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Mariam Al Mansouri, an F-16 fighter pilot, of the UAE Air Force, on Thursday received the Asia Game Changer Award at Asia Society's Game Changer Awards dinner and celebration at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.
Organisers said Al Mansouri, who is among nine honorees, is a role model for women in the Arab World for battling stereotypes, and terror, from air. Al Mansouri served in the army in other capacities before starting in-flight training.
As a fully qualified, highly trained, combat-ready pilot and wing leader in the UAE Air Force and Air Defence, Al Mansouri was an active member of the UAE air force team participating in the airstrikes conducted by the Global Coalition to Combat Daesh against the terror organisation in Syria. She received the Mohammed Bin Rashid Pride of the Emirates medal for excellence in her field.
Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, the Permanent Representative of UAE to the UN, attended the awards ceremony along with representatives of states, senior UN officials, and members of the diplomatic community at the UN.
Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh congratulated Al Mansouri for being awarded the Asia Society Game Changers Award, saying the recognition is an honour for all Emirati women, who always seek excellence scientifically and practically in all fields whether locally, regionally and internationally.
She lauded the general policy adopted by the Government of the UAE as a key priority to ensure that women leaders were provided real opportunities for empowerment.
She noted that Al Mansour, the first squadron leader in the UAE Air Force, has set a living example of the role of the woman in a moderate, tolerant Muslim country like the UAE.
Asia Society said the Asia Game Changers Awards recognise those making a transformative and positive difference to the future of Asia and the world.
Honorees are selected through a global survey of more than 1,000 thought leaders. The 2015 awardees are:
Asia Game Changer of the Year awardees
Mariam Al Mansouri (United Arab Emirates)
Fighter pilot, UAE Air Force and role model for women throughout the Arab world
For battling stereotypes, and terror, from the air
Manny Pacquiao (The Philippines)
Humanitarian, world-famous boxing champion, and member of the Philippines House of Representatives
For using his sport, and his star power, as sources for good
Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura (Japan/United States)
2014 Nobel Laureates in Physics and inventors of a new energy-efficient light source - the blue LED
For lighting our world in a groundbreaking and sustainable way
Chanda Kochhar (India)
CEO of ICICI Bank and the first woman to head an Indian bank
For breaking the glass ceiling, transforming an industry, and empowering the masses
Lei Jun (China)
Founder & CEO of Xiaomi, China's leading smartphone vendor
For changing the game of communication in China and beyond
Li Cunxin (Australia/China)
Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet, known as "Mao's Last Dancer"
For his art, his courage, and his cultural diplomacy
Aasif Mandvi (United States/India)
Comedian, activist and powerful spokesperson for Muslims and Asian Americans
For using comedy to challenge perceptions, and work for good
Kiran Bir Sethi (India)
Founder, Design for Change and The Riverside School, and champion of youth volunteerism
For empowering children to change the world
Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future.
Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with headquarters in New York, centers in Hong Kong and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, and Washington, DC.