Celebrating Women of Strength and Inspiration: The Dawoodi Bohra Women of Bahrain

Insiya Abbas of Bahrain displaying her work.

As the world unites to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2024, we spotlight the lives and achievements of three Dawoodi Bohra women from Bahrain. Their stories are not just narratives of personal success; they exemplify the profound influence of faith, community, and resilience. Maria Dadabhai, Insiya Abbas, and Tasnim Fakhruddin represent the diverse tapestry of talents within the Dawoodi Bohra community, embodying the spirit of empowerment and service.

Maria Dadabhai: Engineering Wellness and Compassion

Maria Dadabhai stands as a beacon of versatility and leadership whose journey is a blend of rigorous academia and community service. With a degree in civil engineering, Maria expanded her horizon with certifications in spa management, quality management auditing, and an MBA in management consulting.  Currently, she is enhancing her expertise through a diploma in positive psychology.

As the owner and managing director of Sparadise, a holistic spa in Bahrain, Maria has pioneered wellness in the region. Beyond her business acumen, her heart beats for the community. She founded a foundation dedicated to supporting medical cases within the Dawoodi Bohra community, manifesting her beliefs in empathy, compassion, and dedication.

Insiya Abbas: Art as Worship

Insiya Abbas, a young self-taught calligraphy and henna artist, has transformed her passion for art into a form of worship. Her journey into the art world began with an intrigue for Arabic calligraphy, inspired by a television drama and the works of Radiant Arts. Insiya’s engagement with the project during the COVID-19 pandemic, where artists globally contributed to creating a beautiful ghilaf – a cloth cover for the grave of the late leader of the Dawoodi Bohras – solidified her belief in the boundless nature of art.

Insiya’s aspirations to join the RAartist community – a Dawoodi Bohra platform for artists that promotes art and preserves culture – and her plans to learn graphic design reflect her dedication to evolving her artistry. Her work, embedding the name of Allah and the verses of the Qur’an, is a testament to the spiritual depth of her craft.

Tasnim Fakhruddin: A Multifaceted Entrepreneur

Tasnim Fakhruddin’s life is a blend of entrepreneurship and community service. Managing her family’s hardware and tools business by day and crafting exquisite Ridas by night, Tasnim embodies the Dawoodi Bohra ethos of work-life balance. Her participation in various committees of the Bahrain Dawoodi Bohras highlights her commitment to the community.

Tasnim has also ventured into the culinary world with a business that brings delicious Indian street food to Bahrain.  Her story caught the eye of a national photographer, showcasing a Bohra woman thriving in a traditionally male-dominated sector.

Beacons of Empowerment

These stories of Maria, Insiya, and Tasnim are illuminating examples of the Dawoodi Bohra women’s resilience, talent, and faith-driven purpose. On International Women’s Day, their narratives inspire us to acknowledge and celebrate the diverse roles women play in enriching our communities and the world at large. Their achievements remind us of the powerful impact of women empowered by faith, education, and a commitment to service.

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