the United Arab Emirates in particular, as well as lectures on Human Trafficking and Autism will also take place.

To indulge the rest of the educational systems in Dubai, the organizers of the conference designed a Poster Competition for Emirati high school students to raise awareness about “Autism in UAE”. The winners will receive a price and a chance to attend the Autism day at the conference.

The conference will also include site visits to Zayed Grand Mosque, the Federal National Council, and the Heritage Village in order to add to the participants’ understanding of the local environment. The program also includes several contributions by Arab women leaders.

Prior to the event, a special cultural awareness workshop was held in preparation for the upcoming Insight Dubai conference. This gathering was significant since international students and local students will work together in small groups to examine important global issues.

The students debated how to answer questions such as “Why do local women wear black?” and “How do you feel about arranged marriages?” which are typical questions often asked by international students.

“This session is very helpful for the students. While they certainly know their own culture, they often have difficulty explaining it to others, especially in English,” noted Dr. Monica.

Another preparation work shop was also organized for the students orienting them on Sharia Law held by Mr. Ammar Shams, Regional Head of Corporate Sustainability HSBC Bank Middle East Limited.

DWC is the first academic institution to win the Dubai Quality Appreciation Award in 2006. It also initiated and hosted international conferences – empowering women to become global leaders.

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