She chose a scientific career that needs precision, continuous development, research and study, a career that has profound human compassion. She trained under some of the most prominent scientists in this field, and has over 20 years of experience in IVF (in-vitro fertilization). Nagham Younis worked in several hospitals and fertility clinics in Jordan, Canada, and Saudi Arabia among others. She was awarded in 2013 as the first Canadian/Jordanian embryologist to be certified as a senior clinical embryologist from one of the oldest and most prestigious fertility societies; the European Society for human reproduction and embryology. Currently she is the IVF and genetics lab director in Jordan Hospital.
Arab Woman Mag chose Nagham Younis to be among our inspirational women in this issue,
Nagham you possess a unique leadership personality, did your family play a role in the development of this characteristic?
Allow me to extend gratitude to your esteemed magazine for its unique efforts to help empower and inspire Arab women and improve their knowledge and highlight their role as being an essential building block in our societies on every level from cultural, political, economical and scientific level.
Undoubtedly my small family is the core reason in the formation of my character and all its dimensions. This credit of planting the first seed goes to my father may he rest in peace; whom I lost early on at the age of thirteen. He was a great role model, self-made with determination to succeed; he was one of the founders of the Arab Leading Journal in Kuwait. As for my mother, may God give her health and prosperity, she’s an educator she will remain my idol portraying sacrifice, patience and giving without limits, she continuously encourages me and my brothers to love education and to seek more of it, and to always look forward to a better future built on the foundations of hard work, perseverance and challenging all odds.
Why did you choose this very delicate and meticulous career?
My choice of career in the field of medical science specifically in IVF and assisting in reproduction came about in my first few years of studies at the University of Jordan in the Department of Life Sciences and in particular to Embryology and proliferation of mankind, where I had the privilege to learn from my Professor Hamid al-Hajj, whom is considered a pioneer in teaching such sciences in the Department of Life Sciences in the Arabic language contrary to other subjects that are taught in English; based on his belief that the Arabic language is not less rich or less versatile than the English language to communicate scientific information to the student.
Hence my passion for the science of embryos began and after I got my master’s degree under his supervision I worked in Jordan University / Department of Life Sciences as a lecturer of Embryology until I found myself leaning towards another field; In Vitro Fertilization and to help people conceive.
Your career has a profound humane aspect to it, share with us your feelings when you see tears of joy on a mother’s face receiving the news of her pregnancy after decades of longing, knowing that you had a hand in making this come true?
I liked the way you described this work as humane as it is indeed so, reflected at the core of compassion and feelings being in motherhood and fatherhood. I cannot describe to you the mix of frustration and hope that unfolds on the faces of the couple’s first visit to the center as a result of a case of infertility that they suffer from, and in return happiness and hope are obtained for a bright future filled with wonderful expressions on their faces when receiving the news of the pregnancy after treatment, thanks to God.
Truly there is no joy comparable to the joy of the medical team to see the gleaming smile on the wife’s face after years of waiting bitterly to finally see her child whom will break the monotony and rigidity of her days, and shower her in the warmth of maternity and illuminates their future as a family. We forget the hours of fatigue, stress and tension the moment we see a mother’s joy after receiving by God’s will the wonderful news of her pregnancy.
In your opinion is there a career not appropriate for women to take part in? There are those whom believe that demanding careers that require long hours, travel and research are not suitable for women, what do you say to them?
On the contrary I am against determining the nature of women’s work, there are no boundaries or barriers that stand in the face of an ambitious woman, this tender person is wired by strength and determination and the ability to withstand challenges. There are many honorable role models of women in all parts of the world, where the woman was able to be a scientist, poet and businesswoman, and to be in leadership roles and prove herself with the ability to make difficult decisions and on top of all that to be wife, housemaker, and a compassionate mother and a sense of pride for her husband and her family. But the nature of certain professions require all the support and understanding of the husband and family and create the appropriate environment to help in the advancement of women’s creativity and achievement.
Currently the Arab woman is able to effectively prove her presence in different areas, but no doubt there are a lot of barriers and obstacles set by certain mindsets in our Arab societies, the effort of Arab women are multiplied compared to Western women. Not only for development and creativity in their work, but also to fight the forces of oppression and darkness nesting in the minds of some men and women alike that take it upon themselves to put all the obstacles in the way of creative women to prove their failure. I have realized this bitter truth after residing five years when I was working in Canada where I personally witnessed the respect for human rights and appreciation of effort regardless of gender or color. My advice to every girl and Arab lady is be patient and have the will and determination to develop yourself and enlighten your mind with all the means available to you, because women are half of society and are the foundation of building a family and raising the next generation, and we will never have an uprising for change without the Arab woman’s effective input in building Arab societies.