Forbes, an American business magazine released its annual list of 30 Under 30 on Friday. It celebrates the 600 brightest minds around the world in 20 different categories.
Around 15,000 people are nominated, but less than four-percent are chosen. According to the Forbes website, making the list is even harder than getting into Stanford (4.8 per cent) or Harvard (5.2 per cent).
But one Saskatonian did it: 27-year-old Dr. Alaa Murabit.
“I was exceptionally excited.”
“I knew of the list and when I got the email it was definitely recognition of the work we’ve been doing and fuel to continue to do it,” Dr. Alaa Murabit said from the Global Saskatoon studio on Friday.
She was born and raised in Saskatoon and moved to Libya when she was just 15-years-old for medical school.
“My parent’s joke that our generation is completely impatient and I’m probably the poster child for that. I was eager to move onto the next thing. I knew I wanted to be a doctor and I was excited to do it,” she explained.
Murabit says her older sister and father are her role models. Both are surgeons and emphasized the importance of education while she was growing up. It’s what sparked her passion for helping others.
At age 21 while in medical school, she founded the Voice of Libyan Woman. An organization focusing on women’s inclusion in peace processes and conflict resolution. From there her activism snowballed and she was asked to sit on a United Nations Global Study on women, peace and security.
“It really focuses on women’s inclusion in peace processes, leadership in post-conflict countries and protection of women at their most vulnerable in conflict. It was passed in the year 2000,” she added.
Now Dr. Murabit is a United Nations High Level Commissioner in health and economic growth, and a UN sustainable development goal advocate.
“Talking about how every community, Saskatoon or Canada at large, can work towards no poverty, climate change action, reducing inequalities, and food and water security.”
Although Dr. Murabit lives in both London and New York she still finds the time to come back to Saskatoon, visit her family and help local community leaders with their advocacy strategies.