Dr. Qanta Ahmed Visits the Technion: “Women Should Recognize Their Capabilities and Demand the Same Conditions as Men”

29Meets with Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie and Prof. Miriam Erez, recipient of the Israel Prize

Dr. Qanta Ahmed, associate professor of medicine at the State University of New York (SUNY) and a physician specializing in sleep disorders visited the Technion as part of her first visit to Israel. Dr. Ahmed, a Pakistani born Muslim, is also an author and journalist and has published a book, entitled “In the Land of Invisible Women”, about her life and work in Saudi Arabia. She is an expert on health issues related to the Haj, which is the Muslim custom of pilgrimage to Mecca, and the first Muslim woman to be awarded a scholarship from the School of Journalism at Cambridge University. In this capacity Ahmed published an article entitled “The psychological manipulation of Islam in the service of terrorism, with a focus on the suicide phenomenon”.

Dr. Ahmed met with Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie and Prof. Miriam Erez of the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, recipient of the Israel Prize and co- founder of the Technion’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Prof. Lavie and Dr. Ahmed also share an expertise in the study of sleep disorders.

Prof. Erez, who is chairperson of the National Council for the Advancement of Women in Science and Technology, told Dr. Ahmed that 16% of Technion faculty members are women. “We are acting to increase the participation rate of women in areas of science and technology and to improve their status. A young female faculty member must cope simultaneously with building both her academic career as well as her family. These women must be supported so that they may succeed at both tasks and learn how to integrate them without being left behind”.

Dr. Ahmed, who lived and taught in Saudi Arabia for many years, said at the meeting that “women should be empowered so that they acknowledge their own status and not be afraid to take their place at the front of the academic stage. Women should recognize their capabilities and demand the same conditions as men. It is important to teach women to be daring and to insist on what is important to them.”

Above: Dr. Ahmed (left) with Prof. Erez. Photograph by the Technion Spokesperson