Interview with Dr. Dima Dabbous

Dr. Dima

As part of women’s empowerment during the month of March, we wanted to shed light on one of Phoenicia University’s well-accomplished academics, Dr. Dima Dabbous.
Dr. Dabbous is the Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at PU.  In addition to leading a successful career path, she is a strong advocate of women’s rights and gender equality and equity.
Some of her career highlights include being a visiting researcher at Stanford University in the US, the Director of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World, a USAID Gender specialist, and UNESCO’s lead researcher and senior consultant on media laws and regulation in the MENA.
Her support of feminist issues and her positive influence on young female students at PU have impelled us to want to get to know her better.

Below is what Dr. Dabbous has shared when asked about her own experiences as a professional and as an educator:

What particular challenges might women encounter as a result of gender bias and discrimination in this field of study/work?

The fact that I have a PhD in Media Law, which is a very rare area of specialization in the Arab World, automatically meant that I was frequently approached by development and funding organizations in order to conduct research on media laws and legal reform in the Arab world. This also meant that I was more often than not the only female researcher with such expertise, working with predominantly male experts. Although this cannot be said about all of them, some were nervous about working with a female expert and even questioned my presence in a field regarded as “exclusive” to men.Just doing the best job I could do has helped me deal with these challenges, prove to the skeptical around me that I am qualified, and to continue being solicited to our day.

What advice/recommendation(s) do you have for female students in the College of Arts and Sciences?

Never let anything or anyone put you down, demoralize you, and tell you what you can and cannot do. Pursue your dreams because you can make many of them come true, including the big ones. Believe in yourself.

Many thanks go to Dr. Dabbous for her continuous efforts to empower young women and for being a worthy role model.