Monday, December 19, 2011

MOSAIC: Where Dreams Are Shaped - Guest Blog by Hadeel Alabbasi, KSA

Hadeel Alabbasi is a counsellor, writer and educator dedicated to the advancement of Muslim Society. Her area of focus remains family health, individual empowerment, life planning, relationships and positive parenting. She is a co-founder of Mama and Me program and author of many children books. Hadeel graduated from King Abdul Aziz University with her majors in economics and did her post graduate in Leadership and Development from Walden University. 

Everyone is telling me I’m a leader, so the next obvious step is to take action and be one. I will talk to you through my blogs about my leadership journey. As for that, I would be delighted to hear your comments and suggestions along my challenging yet exciting journey. 

I live in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and although I come from a Saudi family, I have always felt a connection with foreigners. I enjoyed their company and I loved listening to their stories. They always wanted to learn, develop, and get the best out of their time here in Saudi Arabia. The sad part is that a lot of them came and left without achieving their dreams. Many came to study Qur’an, but were faced with a rigid system in Qur’an schools. Many wanted to learn Arabic, but only found elementary school like classes or nothing at all. A lot wanted to raise their kids to become good Muslims but could not get their children in the Saudi school system to learn Islam and proper Arabic. 

A while back, someone surprisingly pointed out the number of centers teaching English here in Jeddah while on the other hand, no centers that taught Arabic. That’s when an idea sprouted its roots in me. After attending the MOSAIC summit, the real energy to realize my dream came. I realized that a lot of my fellow delegates don’t know Arabic. Truly, this was partly from my ignorance as I expected every Muslim to know at least a little Arabic. Moreover, I have always felt that Muslims should be able to communicate in the original language of the Holy Qur’an as well i.e. Arabic. As a result, I felt an enormous obligation towards humanity, responsibility with respect to my beloved Arabic language, and commitment towards my new dream. 

My new dream is to open a center that teaches Arabic to non Arabic speakers. I would name it “ICTA” which is “I Can Talk Arabic”, cool right? But how can I tell if this is the right dream? And if this dream is truly my window of opportunity? Let’s go together through the 10 leadership check list…

1. Am I proud of my dream and do I believe in it? YES 

2. Am I showing commitment and am I living it? I believe so, I ‘m not waiting on it and I’m not forgetting about it 

3. Did I carefully think about it? YES 

4. I have the plan ready but am I starting to take actions? YES, I have formed a focus group to discuss needs, experiences, and obstacles. 

5. Am I ready to make mistakes and face challenges? I hope so 

6. Am I ready to show my weaknesses and vulnerability as a leader? Same as above 

7. Am I ready to put everything I have in what I believe? YES 

8. Do I have the dignity to believe that I’m a leader? YES 

9. Am I ready to go all the way? YES 

10. Is my dream actually going to benefit people? YES, I know that it matters… 

I think that my dream is truly a window of opportunity, do you?

I'm excited to hear your experiences with learning Arabic and grateful to hear your thoughts about the perfect ICTA center : ) 

M.D. Hadeel

Saturday, December 10, 2011

You Never Lose/Fail, Until You Give Up!

There are number of times you hear about somebody failing or losing and sometimes that somebody is YOU. But have you ever thought, whether you really really failed. Just mull over it for sometimes when you have that feeling next time. And when you do, just ask a simple question, why you gave up? 

You may have not heard about Derek Redmond before; I never did. But when I knew about him for the first time few years back, I could not forget him. He is a retired British athlete with numerous medals and records to his credit of which I know a little about. But his 1992 Olympic performance in Barcelona will be remembered by generations. He was the last to finish the race, but I guess hardly anyone remembers the athlete who actually won. Derek won the hearts of 65000 spectators. Click to watch what happened.

For sure, somebody who doesn’t give up, can never fail and it’s hard to beat the one who is not willing to give up.