The magical, memorable Daughters For Life Third Annual Gala was an overwhelming success– both in raising funds for the Foundation’s important educational work and raising its profile in the community.
On Wednesday, May 28, 1014, night the annual Daughters for Life Gala took place at The Carlu in Toronto, featuring live entertainment, an auction and celebrating the first young scholars and honouring three remarkable women who have made a difference in the world.
Dalal and Shatha Abuelaish spoke of their sisters starting the evening off and their hopes of peace. Their emotional speech gave a deep meaning to how important Daughters for Life truly is for their homeland and for the healing of their family. Their father Dr. Izzeldin Abuslaish spoke after, clearly touched by his children’s words, with pride of his surviving daughters and with love for the three girls that live on in his heart.
Daughters for Life honoured the internationally renowned Canadian astronaut and neurologist, Dr. Roberta Bondar, an Officer of the Order of Canada with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, and present her with The Lifetime Achievement Luminary Award in recognition of her outstanding career achievements as a pioneering astronaut and for promoting the professional advancement of women in neurology. Bondar said before getting her award that one of the things she took from her trip into space was viewing the Earth as it really is, not an Imax version or a 2-dimensional image, and how breathtaking the planet really is.
The Trailblazer Luminary Award was presented to Captain Aysha Al Hamili for her work as a pioneering pilot and diplomat from the United Arab Emirates. She became the first female pilot at the age of 16 and is the first woman to be named to the Diplomatic Mission of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Hamili said of the award that she believes that this is a start of the things to come.
This year’s inaugural Industry Luminary Award is Ms Lisa LaFlamme, CTV News’ Chief Anchor and Senior Editor. Ms. LaFlamme is a decorated Canadian who has won several Radio-Television News Directors Awards, the Distinguished Canadian award from the University of Ottawa, and most recently was named the best national news anchor at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards. LaFlamme spoke of her travels to the Middle East and seeing how education or a lack of education makes the difference in the lives of girls and women.
Yosra Albakkar has fulfilled her dream of studying economics at Trent University. She is the first women to graduate from higher education as a result of Daughters for Life. “I often think of the thousands of young women in the Middle East who, despite hardship, are dreaming of a better life. I want to be a role model for the girls of Gaza, who can make their dreams come true through education. I want to help make the dream of a peaceful, strong future come true.”