(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — Three Lebanese women were featured as part of BBC’s 100 Women of 2014, an annual list of inspiring and leading female figures from around the world.
Beirut-based engineer and business owner Hind Hobeika, London-based composer Bushra El-Turk, and Lebanese-Egyptian designer and artist Bahia Shehab were included in this year’s list.
1. Hind Hobeika
Lebanese entrepreneur Hind Hobeika is the founder of wearable tech company Instabeat, which produces a unique device that allows swimmers to monitor their heart rate and other metrics through a real-time display.
Instabeat’s wearable gadget provides on-demand data for swimmers on a color coded screen on the interior of swimming goggles.
The device is small, creates minimal friction with water, and provides key information without having the swimmer lose focus. Hind expects that the technology could be applicable to sports and athletes beyond the swimming world and plans to launch a triathlon version to market in the next few years.
Estimated to reach $50 billion by 2018, the global wearable tech industry has gained popularity in recent years with top names like Google and Apple making forays into the field. Hind and her team are already beginning to find a niche in the market and are inspiring other entrepreneurs in the region to do the same.
Watch Hind Hobeika’s Ted Talk:
2. Bushra El-Turk
Bushra El-Turk is a composer who forebears the influence of her Lebanese roots and straddles Eastern and Western idioms which seek to question Eastern socio-political and socio-cultural issues in contemporary Western contexts.
She studied the cello and piano at the Centre for Young Musicians at a young age, and then went on to study composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
El-Turk has composed for various concert halls, dance performances, theaters, and broadcast venues in England, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. Her pieces have been featured on BBC, Royal Opera House, London Symphony Orchestra, and the Opera Holland Park, among others.
Watch Bushra El-Turk rehearse for a live performance:
3. Bahia Shehab
Bahia Shehab is a Lebanese-Egyptian artist, designer and art historian, who studies ancient Arabic script and applies it to modern-day issues. She is the Creative Director of MI7-Cairo, where she works on projects relevant to cultural heritage.
Shehab is also an associate professor at the American University in Cairo, where she has developed a four-year Graphic Design program focusing on the discipline in the Arab world.
In addition, Shehab is a TED Fellow and a PhD candidate at Leiden University in Holland. Shehab notably created a De Beers campaign, which won an International Advertising Association gold award
Most recently, Shehab has taken her art to the streets of Cairo, stenciling images in support of her country’s revolution.
Watch Bahia Shehab’s Ted Talk: