Qatar: First woman Colonel in the Qatar Armed Forces

The Peninsula
"I reached this position through my dedication and hard work," said Col. Sumayya Hassan Nasser Al Rashid.
Sumayya Hassan Nasser Al Rashid has become the first Qatari woman to be promoted to the rank of a Colonel at the Qatar Armed Forces. She currently heads the Internal Diseases Section at the Medical Services Department of the Armed Forces.
Talking to Al Sharq, Sumayya said the confidence that the Qatari leadership has given to women in the country has helped her reach this high position.

She said she was happy that the Armed Forces have expressed their confidence in her abilities and treated her as equal to her male counterparts.

"I reached this position through my dedication and hard work," said Sumayya.

Before 20 years she joined the Armed Forces as an Officer and that was the last year of her study at the medicine faculty of the King Saud University in Riyadh. Then she graduated and was promoted to Second Lieutenant in 1998 and to First Lieutenant in 1991.

In 2003 Sumayya was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and finally became Colonel on August 1 this year.

Asked how her family responded to her career, Sumayya said, "I am from a military family and most of the family members are working in the army. I got tremendous support and encouragement from my father as well as brothers."

"The relatives were also not a problem to me at all. I joined the Hamad Medical Corporation for training and then joined the medical services unit. The situation in the country is changing in favour of women. Society's perception about women has changed a lot. I have noticed this personally. When I took part in my first military exercise in 2002, I was the only woman participant. I felt as a stranger in that environment. In the exercise that took place ahead of Asian Games in 2006, I was in a very prominent position and I led the entire medical team."

She added that the medical services unit at Qatar Armed Forces has been witnessing a steady growth and development under the guidance and support of the Chief of Staff of the Qatari Armed Forces H E Major General Hamad bin Ali Al Atiyyah.

14 August 2007