I could not have asked for better opportunity to interact, learn and create relationships with the brilliant individuals who are a group of change advocates who are equipping themselves with the tools to change the world.
I am a proud Muslim woman who trained as an engineer and had a professional career that spanned twenty-three years both in the US and the Middle East. In addition, I founded multiple successful start-ups working in the diverse fields of oil and gas services, environmental services, interior design and life coaching and consulting. So, when I read about the ISLBI program, it felt like a good opportunity to meet professionals and leaders in the Islamic and Atlanta community. The program offered a number of diverse topics, some of which were new to me, delivered by experts in their field. Our perspective changes as we analyze the experiences and opportunities in the context of a program like ISBLI as it invokes new learnings.
Going through the program, I gained numerous benefits particularly being able to contribute my experiences and skills to get more involved in the community. The knowledge I gained about non-profits triggered ideas and projects that will support my goal of empowering women. Understanding how a non-profit works and its dynamics made me feel more comfortable accepting an advisory role in a local non-profit. The skills and knowledge I gained through the different leadership sessions enabled me to address many of my personal and business challenges.
The conflict resolution session presented us with the concept of “interest versus position” which has been very useful as differentiator on how addressing arguments can either trigger conflict or create clarity. I have been putting this idea into practice in dealing with individuals who I know tend to get triggered easily. It is when I explain quickly the reason, it deflates the situation which have helped me avoid conflicts that normally would have taken place.
The team project is a main pillar of this program. While team projects are not new to me, the ISBLI project, the objective behind it, and the team dynamics made it a very different and very enjoyable journey. Creating a mentoring program for a local Islamic school is a project that made me feel proud. I could not have asked for better opportunity to interact, learn and create relationships with the brilliant individuals who are a group of change advocates who are equipping themselves with the tools to change the world.