29 Mar We Rise by Lifting Others! By Shifa Khan
I recently attended an event arranged by women’s skill bureau on 14th March at Al nakhla residential resort. It was an event arranged by strong independent women for employers, volunteers, entrepreneurs and those seeking employment opportunities. The objective of the event was to bring female expat job seekers and prospective employers on one platform to support both groups in achieving their goals.
As much as it was a great networking platform, what inspired me the most was the unison of all like-minded strong empowered women under one roof. I was in awe of the passion, perseverance and positive energy that was oozing out of that room. It was a talent purgatory, waiting to be acknowledged. Despite belonging to different backgrounds, nationalities, there was an unspoken bond between them all. It was sheer passion, drive, motivation and a purpose. Purpose, which inspires us to get up every morning and motivates us to achieve our goals and ambition. It is an expression of our deep-rooted belief in ourselves as women and our abilities to compete equally in all walks of life. It was a demonstration of how powerful females can be when they have each other’s back.
Out of many that attended, some would have found their perfect opportunity and the others who couldn’t, would have left with hope and inspiration. One of the stalls that really impressed me was Red tent. It is an organized gathering of women where the aim is to focus on your own selves through various meditative techniques. It is the first time I have seen such a group activity in the kingdom. Another stall that caught my attention was Amani birth. Providing options for women and assisting mothers for active nature instinctive Birth. It is indeed a delight to have all sorts of options open to females here in Saudi Arabia.
Last but not least, the speech given by Ms. Sally Kennedy not only showed her charismatic personality but her passion to empower women so that other women do not have to struggle the way she struggled when she first moved to Saudi. Her aura inspired and touched all the women in that room. Her efforts to support struggling women, to achieve their goals and desired opportunity was indeed commendable.
One thing that stuck with me was when Mrs. Kennedy said
“STOP WHINING AND DO SOMETHING”.
It made me realize that the reason why I am not currently employed is not because of my capabilities or just because of the challenges in KSA, but because perhaps I have not done enough to help myself. As women, we must believe in ourselves and do more to be heard and acknowledged. After all “God helps those who help themselves”. I cannot be sure if the employers I met during the event will offer me a job or not, but I am sure that after this event, I will keep trying and I will find the job that is right for me really soon.
When you are in a place where particularly females are faced with multiple challenges, be it driving, moving around freely etc. it does get the best of you and you are left with nothing but frustration and stress. At some point in your life, when you are at your lowest and you can’t find a way, it is exactly then, you need role models like Ms. Kennedy to tell you ” Stop whining and do something” to snap you out of that mindset so that you get motivated. Women with whom you can identify yourself with but you don’t know how to get there.
I salute such women who aspire and encourage their female counterparts. Even if I did not come out of that room with an opportunity, I left with an inspiration to stand strong and keep on trying. To be a compassionate woman, a woman who first stands up on her own feet and then help others do the same.