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Rana Dajani and her parents

Nov 19,2018 - Last updated at Nov 19,2018

One of the proudest moments of my life was a few months ago. Attending the annual meetings of the Arab students associations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard, high achievers from the Arab world were invited to expound their breakthrough scientific deeds.

Dr Rana Dajani stood out. Not only did she outclass her peers in the science of microbiology with special emphasis on genomic mapping, genomic imprinting and stem cells research for medical purposes, but she became a world-class reference.

Her pathfinding papers earned her honours, accolades, scholarships and visiting professor status in leading universities, such as Yale, MIT, Harvard and others. She is considered the 13th most influential Arab woman and her full-time job is teaching and researching at the Hashemite University in Zarqa.

She is the daughter of a famous medical doctor, Basem Dajani, who was a chief resident at the school of Medicine at the University of Iowa. Although he was making lots of money and got entangled in too many investments in Iowa, he decided to return to Jordan in 1977. His daughter, Rana, is the graduate of the same university.

In 1982, I suffered from severe pains in my right-hand fingers. It was Basem Dajani who ultimately and properly diagnosed my case as suffering from a rare syndrome called “Raynaud”, a disorder of the blood vessels that is more common in people who live in colder climates.

To meet his daughter in Cambridge, Massachusetts about 36 years later was a heart-warming experience. To see how effective she was in delivering her speech, I was deeply and profoundly touched and proud.

Her father can claim many initiatives and impacting contributions to the field of Medicine at the University of Jordan and the medical hospital, as well as encouraging thorough and internationally-recognised research papers authored by his students and interns. His alma mater, the Carver College of Medicine, wrote a beautiful citation about him this year.

Raghda Dajani, Rana’s mother, has been the moral supporter and the active partner in the success of both her husband and her daughter. Basem and Raghda Dajani have nine children and 22 grandchildren so far.

Yet, Rana Dajani’s success does not stop there. Her charitable and social voluntary work is comparably admirable. She is an avid advocate of science education for women, “as well as of biological evolution theory of Islam”.

To quote her Wikipedia page describing her science advocacy is the best way to give justice to her relentless efforts. “She founded and directed the We Love Reading programme that advocates for child literacy across 30 countries. We Love Reading mentored and trained 730 women in the techniques of storytelling and in 2017 it [won] UNESCO’s King Sejong Literacy Prize. The outcome of this led to the establishment of 330 libraries throughout Jordan, enriching the literacy of over 10,000 children, 60 per cent of whom were female.”

This fantastic high-achiever deserves to be acknowledged properly by her own country since she has been honored by many developed countries and world leading institutions.

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