Shayma AlSultan recently completed her Master’s in Law and is an avid reader. Her dissertation focuses on Qatar’s current economic status, particularly in terms of the current blockade. However, she believes that law is a useful tool that can always be used in one’s favor. Shayma has written many award winning short stories. She feels that she inherited her reading and writing abilities from her father who is also a keen reader. Her turning point in life came in 2000, when she was introduced to Philosophy while studying at the university. She gradually became more passionate about philosophy and started publishing articles regularly. This made her more popular and she began using Twitter and Instagram as platforms for sharing her writings. She then progressed into writing about women’s rights and humanitarian values. She related with the kind of humanity that was not required to be backed with religion. Through her writings, she even prompted people to think about how they would like to be, as humans. From 2010 onwards, people began understanding Shayma better, particularly in the context of her humanitarian side.
Shayma is now writing her first book, which focuses on demonstrating how one can perceive the truth from different perspectives. Shayma is passionate about writing her book but is not in a hurry. Even though she loves writing, she is very cautious because she knows that it often leads to confrontation with members of the society that may not agree with her point of view, particularly in conservative societies. Nevertheless, Shayma believes that one can be human, irrespective of religious, political or general background. For her, being human is to not permit anyone to take advantage of those that are vulnerable. She has been conveying the message that one should always strive to be human. It is for these reasons that Shayma does not use the word feminism. She feels it is a loaded word that is spontaneously perceived by many people as being against males. She wants every individual to get his/her rights, but also believes that males get their rights by default while females have to fight for them.
Shayma considers that the feminist stream on social media generates a lot of antagonism that does not lead to positive outcomes. This has a direct bearing on women that are adversely impacted by injustice. In effect, Shyama wants to propagate that even though Islam respects females, it is applied in rather oppressive ways. Qatari women have already started making major achievements, such as providing the first female doctor in Islam. Yet, girls are required to stay at home, because of the belief that they belong there. Such circumstances weaken the female further, primarily because these Islamic traditions are propagated through biased men. Shyama feels that Qatari society has amazing female talents that are not being permitted to shine.
Piece of advice from Shayma:
“Be yourself, be honest and educate yourself. Don’t fear making mistakes, because they form us. I am not ashamed of my mistakes because they made me reach where I am today. Education humbles you, because it makes you realize how much you actually do not know.”