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The Arab International Women’s Forum stands unique as the first and only non-profit organisation set up in London to link Arab business and

professional women  with each other and with their counterparts in the international community. To date AIWF has attracted members from 22 Arab countries and as many as 15 countries world wide — including those in Europe, North and South America, Australia, Japan, and South Africa. Managed by a volunteer Board of Trustees, this unique network gives members and their business activities greater international exposure and success in the global market place.

Through AIWF, members have the opportunity to facilitate key contacts and friendships, foster co-operation and work closely to create peace and understanding, and to further progress and prosperity in our societies. AIWF was established in the strong belief that women should play their rightful role in the economy and society.

Working at the highest levels, AIWF’s growing role is acknowledged in very many leading international organisations – among them, the United Nations, the Europe Commission, Commonwealth Business Council, UNESCO, The British Council, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, UNIFEM, National Women’s Commission in the UK, the National Council of Women in Egypt. AIWF has been represented at meetings and conferences of the Arab Labour Organisation, the World Economic Forum, the Gorbachev Foundation, the Arab US Economic Forum, the Council of Europe, the Foundation for the Social Promotion of Culture, the First and Second Arab Women’s Summit sponsored by the First Ladies of the Arab World, and Women for Peace Initiative led by HE Mrs Suzanne Mubarak. Many of our members are involved locally in their respective business and women’s associations, Chambers of Commerce and NGOs.

2002 was a great year! 2003 was equally successful. We have provided a list of activities held – past and future – that illustrates the valuable work that AIWF is doing in building bridges and the substantive opportunities AIWF makes available to members through building business.

The Arab International Women’s Forum held two very successful conferences in London in 2002 and 2003. The first conference held in geekvapebar 2002 Women in the New Economic World Order: The Increasing Role of Arab Women in Business and Society attracted over 140 leading women from as many as 15 countries including those in the Arab world, North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and South America. The second annual conference in 2003, Women in the Arab World:  Windows of Opportunity Opening Wider in Business & Public Life, featured Guests of Honour HE Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, First Lady of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and HH Shaikha Sabeeka bint Ibraham Al Khalifa, Wife of HM the King of Bahrain. Close to 200 participants and guests came from over 30 countries.

As our organisation goes from strength to strength, we have again delivered crucial messages that Arab women are playing an important role in business and public life.  We have ably demonstrated that AIWF, a non-profit organisation, is the voice of Arab women showcasing their development, breaking stereotypical images and creating greater public awareness of their success and prospects within an international context.

These conferences did, indeed, make our founding principle, Building Bridges, Building Business come alive.

The 2004 AIWF conference was another landmark occasion!

Working in close co-operation with The League of Arab States, AIWF held the Third Annual Conference – the first in the Arab

world – Women in the Arab World: Partners in the Community and on the World Stage, in Cairo, 6-9 June 2004, at the headquarters of The League of Arab States.

Partners in the Community and on the World Stage combined a series of informative and stimulating sessions and panel discussions as well as offered participants and sponsors the crucial opportunity to network.

The Arab International Women’s Forum is pleased to be hosting two-linked conferences as part of the 2005 AIWF programme, Women as Engines of Economic Growth in the Arab World. Starting with the first conference,Ten Years After the Barcelona Process: Empowering Women as Catalysts for Economic Development, held 7-8 April 2005 at the European Parliament in Brussels with the valued co-operation of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the League of Arab States, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the World Bank marking the anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

For more information about the 2004 Annual Conference, please link to the Activities Section for a full report and to the Publications page for Speakers’ Addresses.

On the publications side, we continue to provide members and prospective members news from the Arab region and international networks.

Contacting us is simple! We would be delighted to hear from you … by post or by email. To Join AIWF, please download the application form and forward directly to our attention with your membership fee. The benefits are many and the prospects even better!

AIWF has achieved sound status in a very short period of time. AIWF is recognised for its ability as an organisation operating successfully at various levels: member-to-member where excellent business contacts between members can be established; as a vehicle bringing communities closer together; and while actively engaged in the Arab region AIWF has launched initiatives at the international level.

It is through increased awareness, wider networks and exposure to different business opportunities that our communities can prosper and that our friendships grow. Women in the Western world are successful in business and public life; the importance of increased participation by Arab women in the economy and in society is crucial. Building Bridges, Building Business is our contribution to public discourse and a global economy involving increasing number of women worldwide.

Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani