Women's wisdom: Only you can turn your life around

Maya Hawary, Emirati PhD scholar, Women, Icons of Tolerance, Emirati visionaries

Dubai - The panel discussion was an open-to-all inspirational event based on the theme 'Women, Icons of Tolerance'.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Wed 28 Aug 2019, 8:15 PM

Last updated: Wed 11 Sep 2019, 5:18 PM

Maya Hawary didn't know her true purpose in life - until she experienced five long years of depression, pushing her to become the first female Emirati PhD scholar to do a research on emotional intelligence.
Maya is now a certified trainer who works on soft skills development in government entities across the seven emirates. She was one of the four panellists at 'The Flow Talk Series' session held on the occasion of Emirati Women's day at Emirates Towers in Dubai on Wednesday.
"My years of depression have helped me gain skills. It is in turmoil that you attain new skills because you listen more as you remain quiet. You begin to grow patient, and then you begin to think," Maya said.
The panel discussion was an open-to-all inspirational event based on the theme 'Women, Icons of Tolerance', set by Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.
It featured four Emirati visionaries who have been smashing the glass ceiling by excelling in typically 'male-dominated' industries, from poetry to aerospace manufacturing.
Led by Amna Al Haddad - the UAE's champion weightlifter and motivational speaker - the panel included Maitha Hamad Zayed Al Eisaei, head of the communication department at Strata Manufacturing, owned by Mubadala Investment Company; artist, designer, entrepreneur and advocate for women Leila Al Marashi, founder of Cado gifting app; and Eman al Mahmoud, partnerships and research manager at the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa).
Tolerance in everyday life
Representing different industries, the panellists spoke about how tolerance affects everyday life, be it in business or wellbeing.
According to Maya, when challenges knock one down, tolerance is the "best tool" to bounce back as it encompasses understanding and forgiving oneself.
"First, accept yourself, find the purpose of your life, meditate and connect with yourself and nature. Then you can move on to the next level, which is understanding society," she said.
"Resilience comes from struggle. The best stories are those that emerge from adverse situations. ... Look at your life with a magnifying glass and find out what you can do to make your life better. Only you can do it."
Leila, on the other hand, ­advised women to keep themselves busy.
"Try to figure out how to bring out your talent and experiment with new things. Don't think of failures, just plan and stay focused, and the universe will help you channel that energy," she said.
The two-hour session was an eye-opener for around 50 people in the audience.
One of the very few male participants, Kumar Sarma, said many of his questions on emotional intelligence had been answered in the session.
"I would always wonder why men and women in my teams could not understand each other's emotions and would always clash. With today's talk, I realised this was because of lack of emotional intelligence (EI). Empathy is the first level of EI, and this is what we should inculcate in ourselves and in people around us. I was truly inspired," said Sarma, a management consultant.

More news from UAE