Dear Mira, you are recognized publisher, writer/editor & Life Coach, but you also fight for the better future of women in UAE. What made you become an activist for women rights?
First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and Youth Magazine for your interest and efforts to promote women rights and to share my success journey with your readers.
I am very passionate about making a difference, especially for those that need it the most. In my opinion women are the source of life, and the wheels that steer societies and raise future generations. Although women have come a long way yet there are many who still struggle to be heard and if given the right opportunity would exceed any expectations, all they need is a chance or a glimpse of hope.
As a Co-founder of Arab Woman Platform, can you name us the top 3 achievements or outcomes that happened due to the actions you are being taken all this time for the women involved?
My co – founder Ms. Amal Al Harithi and myself are very proud of the fact that Arab Woman Platform became a beacon of hope for many women from around the world, as we offered them a space to express themselves and highlight many of their struggles through articles and relevant interesting stories. In a way the platform became a voice for many women out there.
Some of our humble achievements and goals was to encourage Arab women to read more, self-develop and educate themselves on their legal rights, we did this by offering captivating high quality content, which truly appealed to them and encouraged them to come back to our platform time and time again. We also encouraged and motivated women to change their lives for the better in any way possible, even from the comforts of their own home, by allowing them to share their stories with other readers; many times women wrote to us expressing their gratitude on how the platform helped them better their lives either by giving them motivation to follow their dreams, or by making them change their way of thinking and giving them the courage to change an undesirable situation they were living in. The English section of the platform focused more on breaking the stereotype of how the West viewed Arab women; as opressed and helpless. Showcasing many success stories of Arab business women and entrepreneurs and how they dified odds and became role models in their own right.
What do you see as the greatest issues of Arab women today?
I can not generalize and use a broad paint brush to describe issues for all Arab women in today’s world, it depends on their culture, society and opportunites or lack of. For some the greatest issues might be cultural constraints and how ignorance and male dominance take over their lives. For others it might be lack of financial independence or balancing their motherly insticts with career growth. One thing for sure many still view a woman’s main goal in life should be the white dress and marriage more than earning an education which in my opinion is a catastrophe, I am not against marriage on the contrary, however with a solid education a woman can better herself and her family and give her options in life.
Are there any ways the platform can directly help women who are having issues in some part of UAE or elsewhere regarding education? College education for women and chance for them to have equal opportunities as men to succeed in business seem to be a huge challenge, isn’t it?
The UAE has been always a pioneer not only in inovation but also in all other areas in life. Women in the UAE are given equal opportunity for work and education is accessible for everyone regardless of gender. The UAE has one the most advanced educational systems around and attract leading educational institutions from all over the world. The UAE also works tirelessly on promoting women’s rights and empowering women. Arab Woman Platform is an example of a women empowerment initiative that came about for Arab women everywhere regardless of location.
How do you see female business world in a decade in UAE?
Women have come a long way in many parts of the world but more so in the UAE, for example appointing Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi as Minister of State for Happiness in the new UAE Cabinet.
The UAE is known for facilitating opportunities for women, and encouraging them to be entrepreneurs. I believe the trend will continue to grow in the UAE and hopefully other countries will follow suite.
Who makes the team of your writers and do sometimes international contributors write about local problems and topics?
Our writers come from all over the world, some well-known Arab writers contribute to our platform, but what makes us truly unique is that we offer the opportunity to new talents as well, some of our writers are housewives or students, others are profound lawyers and prominant authors. Topics vary but mainly focuse on social issues, arts and education.
You are also a Life coach. Can you tell us more about what you do regarding coaching?
My work in Arab Woman Platform allowed me to meet many wonderful people, to get involved in their lives and see their ups and downs. Being always sought out to help people in troubled times made me realize my passion for coaching.
Coaching helps to change a person’s life for the better whether in career, relationships, health, or in overall fulfilment and happiness, by offering support, motivation and encouragement to help clients reach their goals without judgement. So as a woman who always strived to make a difference Life Coaching seemed to be the perfect transition in my career to go along with my passion for writing.
How can Life Coaching help in empowering women?
Life Coaching has started to get recognition in the Arab world due to its value and positive influence not just on the individual but how its effects overflows to impact relationships, companies, and society as a whole. In my opinion Life Coaching can highly help empower women as it will help them realize their passions and purpose and work to their full potential. Using special skills, tools and techniques they will unleash their strengths and put them to use to help them live the life they desire and reach satisfaction and contentment.
What is your advice to women?
Read, read and read. It is very important to self-develop no matter where you are or what you are doing, because when you read you open your mind to new ways of thinking that can help change your life to the better.
Mira is currently pursuing a MSc in Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology from University of East London, and hopes this will add to herexpertise in working with her clients. Click here to see more.