Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi
Sharjah's Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi was appointed as UNHCR's first Eminent Advocate in May 2013. In this role, Sheikha Jawaher will help increase public awareness about refugees and the work of UNHCR, with a focus on children. Her previous work with charities and her fund-raising initiatives are testament to her commitment to helping relieve the suffering of people affected by war, especially women and children.
Since the early 1980s, the wife of Sharjah ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi has launched several humanitarian initiatives and has worked hard to improve the lives of the needy, from founding organizations which support the growth, health and education of her people, to creating organizations which seek to improve the lives of people from around the world.
Sheikha Jawaher is patron or president of a wide range of social and humanitarian organizations in Sharjah as well as cultural, literary and religious councils, including the Swiss-based Islamic Cultural Institute.
She has received numerous awards and accolades for her social, humanitarian and development work, including the United Arab Emirates Businesswomen Award and the First Arab Lady Award. She has also been recognized for her work to enhance family affairs, entrepreneurship and socio-cultural issues.
In recent years, Sheikha Jawaher has spent much energy and time helping improve the lives of refugees and other displaced people. In 2007, she worked with charity organizations and the UN to raise more than US$22 million to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian refugee children. A year earlier, she led a campaign to raise US$6.3 million to help people displaced in Lebanon by the short conflict of that year, and to help children with illness.
In 2012, Sheikha Jawaher contributed US$1 million towards UNHCR-funded projects providing health care for internally displaced people in Somalia, particularly women and children. In 2013, with UNHCR, she visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon to highlight their plight.
In 2013, during a visit to UNHCR's headquarters in Geneva, she was appointed to be the agency's first Eminent Advocate. Shortly afterwards, she visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon to highlight their plight on behalf of UNHCR. She later donated another US$1 to help more Syrian children access education in Lebanon.
Also in 2013, Sheikha Jawaher launched "The Big Heart Campaign for Syrian Refugee Children." The campaign has received support from the private and public sectors, raising more than US$13 million to help fund UNHCR projects for displaced Syrians inside and outside the country. In early 2014, Sheikha Jawaher visited Jordan's Za'atari camp. She also pledged US$1.5 million to provide education for Syrian refugee children in Egypt and Lebanon.