Catalyst for Change

Her Highness Sheikha Intisar AlSabah

Personal victory as a destiny.
Positivity as a direction.
Peace as a destination.

Peace ruling supreme in the Arab world is HH Sheikha Intisar AlSabah’s life vision. From her native Kuwait, this vision is a light that guides her work as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, film producer, and columnist.

It is also the source of her mission to empower children, young people, and women to emerge victorious from any ordeal. In this daily pursuit, she relies on the right mix of entrepreneurship, psychology, and philanthropy. She truly believes that this approach has the power to transform the world.

This hallmark of her life’s work – inspiring personal victory, positivity, and Peace – is reflected in her social enterprises (Intisars, and Ebbarra), non-profits (Alnowair and Bareec), and charitable organisation (Intisar Foundation).

From her uncle the late Amir of the State of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad AlSabah, a United Nations recognised Global Humanitarian Leader, she draws her understanding that leadership is a duty to aid and uplift others. With great foresight, it was he who named her Intisar – ‘victory’ in Arabic – just a day after attending a summit which, at the time, brought Peace to many Arabs. With deep commitment, she bears this name to improve the fate of women, encourage high aspirations, and build a more Peaceful world for all.

HH Sheikha Intisar presenting her book “The Alchemy of Wisdom” to the late Amir of the State of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad AlSabah in 2012.

Her equal reliance on empathy and scientific facts and data, which both embody her approach to instilling change, have resulted in Alnowair and Bareec becoming the only two NGOs from Kuwait to have presented their work at a session of the United Nations General Assembly. Having reached 1.5 million people since 2013, Alnowair is an incubator of national programmes that use the principles of positive psychology to guide positive change processes at human, interpersonal and organisational level, while its offspring Bareec, a programme that helps teachers to empower students with the benefits of positive thinking, has been included in the human development plan of New Kuwait Vision 2035.

HH Sheikha Intisar with Bareec students in Bareec Awards Ceremony at JACC
HH Sheikha Intisar at Alnowair’s biggest Positivity Carnival in Kuwait
HH Sheikha Intisar with the beneficiaries of Intisar Foundation at Shatila Refugee Camp in Beirut, Lebanon.

Often, HH Sheikha Intisar can also be seen in refugee camps across the MENA region, offering solace to Arab women suffering from war trauma. HH Sheikha Intisar’s own personal victory over a psychological trauma caused by the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait fuels her conviction to spare no effort to empower Arab women. A testament to that is Intisar Foundation’s pioneering One Million Arab Women initiative, a 30-year plan to alleviate psychological trauma in one million Arab women impacted by the brutality of war and violence through the use of drama therapy.

Currently, she serves as a member of the International Peace Institute’s Women, Peace and Leadership Council, a member of the Board of Governors of the Pearl Initiative, one of the seven high profile members of the World Humanitarian Forum’s Leadership Council, a Co-Chair of The Global Diwan, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Authority for Youth’s Volunteer Academy, an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese American University, and an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice (BAACH) and the Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital (KACCH).

HH Sheikha Intisar presenting an overview of the impact of Alnowair’s Boomerang and Bareec programmes in relation to SDG 4 to the United Nations General Assembly in 2020.
HH Sheikha Intisar with the President of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly Dr Tijjani Muhammad Bande.

An active force in the cultural ecosystem of the MENA region, she has produced four award-winning films that promote Kuwaiti talent and heritage. She has also published high-quality art publications that honour and celebrate Kuwait (“The Alchemy of Wisdom” and “Kuwait In 400 Years”) and the triumphs of Arab and all the women of the world (“Women in War” and “Circle of Love”).

In all women, be they near or far, HH Sheikha Intisar strives to ingrain resilience, self-love, and inner Peace.

Writing

A prolific writer, HH Sheikha Intisar AlSabah has published a significant body of work in her her recognisably precise, concise, fearless, and above all, empathetic voice. Written with such certainty of purpose, all her articles seek to educate and empower the lives of children, young people, and women across the Arab world and beyond.

Self-Empowerment As A Sign Of Personal Growth

We must continue to build momentum in feeling empowered to change the world, and to that end, we need to encourage self-empowerment.

Why Mental Health Support Needs to Become a Part of International Humanitarian Aid

Trauma is a consequence of being exposed to an experience that exceeds one’s ability to cope with or integrate the emotions involved, leaving long-term negative consequences on the brain.

Why cultural context is vital when treating women traumatised by war

Mental health support for refugees and those affected by war needs to be sensitive to cultural and social differences.

Publications

HH Sheikha Intisar AlSabah’s publications fuse together high-quality art photography and strength of words to remind readers of some of life’s core values – love of one’s homeland and a woman’s strength and resilience.

“The Alchemy of Wisdom”

“The Alchemy of Wisdom”, published in 2012, is an art book that celebrates the achievements of 48 inspirational Kuwaitis.

“Kuwait in 400 Years”

“Kuwait in 400 Years”, published in 2019, is the first book of its kind to document the history of Kuwait in more than 1,300 pictures.

“Circle of Love”

The “Circle of Love” book features deeply personal stories of the resilience of 87 magnanimous women from Kuwait, the MENA region, and around the world, including Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, Afef Jnifen, Yasmin Le Bon, Radhika Khimji, Maria Buccellati, and HH Sheikha Intisar herself.

Illustrated by Max Vadukul, a world-renowned British photographer who is noted for his portrait photography, the book encourages women to be seen and heard through visual and vocal expressions of their own merited stories.

All proceeds of the book go to the Intisar Foundation.

“Women in War”

“The Women in War”, published in 2019, is a result of an art exhibition curated by the renowned Kuwaiti artist Amira Behbehani and a round table discussion organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) under the patronage of HH Sheikha Intisar AlSabah which shed light on the issues faced by Arab women affected by war.

Creativity for a purpose

HH Sheikha Intisar AlSabah’s belief in the power of media to influence behaviours and inspire change in society has motivated her to also explore the art of film.

Relying solely on local Kuwaiti youth and talent, she has produced four award-winning films which have all received national and international acclaim for promoting high ethical standards and values.

Habib Al-Ardh

2015

Al-Ater

2017

Sirb Al-Hamam

2018

Saat Zaman

2019