I feel safe here.
I celebrated today.
I feel recognized.
This is a place where I can have a dialogue on real difficult conversations.
I feel seen.
 

Those were some of things that were said to me today as I organized two events at the company I am a part of, FHI 360. At FHI 360 I founded two Groups in 2016, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Women’s Group that serve internal employees. When I started those two Groups I didn’t really have time or capacity to add them to my huge workload but I saw a gap and I needed to do something about it.

I wanted to highlight the beautiful aspects of MENA including culture & innovation and step away from linking MENA to only terrorism, I wanted to bring more of a culture of celebration,  I wanted to create an internal platform for current and upcoming Women leaders to support themselves and each other, I wanted to create a safe place for people to have the real and difficult conversations we so easily avoid.

Fast forward 10 months from the day I founded the 2 Groups, we have over 150 active members, an expanded leadership team and we are growing. Hearing today that those 2 platforms helped create in whatever small way a safe place for people, a place to enjoy life a bit more, I got evidence that I am living in the right direction and I only pray to continue giving more every single second of every single day while being thankful every step of the way.

 

Bringing diverse people to the table to speak truly as themselves, to create a home away from home, to bring a community together, this is what makes life worth living for and its in days like this that I am refueled to work smarter to have more of a social impact in small and large ways. Cheers for many more days to come and thank you to all who made this day so beautiful. I grew and learnt a great day.

With that, I hope you go and pursue what you love and give back beautifully to the world, the world needs more beautiful things today more than ever and the feeling of seeing the social impact will be the most rewarding thing you will ever experience, trust me.

 

With a Refueled Mind,

Aida