Global Ties Arizona honors L’ Malouma Said’s life and work


Rabuil Hasan/SCC

L’Malouma Said at the Global Ties Arizona event in Scottsdale

Rabiul Hasan and Muskan Mishra

On March 29 Global Ties Arizona honored L’ Malouma Said, one of the recipients of International Woman of Courage Award this year at the offices of Kyle Moyer and Co.

She received the award due to her commitment to defending human rights, equality and fighting all forms of discrimination in Mauritania.

Born into slavery, she started as a leading activist at her school for the emancipation of Haratines when she was only 17, eventually becoming the president of a cooperative of women traders. She is also the founding member of the Mauritanian Anti-Slavery Organizations.

For her courage and determination, she was elected as Deputy Member of Parliament to the Mauritanian National Assembly in 2006 and again in 2013.  Governor Doug Ducey issued a proclamation ‘recognizing March as Women’s History Month and March 8 as International Women’s Day on which women are recognized for their achievements without regard to any division, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political’. A copy of the proclamation was presented to Mrs. Said by Barry Wong, Director of the Arizona State Office of Equal Opportunity.

During the reception, a large number of people from different cultures gathered together to honor Mrs. Said for her outstanding contribution for women’s rights in Mauritania.  Global Ties Arizona presented her a dream catcher made by a Native American artist.

In her speech, Mrs. Said said “I don’t know to how to thank you for all what you have done to me, I feel like I am one of you Arizonans.”

Wendy Anderton, CEO of Global Ties, shared her thoughts about the event as a whole with Northeast Valley News.

“This kind of gathering demonstrates a unique dynamic that Global Ties Arizona offers in that we bring cultures together,” Anderton said. “When I see a group of very diverse people all enjoying an experience like this, it gives me pause to reflect and understand that the work we do is important to all those who we touch. We are able to give everyone a moment where they can be inspired, uplifted, and a part of the process of diplomacy.”

Anderton continued when reflecting upon Said.

“Mrs. Said is truly a hero among us,” Anderton said. “Her demonstration of courage and resiliency in the face of extraordinary odds inspired each to not only be thankful for what they have, but to never stop reaching higher for the good of mankind.  To eliminate injustice in the world and to inspire others to do so as well.  I think that motivation extends across barriers.”

Silvia Urrutia, one of the attendees of the reception, talked about how she came out of the event inspired.

“It is very encouraging to see that women around the world are empowering themselves and making sure that they are being recognized for what they do,”Urrutia said. “What Mrs. Said has done in that harsh circumstances should inspire us all. This kind role models encourages all young girls to be proactive to take up their roles to make the world a better place to live.”