This Women’s Day, Gulf Insider meets Bahraini women who have opted for unique career choices. After all, the sky is the limit when it comes to passion!
Sarah Nabil, first Urban Music Producer and composer in Bahrain
“There are very few women around the world, let alone in the Middle East, who are music producers and sound engineers. This combined with my passion for music made me want to change that and help open doors for women in music and audio in the region.
What I believe is that you should never let anyone tell you there is no place for you at the table! Depending on the field you’re in or want to pursue, you might face people who will try convincing you that it’s not for you. Go for it anyway, it’ll be worth it.”
Manal Fakhrawi, first female Bahraini Jockey
“The beauty and power of a horse are what attracted me to equestrianism. I dedicated my childhood to horses, spent my days training and always aiming for the next level. Horse riding is a very special sport that lets you connect with animals and earn their respect. Once that is accomplished, nothing can stop you.
It is important for women who want to take up horse riding as a hobby, sport, or even profession to be well educated about the field. Never let anyone take advantage of your weakness or even intimidate you. Speak your mind and most importantly speak up when something doesn’t seem right. Give it your all, persevere and you can be a champion one day.”
Leila Sohrab, first DJ in the Arab region
“Since childhood, I have always loved music and dance. I would always listen and collect different music from different languages and styles and spend my days recording my own mixtapes on cassettes. This path has drawn me to it in a very beautiful flow.
To everyone out there, know that even if your path and passion is against the currents, in order to make it, you need yourself before anyone else. So stay persistent, patient and be courageous. The harder the times, the better you will become. Never feel sorry for yourself and always keep boosting yourself. Always remember why you started in the first place. “
Reem Khalifa AlMealla, Bahraini Scientist specialised in Marine Biology
“I remember reading a phrase – ‘Anyone who loves to ask questions and seeks the truth through finding evidence is considered a scientist’. I knew that day that I was a scientist. Coming from an island, the shores were my childhood playground and that saw my passion grow for the deep blue ocean. When I first heard about climate change and its impact on the planet in 2007, I knew then that I would honour this lifetime by being one that serves nature thereby improving human livelihood.
I have to say that sometimes you will have to question tradition, cultural perception and unspoken rules. You are a gift to this world as you encompass so much that this world needs. Others may laugh now but one day soon they will recognize your power and the value you add to their life. So, be patient and trust your journey. Don’t let others plant seeds of doubt in your heart for I promise you that one day your dreams will be your reality.”
Hend Sameer Alawadhi, first Aircraft Engineer
“My love for airplanes & fixing things since childhood led me to aircraft engineering, making me one of Bahrain’s first female aircraft engineers. This passion led me to my new responsibility as the Senior Airworthiness Inspector at Bahrain’s Civil Aviation.
I always say others that it won’t be easy but it will be all worth it in the end. It’s your life, it’s your choice, choose wisely”.
Yasmeen Fraidoon, first female pilot at Gulf Air
“Growing up I was always mesmerized by aircrafts, take-offs and landings, and being in the sky. I took the first chance I had to become a pilot myself. Now I wake up every day thankful that my passion for flying is my job.
I believe that you should never miss out on opportunities or give yourself excuses to stay in your comfort zone. Just work hard and go for it!”
Dana Zubari, Athlete
“My love for sports started when I was 11 and it was something that has always come naturally to me. I loved challenging myself and my passion for sports led me to start Tru Active, my own active wear brand in partnership with my sister. I have started two community initiatives – Cycling Bees, co-founded by Sarah Al Sammak and Lettuce Run co-founded by Mariam Turki. These were mainly to encourage women to get into sports.
My advice for young ladies is to set realistic goals for yourself and try to achieve them. Don’t create obstacles for yourself and don’t make excuses. Prioritize your goals because there will always be a reason to not train. “
Banah, Singer and Songwriter
“I was a part of many industries. I have worked as a banker, PR Consultant, personal fitness trainer and even owned my own advertising agency. At the age of 30, after having my first child, I realized that I wanted to inspire her to make her dreams come true. That’s how I decided to pursue my passion for singing.
If you have a passion or a goal, take baby steps to make it come true. Treat your dream like a business – start by writing a document that lays out your goals, timelines, strengths, weaknesses, threats, milestones as well as budgets for the next 1 to 3 years or maybe even 5 years. Don’t worry if nothing happens right away, it will definitely take longer than you think. And finally, it’s never too late to change where you are in order to achieve happiness – listen to the cues and follow through.”