Wednesday 31 December 2014

New year, old year and remembrance

This has been a fabelous year for me and my family.  We had a new member, Rashed, a lovely boy born on May 9th.  This date is also when my youngest sister Nehad was born, she was wishing that Rashed is born then and she did it, her wish came true.  Also this year I wrote a family book for my nephews who were away at that time.  We opened our office in Bahrain and we started the project of promoting Art in Bahrain.  The company that helped us in doing this loved Bahrain so much and decided to move to Bahrain too. We worked with over a 1000 students, I wish they will all go to their destinations, normally a third do, but I am very hopeful.

There were many trips this year, amongst them are few trips to Oman, few to Qatar, few to Bahrain, and of course I went to Swedon, Germany, UK, Prague, Saudi Arabia and ? oops that is all I think.  when I counted the number of days I was away from the office in Dubai, it was like half the year.  which brings me to my new resolution:

This year I am going to dedicate more time for the office, both Dubai and Bahrain, I am going to go to less B2B workshops and more to places for advising clients. I am going to work on establishing new schools, and universities, and I am going to focus on Aviation students as well as high school students.  I will establish a network for teachers and principals to help them know new stuff in the education world. I will also clear my emails on a daily basis.

On a personal note, this year I will work on my diet, lose weight, do more exercise, treat my knee, mybe do more facials and massages.  I will have more time for my mum and siblings, not just through Whatsapp.  I will travel mostly for fun instead of only of business. 

This year I will clear all my loans, and I will buy a car.

This year I will read more books (I read only four books last year) and I will watch better movies (I only went 4 times to the movies this year) I will keep contact with my friends and i will work on two charity events.

This year I will write my books (three are pendng and maybe a fouth one)

This year will be my year. and this article is the last one to b written on this laptop, as I am shifting to macbook pro.

Monday 29 December 2014

Its hard to tell the difference between what is important and what is not.

I was working when I was pregnant with my first child, my company was generous with me as I had to be in bed for a while due to some complications, however I still had to go to work and had to start my accounting course at the same time. In actual fact I started work prior to marriage, and continued till date.  My career journey took many turns, but all I can say here is that it was from good, to better to best.  In most jobs, I didnt have to prove that I was a good worker because of my gender, people knew how good I was. I was fortunate enough to have bosses who can tell the differnce between women who are there just to earn money and those that are there for a career.  Not many girls that I know have had that splendid opportunity. 

Back to my subject, while I was pregnant I was studying for a course that I passed, and when I had my baby I did another course which I passed too. Even though the child was restless, never slept at night, very colic, wants lots of milk and attention, I did it. How? with the help of my husband, he was sharing some of the responisbilities.  My son was scribbling on my notes and my books when we were in England (after doing two courses by distance the company decided to send me to England to complete the programme, so we spent two and a half years there), he was crying at night, and I was still nursing him but that didn't stop me from my ultimate objective, my studies were imporatant, so the years went by and I graduated. 

Then I had my second daughter, who was very quite, it was a year later that I noticed that she grew so much without any hassle, the third one arrived and we were a family with three children.  They all went to great schools, I was helping them with their homework, taking them to thier programmes and extra curriculum activities and so on, but still working, then I started my third course and studied for it, and I was still workting, then we went overseas to do my fourth course, and continued to work, study, raise kids and so on.

Not easy, but we did it, did I stop for a minute to think if what I am doing is important or not? and if my kids and my family life was sufering because of what I was doing? if my social life was affecting my family life? Am I seeing my mum and sibling enough? am I travellin enough? is my house nice? is my furniture upto standard? am I going to travel to do stuff other than work?  many questons and they all came to my mind, however one thing was for sure on my mind all the time.

That thing is the love for my kids, whatever I did in my life is for them, and because of them.  Life is worth the struggle when the results means better housing, better schools, more quality time, better universities, better trip (even though they were short) better everything.  I wanted my kids to have it all, so I didnt spare anything to do better in life so I can get them the best. 

I hear that some people are gossiping about me and how I devoted my time to myself and deprived my kids, I would say to them that my kids and my work is part of the same currency, the head and the tail; the good thing though, one doesnt need to flip the coin, both heads and tails are on the same serface of the coin.

Again I would say, anyone can achieve work and life balance, it depends though on how heavy the weight one puts on that scale.  A kilo on both side doesn't equal the ton.  I would go for a higher weight on both sides of the scale than many would have done in my time.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

I had the fright of my life

As usual, I was driving on the highway to start my day's work, listening to Abba's song "the winner takes it all" and wondering whether I will be a winner today or not; I was watching how people drive in Dubai, and how they can easily kill each other. I couldn't help but notice the dents on the barriers along Shaikh Zayed's road from the careless drivers who did a worng turn and took on the way few lives with them; I was thinking how many people got killed on this road alone when I spotted my lovely daughter driving to her work place. 

She looked confident, and I remembered how much she wanted to drive a car since she was little, she loved it so much, so one day I had let her drive my car in the neighborhood for a film she was making for one of her school assignments. I think I still have that film, it was really lovely.  Of course she is not that little anymore, she managed to clear two degrees and one minor at university, persistently looked for a job, and she got a temporary one once she arrived back from KIWI land.  While at this job, she continued to look for other jobs and went to so many interviews, I am sure she will be getting a great job.  A Million companies would kill for that girl, as she is bright, brilliant, superbly dressed, no nonsense, pretty of course and very very confident.  She lectures me on how I am running my business, the one she refused to work in until she gets enough experience to grow it (she says).  All of this was going on in my mind while driving close to her car without her spotting me. 

Then I saw it, the tire is low on air, oh my god, that is a one drastic thing to have in the middle of the road, I didnt know what to do, and I had promissed myself not to talk on the phone while driving, but I had to,  called her number and when she replied, I screamed, slow down, slow down, as your wheel is low on air, and go straight to the pertol station (she was close to that).  I didnt want to startle her as I am sure she had never experienced a flat tire, its horrible, I had it so many times that I can feel what happens to the car in my mind.  Frieghtfull moment it was, my heart was racing and pumping hard until she called me back and said that she is fine and reached work. 

My lesson from today, please lets all teach our kids the basics of car driving, check your tires before taking off, and don't give your mums a heart attack.

Saturday 13 December 2014

Oman and its wonders


Do you know that every time I come to Oman I get stunned with its beauty, serenity and quietness; with its white washed buildings that rise not that high to obscure the vast land behind it and not that low to show bareness. 
It's people still wear the traditional cloths and its beaches are open to the public to do their yoga, exercise, jogging, or fishing.

Today I had a little bit of time before going to the airport so I decided to have my coffee on Shati alqurum! I thought I will be on my own as its too early on a friday morning, but when I reached there the cafe was crowded and the children were playing with the sand on the beach.

There was a guy flying his troll and many walking their dogs. The easy life here is something to reminisce upon as its different to any country I had been to and since I have been commuting to Oman for 14 years I yet to see change in behavior due to advancement in technology and otherwise.

The people remained the same despite being so technologically advanced;  many of the people that I met in my first years are still around and still look the same as the ease of life didn't make them age the same as their counterparts in Dubai. Of course there are more cafes and more shops than 14 years ago but nothing that will alter or disturb the kindness and the sincerity of its people.

To my utter disgust is to see the rubbish of the people in the streets and thrown from the windows ofThe airport for example had more rubbish on its pavements than travellers so I looked around and didn't see rubbish cans, maybe that's a good solution for reducing the amount of rubbish discarded in the streets. their cars.

At the airport it took me few minutes to finish the formalities and when I went to the gates I saw a gallery in the sky. Amazing work by amazing Omani artists. Here are some pictures of that art. 

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Why don't we reach the ranks

I am attending a conference about quality assurance in higher education. Great researchers and great results. However I think the arab world lacks the basic criteria of acheiving high ranks and no matter how much we spend on higher education such as hiring noble prize winners or top researchers or have incredible buildings and infrastructure and so on we will never reach the level of those top universities. 

I am not being pesimistic here, trust me I beleive in what we are trying to do to improve the outcome but we do not have the liberty to do any research.  Once this becomes open you will see that at least half of world class universities is from the arab world