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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 4 March 2021

Time100 Next list: UAE's Sarah Al Amiri, Olivia Rodrigo and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan make the cut

Egypt's Nadeen Ashraf and Syria's Hadi Al Khatib are also among the final selection

From left: Sarah Al Amiri, Olivia Rodrigo and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan all made the Time 100 Next list. EPA, AFP, Netflix
From left: Sarah Al Amiri, Olivia Rodrigo and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan all made the Time 100 Next list. EPA, AFP, Netflix

For the second year running, Time magazine has released its Time100 Next list, highlighting 100 emerging leaders from around the world who are shaping the future.

"What struck me most was how its members are coping with crisis," writes the publication's editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal.

"Amid a global pandemic, deepening inequality, systemic injustice and existential questions about truth, democracy and the planet itself, the individuals on this year’s list provide 'clear-eyed hope', as actor, composer and director Lin-Manuel Miranda puts it in his tribute to poet and Time100 Next honouree Amanda Gorman."

“Everyone on this list is poised to make history,” says Dan Macsai, editorial director of the Time100 franchise. “And in fact, many already have.”

Among the big names on the list include US inauguration poet Gorman, singer Dua Lipa, actress Florence Pugh, actor Rege-Jean Page, athlete Marcus Rashford and politician Rishi Sunak.

We take a look some of the people from this region and beyond who made the cut.

Sarah Al Amiri

Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Sarah Al Amiri says women cannot be overlooked. EPA/ALI HAIDER
Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Sarah Al Amiri says women cannot be overlooked. EPA

The young space chief behind the UAE's notable mission to Mars is among the list of Innovators.

"Dreaming of going to Mars is easy; getting there is brutally hard," says senior Time writer Jeffrey Kluger in Al Amiri's profile. "It was no small thing, either, that the person whom experts cite as the most responsible for the UAE triumph was Sarah Al Amiri, the project’s lead scientist, heading a team that is 80 per cent women."

Al Amiri, who is also the UAE's Minister for Advanced Sciences, "serves as something of a global emissary for the UAE and its rapidly developing science and tech sector", Kluger adds.

See more from the UAE's Mars mission in the gallery below:

Hadi Al Khatib

Time's Middle East correspondent, mj, pens the bio for Syrian journalist Hadi Al Khatib, who "collects, preserves and verifies digital records of war crimes and human-rights abuses".

"Transformation starts from accountability," Al Khatib, who is included under the Advocates section in the Time100 Next list, has famously said.

"But accountability has proved elusive in Syria," writes Hincks. "That’s why, in 2014, Al Khatib set up the Syrian Archive: an open-source repository of digital documents for journalists, lawyers and activists in the region to draw upon.

"His Berlin-headquartered team has archived more than 3.5 million videos from Syria and painstakingly authenticated more than 8,000 – showing strikes on medical facilities, barrel bombings and other war crimes."

Nadeen Ashraf

Also under the Advocates section is Egyptian activist Nadeen Ashraf, who was only 12 when the ousting of Hosni Mubarak happened 10 years ago.

"She is now at the vanguard of what I am convinced is another revolution, this time of women rising up against tyranny of another kind: sexual assault," writes journalist and author Mona Eltahawy.

Ashraf founded an Instagram account called Assault Police in July 2020, which has since "become the platform for hundreds of survivors to speak out about sexual violence at home, at work and social circles", Eltahawy explains.

"I have never seen anything like it in Egypt.

"The unprecedented outpouring has forced Egypt to pass a law to protect victims’ identities. But laws alone are never enough. The women Nadeen has inspired to find their voice are forcing a long overdue reckoning. Long live the feminist revolution!"

Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo's debut single 'Drivers License' has hit No 1 in the Billboard's Hot 100 chart. AFP
Olivia Rodrigo's debut single 'drivers license' has hit No 1 in the Billboard's Hot 100 chart. AFP

Listed under "Phenoms" is the Filipina-American singer and actress Olivia Rodrigo. Grammy-winning musician and producer Gwen Stefani, a Time100 alum, writes Rodrigo's bio for the publication.

"At just 17, Olivia Rodrigo is a master at turning her heartbreak into something glorious," says Stefani of the Disney star.

"The world is obsessed with her breakthrough single, drivers license – which smashed streaming records when it debuted, and made her one of the youngest artists to get a No 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 – because while Olivia’s storytelling is confessional and intimate, it’s also larger than life. By pouring her heart out with so much courage and total command of her talent, Olivia made magic."

Stefani goes on to describe Rodrigo's voice as "a light in the dark, a promise that your pain can someday become a deep source of power".

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan

The Canadian actress of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, who is only 19, is best known for her leading role in the Netflix teen comedy series Never Have I Ever.

She's made it on to the "Phenoms" list, and American comedian and actress Mindy Kaling, whose parents are both Indian, writes her bio.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in "Never Have I Ever". Courtesy of Netflix
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in 'Never Have I Ever'. Courtesy Netflix

"When you’re a minority woman with your own show, you gotta represent. It’s a tough job to be in that spotlight, where you are scrutinised for your every action, but it’s exhilarating, too," Kaling writes.

"People come up to you at the airport or online and say those three magic words: 'I feel seen.' It’s a huge responsibility – and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is exactly the kind of talented young woman who is up to the task."

Kaling goes on to describe Maitreyi as a "gifted comic actress", who takes her craft "seriously" and "cares deeply" about the material.

"What’s most extraordinary about Maitreyi is that when you’re with her, you think you’re simply talking to a cool, smart teenager, but later, when you see her work on screen, you realise you were actually interacting with a great artist at the beginning of her journey."

Updated: February 18, 2021 05:16 PM

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