A Whole New World

Oh Dunia, I am bad I know, I have neglected you yet again and I don’t have a valid excuse except it has been a busy time for me – makes a nice change right? So let me just finish off the story of how I got on my first ever bus journey.

As I waited with my friend for either a taxi or a bus; my friend wanted a bus as she always pushes me to try new things and experience in life, I wanted the usual ‘safe’ option, which is a taxi. My friend won and got her wish as the bus arrived first and we were already late to the event that we had booked to attend, so I could not object. I was bit nervous, ok… ok, I was wrecked with nerves but I fully trust my friend and know she will never let anything happen to me so I started to gradually feel at ease and as we reached our destination I was very excited to have finally overcome my fear of travelling on public bus. I have to admit though Dunia, I don’t think I can ever ride a bus alone or even do it often.

Now we get to my favourite part of October; my birthday week. It is strange Dunia how when thing go wrong they do so altogether in one go and when things become right they occur suddenly one after another. I can safely say that my luck and perspective on life began to change as the month started, first I applied for an internship at a small publishing firm and to my great surprise I got it. No I was not being pessimistic but if you had gone through as many interviews as me Dunia and received the same amount of rejection letters then you will not be too excited about your chances. Yet I was proven wrong, the lady liked me and I will start the internship in two weeks, I was informed that if I work hard the firm might keep me on.

I am so excited and feel very blessed, more so after my birthday; my brother came from Zurich especially to celebrate the day with mum and I, he booked a restaurant – Indian, my favourite, and I received my birthday gifts from both him and mum, they were exactly what I wanted. I returned home feeling that life is about to get even better, not that my previous year was bad in anyway, it is funny people think that as you get older life becomes harder and duller but for me it is the opposite; so alright maybe health wise it is more difficult but there is a feeling of content and self-acceptance that only comes with age and that is how I currently feel.

On my actual birthday, mama made me chocolate cake and wrote my name on, I made 3 wishes (yes I know it is supposed to be one, but I am greedy what can I say!) I then received the best surprise from my niece and nephew – a video of them singing happy birthday and one in which they were making me a card. It was the best card I have ever received and most definitely the most sincere. The drawing on the card was of me driving the wheelchair with my nephew standing at the back (on batteries) and niece sitting in front (on the foot rest), and this in fact what usually happens, so the card reminded me of our summer days.

Now comes my birthday celebration with friends, which was equally one that I will treasure for a long time to come, but Dunia it is too long to write now and my elbow is hurting so I will continue next time and I promise it will be soon.

Ciao for now…

The Eldest

When you are the eldest among your siblings, you may feel the unfairness of why you have to do everything and try everything for the first time, why you are the first always? Without having the exact details on how things can be achieved. However, years after, you will laugh on such a way of thinking and will understand that there is always a bright beneficial side of the same.

The majority if not all of what you learnt in your life and the path your family always steer you towards are actually for the benefit of yours and what comes quickly will vanish and fade easily, but what comes from living the situation or trying it out yourself will be graved.

Award Winners Share Their Recipe for Success

Group pic

Taken by Go2 Publishing

A room filled with great business leaders from across the Middle Eastern, African and Asian continents being awarded for their great accomplishments, took place on the 5th of November 2014 at the Armani Hotel in Dubai at the 5th Middle Ease Business Leaders Awards.

An evening full of inspiration, taking Leadership to a whole new level.

Having spoken to some of the remarkable Award winners I have gathered some great advice which gives a great insight into entrepreneurship, its obstacles and rewards.

Princess Ade Garrick was awarded the Masterclass Women Leader of the Year.

With an astonishing personality this highly inspiring lady created legal consultancies and financial advisory services in order to create a bridge between the Middle East, West Africa and the rest of the world.

When asked, her key to success was clear, collaborations and mentorships.

“You are not alone. Mentoring those you need your support and looking for mentors is fundamental.” 

She explains, in depth, the importance of collaborations and corporations and advises everyone who would like to establish themselves as entrepreneurs to build relationships with likeminded people to exchange ideas and grow together.

When asked where she took her immense strength from, she stated women possess an extensive emotional intelligence, which comes from a variety of sources, including being a mother, a daughter and wife.

She takes a quote by Madelaine Albright;

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”

and shares her own version of it:

“There is a special place in heaven for women who help other women.”  

Shaika Noora Bint Khalifa Al- Khalifa was awarded for the Emerging Woman of the Year.

The Chief Executive Officer of Medpoint Design speaks about how time is a factor and how it is crucial not to wait to build businesses.

Shaika Noora Bint Khalifa Al- Khalifa tells how she started working on her first enterprise at the tender age of 17 whist still in school.

The highly successful Bahraini lady doesn’t only have a very strong educational background, but also a track record in organizing award winning events and working on various projects in the GGC events industry simultaneously. Naming but a few, the Abaya Exhibition, the B-Training Event, and the Labours Day Event in association with the foreign embassies where 17,000 employees who were honoured on this special occasion organized by Medpoint.

”Being successful in business requires a lot of time and effort. The earlier you start the better. Even though challenges may arise you have to work through them and obstacles will disappear” on their own.”

Datuk Wira SM Faisal, eldest son of the late founder of NAZA Group was awarded the Global Business Icon of the Year

Speaking to Datuk Wira SM Faisal was not only a breath of fresh air, but also inspirational.   The insights from an accomplished young entrepreneur on how to build a sustainable business were received with great admiration.

His advice was always to keep going, no matter the number of challenges one faces. He remarked that many people see the lack of financial resources as their number one obstacle, but he encourages anyone with a vision to keep going, regardless of the rejections one may encounter.

Find something you like, your unique talent. A niche. Don’t rush anything. Don’t look for money, but merely to follow your passion and the right things will fall into place.

He continues to say, funding can be obtained through banks, angel investors, etc. As long as you follow your passion and keep up the right ethics everything will fall into place.

His principle for success is to always set short term, medium and long-term goals, and Datuk Wira SM Faisal remarked it is this that drives him. He highly recommends not only to visualize your goals, but once you have achieved them set new challenges that take you further.

Mohamed Ayub Khan the MD of Khansforge SDM BHD in Malaysia was awarded the Masterclass Enterpreneur of the Year.

Mohamed Ayub Khan has incorporated Khansforge, the Middle Easts leading steel grating manufacturer in October 2010.

His client portfolio includes major oil and gas providers, power plants as well as chemical plants and major industries within these fields, being registered with government statutory authorities.

When speaking about his accomplishments and future plans he mentions that his upcoming ventures are to create new manufacturing plants in the Middle East. He also mentioned that this is just the beginning and there will be much more to come Inshallah (If God willing).

The advice I have received form this notably modest leader, whose inspiration is gratitude for all his accomplishments, is simply to prioritise, to always work hard and no matter how much success you are blessed with to remain humble.

Picture taken by Go2 Publishing

Picture taken by Go2 Publishing

الأخ الأكبر

عندما تكون الأخ الأكبر، قد تحس بأنه من الظلم أن تقوم بتجربة  كل شيء لأول مرة وأن تتعلم المواجهة دون الاتكال على أحد، لكن عندما تكبر تكتشف أن كل هذا كان لمصلحتك وبأنه ليس ظلما. إن ما تتعلمه في الحياة وما ترسمه لك أسرتك يصب لمصلحتك

إن ما يناله المرء بسهولة يذهب ويتلاشى بسهولة، أما ما يتعلمه ويعيشه يستحيل عليه نسيانه

Tell Me Why

Tell me why can’t I hear your voice tonight

Tell me why can’t I smell that scent for a little while

Tell me why can’t I see your picture without a cry

Tell me why can’t I bring back those fun nights

Tell me why can’t I drive without the fright

Tell me why can’t I say all that I have kept locked inside

Tell me why can’t I bring back time and stay there for a little while


It Has You

It has you singing away

It has you believing it is going to be okay

It is going to go your way

Your mind is finally at ease

At a place where you believe

It is your time to shine away

To spark the world with your light

And brighten the souls of mankind

Dunia: The Birthday Girl’s Month of Firsts


Dunia have I mentioned to you how much I love autumn and in particular the month of October, yes, I know, few times. But seriously there are only 3 things that I love about myself: the month I was born in, my star sign, and my name. So if anyone wants to annoy me or make me angry, then all they have to do is attack one of these.

There is so much to tell you, yet I have no idea where to start, but before I get to my birthday – favourite topic-, I will begin at the start of my beloved month. I had decided as you know after the departure of my niece and nephew that I will be active and rediscover many things around me, clearly I am too cautious and a creature of habit to do this alone and by my own accord. So thank god for my great friend whom I had often written about in the past. It is hard to describe her Dunia, and no it’s not because I don’t want to share her! Honestly, no words can do her justice, and if I try to do so, then you will think she is not real or a fairy tale character, something that I sometimes wonder myself, to me she is like a fairy or magic potion that grants me so many dreams and invokes within me a different side to my personality – a more daring and adventurous one.

There was an Arabic films week at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London so we decided to go and see an Egyptian film entitled ‘Factory Girl’ which was followed by discussion with the director, Mohamed Khan. Usually when I go out I have to prepare and plan my carers time, I need to make sure they can come to get me ready at specific time then make sure they know when I return. Plus I have to regulate my ventilator usage, I get severe headaches and breathless if I don’t use ventilator after meals. Therefore, when I go out, I either eat beforehand and use ventilator or simply use ventilator for 3 or 4 hours prior to leaving my house. These few hours will build enough energy that allows me to eat outside without getting too distressed or tired.

Anyhow, that day things went smoothly, I had my ventilator time, carer was punctual and even taxi arrived promptly. Once we arrived, we decided to have a picnic in the park opposite the venue, as the film won’t start for another 40 minutes. That was my first ever experience of picnic in the park at night, it was the most beautiful night I had experienced in a while, stars shining, ducks swimming in the pond in front of us seeking our crumbs, and the warm feeling of darkness that makes you feel no one else exists apart from you and your friends. I sense you don’t think it’s a big deal? Well it may seem trivial to you but for someone who is eternally scared to try new things and anti-change, picnic at night was the best experience ever, and I actually enjoyed it more than the film and event.

The next new venture was my first ever journey on a public bus! Something that I had always feared and tried my best to avoid but I had no other choice, my friends and I had planned to attend another event, this time was at the Geographical Society for a viewing of a Palestinian documentary. On this occasion, the taxi was not so reliable, in fact, it did not turn up so we tried to hail one on the street but obviously when taxis sees that I am a wheelchair user and need a ramp, I become invisible and they drive past. As we were stuck for some time, my friend said to me ‘right, we are going to have to take the bus’, realising the look of fear on my face she suggested ‘whatever comes first we will take, so if a taxi stops then taxi will be, but if a bus comes then that is final’. Oh Dunia, I can hear the bell, sorry will finish my tale next time. Adieu!