Women Leaders Gathering in the Mideast

May 5, 2007

This month, I will be heading to the Mideast for a Cornerstone  Conference of the International Women’s Forum (http://iwforum.browsermedia.com, which will be held in Amman, Jordan. 

 Nearly 500 women leaders from 30 countries are gathering in an ancient and biblical land for a conversation unlike any other.  Entitled, “Building Bridges – Breaking Walls,” the conference has been put together by the leading women (business, political, cultural, academic) of Jordan, under the patronage of Queen Rania Al Abdullah (http://www.queenrania.jo/)

Can you imagine the compelling dialogue that will occur as women from around the globe gather to discuss shared and differentiating experiences? 

Conference topics include:  The Complexity of Relationships East to West; Faith, Identity and Co-Existence , and Arab Women: Myths, Misperceptions & Realities.  
At my core, I am a journalist. So, I go with open eyes and full of anticipation. 

Most of all I wonder:  What will be the major themes that will emerge as accomplished, globally engaged women gather to ponder, discuss and challenge one another on the role women will play in moving our world forward?  

I will post observations and insights from the conference in the On Anne’s Mind section of my website.

In preparation for this trip, I have been reading voraciously.  Here are two favorite discoveries: 

» Website of Queen Rania Al Abdullah (I was surprised by her focus on the empowerment of women in Jordan.  She appeared on NBC’s Today Show the first week in May, talking about “village banking” or micro loans to help lift people out of poverty.  
»Fascinating book:  Nine Parts of Desire:  The Hidden Life of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks.  A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, the author was the U.N. correspondent for the Wall Street Journal when she wrote the book in 1995.  

When I return, I will be interested in opportunities to share what I know will be a spectacular wealth of fresh information. 

If you have any ideas for speaking and discussion forums or topics of particular interest to you related to this global forum of women leaders, I’d love to hear from you.

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