Some of Our Most Cherished Testimonials

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Some of the the testimonials from our greatest supporters:

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Some of the testimonials from our own team:

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Here We Start – Issue #43

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Dear Sail Readers,

On 24th of  the last month Mubadala has held its 3rd Annual Youth Forum with a great number of esteemed speakers from the community, all of them were sharing their life experiences with an eager audience of youth that are walking into their careers and could use all guidance that they could get. Our columnist Mohammed Kazim has attended the forum and wrote his review about it in this issue, enjoy his review and make sure you do go next year if you missed this year.

For our October issue, we interviewed one of our writers who have ventured off in his new endeavor. We interviewed Khaled Bin Hamad to know more about his new ventures and about his comic book Nasser’s secrets. Read the interview to know what are his new projects.

Also, with our 43rd issue, we are rejoined by one of our old sailors, who sailed away for about a year to an exciting land and now have come back to tell us how it changed her. Haif rejoins us through a new column: Joie de Vivre, which means the joy of living. Check out her first article in that column as she tells us more about her journey.

And now, Issue #43 – October 2013 in brief:

Enjoy our reads, and don’t forget to check out our illustrations by our creative team: Anood AlMulla, Dana AlAttar, Fatma AlHashemi, Maha Bin Fares, and Maryam Zainal.

To keep up with our monthly-published issues and to know about any of our coming events, make sure you register with us by clicking here.

Warm regards,
Iman Ben Chaibah
Editor in Chief

The Perks of Being an Introvert

Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_alhashemi)

Column: Art of Living 101. Previously as: Living Through The Eyes of Art
Hamda AlHashemi is a 20 something year old interior design graduate, and an SZHP employee. She appreciates art, food, psychology and culture. For her, Arabic calligraphy is music for the eyes; beautiful and calming. She thrives to become an entrepreneur of her own furniture line and aims to get her Phd on the long run. Hamda’s articles revolve around how our psychological thoughts influence our actions, and how to use them to our advantage.

Latest posts by Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_alhashemi) (see all)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Article in brief: A journey into the mind of an introvert.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers; Rosa Parks, African American civil rights activist; Eleanor Roosevelt, longest-serving First Lady of the US; Al Gore, politician and philanthropist; Warren Buffet, business manager and investor; and Gandhi, leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India, all of those are people who history remembers because of things they achieved due to their introversion. And although that was their strength, society perceives introverts as a weakness. Yet, they were all able to overcome that misconception and prove that being an introvert has an extremely high potential to achieve great things.

“Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” is a book that reveals the true identity of the misunderstood introverts; people who prefer living privately, people who enjoy sitting at home reading a book rather than going out and socializing, people who speak up only when they find it necessary, people who are usually behind the scenes because that is how they prefer it. Although these individuals prefer standing in the shadows, they can accomplish so much while remaining in their comfort zone.

In fact, most of the myths about introverts are false. For example, the thought that introverts do not like to talk is wrong; they only talk when they feel that what they are about to say is useful and when it is about a subject they are interested in. There is also another myth about introverts being shy; but in fact they only interact when they find it necessary. Another myth about introverts is that they don’t like going out; but the interesting thing is that they are so observant, they go out for a short time, absorb all of the experiences they need, and then return to their homes to process. They don’t like wasting time; instead, they use less time than extroverts to process things and make use of them.

The Upside of Being an Introvert; Art Print by Noelle Stevenson

The Upside of Being an Introvert; Art Print by Noelle Stevenson

We live with the misconception that outspoken individuals and social extroverts are the creative charismatic leaders of our time and that a person who is not social enough will never succeed. We emphasize that concept in our children, at work, and we apply it when choosing our friends and acquaintances.

We fail to understand that a quiet, private person is born with that characteristic. It is literarily in their DNA. For example, their brains are too sensitive to a neurotransmitter called Dopamine which makes them uncomfortable in loud and noisy places. We misjudge that as a weakness and an obstacle to success but in fact, introverts have a lot of power over extroverts in their analysis of situations, way of thinking, execution skills, stressful situations, and creativity.

Author Franz Kafka once said about introverts, “The limited circle is pure”. Next time you meet an introvert, remember that there is a lot to them that doesn’t meet the eye. Try opening an interesting topic with them and you will discover an intellect, artist, philosopher, or musician. Just because it’s too loud out there doesn’t mean we should block out the quiet people.

Mubadala’s Annual Youth Forum

Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Mohammed, an Emirati involved in healthcare business development, comes with a background in biomedical & clinical engineering, technology management, finance, and business setup related project management. Mohammed has a keen interest in relevant social, religious, economic, and cultural affairs.
Mohammed’s bi-monthly column aims to openly and honestly target issues around the native culture, society, religion, economy, and policy that have resulted as a consequence of the constantly changing demographics of the region. The column is characterized by a point-like articulate approach that gives the reader a comprehensive understanding of the discussed issues.
Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Latest posts by Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim) (see all)

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Feature in brief: Mohammed Kazim attended Mubadala’s annual Youth Forum and shares with us some of his notes and what inspired him through the forum’s speakers.

The smell of Oudh, flashy yet stylish Abayas, and perfectly ironed Kandoras filled the event hall. Although a familiar sight in Abu Dhabi, this morning had something different about it. The energy and passion I was feeling from the audience took me back to my younger days. I was surrounded by young Emirati men and women from colleges and universities across Abu Dhabi who were eagerly attending the 3rd Mubadala Youth Forum.

The annual Mubadala Youth Forum is an initiative from Mubadala, an investment and development company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, which aims to increase awareness about education and career paths available to young Emiratis. Since its inception in 2011, the Mubadala Youth Forum has engaged youth in inspiring discussions with Emirati leaders in different roles within the UAE.

This year’s forum began with a spectacular documentary about Abu Dhabi and its evolution across generations which set the scene for the vibrant keynote speech of Mubadala’s CEO, Khaldoon Al Mubarak. “The most important factor in any project is the team, the people involved who make the project a reality” Al Mubarak stated as he began to highlight many examples of Emiratis who led many of Mubadala’s projects into existence. He then specifically focused his speech on the role of passion and love for the Nation and how that composes the ingredient that drives success within talented and hardworking Emiratis. The already stunned crowd was eager for more, just as Al Mubarak’s speech was endorsed by Khalid Al Qubaisi, the Director of Human Capital at Mubadala, who highlighted the importance of hard work and sincerity and linked it to the journey of Japan and South Korea.

Many of the new generation of Emiratis aspire to participate in development at a global level but lack the knowledge of how to do so. To target that curiosity, the forum then presented panel discussions. In the first panel discussion titled “Emiratis across the Globe”, Emirati leaders from various backgrounds shared their experiences, both educational and professional, whilst emphasizing the common theme of persistence in struggle and self-confidence. The topics discussed by the panel included acceptance into top universities such as Harvard University (Dr. Aisha Bilkhair), representing Abu Dhabi as the first woman process engineer at Global Foundries (Reem Al Zaabi), teaching culturally daring topics to male officers (Lt. Col. Dr. Iman Al Jabri), mingling with different cultures whilst maintaining modesty and humbleness (Saud Al Nowais), and life-saving negotiations with bandits in Yemen (Abdulla Al Mutawa).

Panel Discussion  - Represent: Emiratis across the Globe

Panel Discussion – Represent: Emiratis across the Globe

Having attended the first forum in 2011, I do not remember a more effective panel discussion; the Emiratis in the crowd had endless questions that were challenging and inspiring. To me, it was an excellent indication of the presence of an intelligent and ambitious pool of youth that can take this nation to another level.

It did not end there; as the attendees returned from lunch, the forum fed the passion of the motivated youth with real life success stories of Emiratis. The examples included the first Emirati female co-pilot (Salma Al-Balushi), a social entrepreneur (Aisha Saeed Harib), a wilderness photographer (Abdullaziz Bin Ali), and a culinary blogger (Shaikha Al Ali).

The next panel, titled “ Rethink: Your Future Roadmap,” highlighted comparative discussions of the private and public sectors, university paths to serve these sectors, and various youth development initiatives within the UAE. Dr. Abdulla Al Amiri, Provost Zayed University, mentioned the difference of generations, how the youth today live in an information age, and discussed how to cater specific curriculums to better shape their future as Eisa Al Mulla (Executive Director, Emirates Nationals Development Program) engaged the audience in an extravagant show of statistics.

The grand finale then arrived as Badr Al Olama, CEO of Strata, surprised the audience. Not only did he mention his continuous examples of success, but he also presented his multiple failures that led him there. “You have two choices, either to face your challenges and take responsibility for them, or to give up. I chose the first and I hope you do too” he stated at the end of his speech.

Badr Al-Olama (CEO, Strata)

Badr Al-Olama (CEO, Strata)

Although many may argue that the forum may have undermined some challenges and hidden the inefficiencies and mismanagement that exists in the regional corporate realm, overall, to me, this forum was an excellent platform to engage the youth who require positive examples. These examples, I believe, act as a reinforcement that feeds their motivation and passion. The existence of wonderful and challenging mega projects in the UAE demands the involvement of the Emirati Youth. Such forums allow for the link between the youth and the role models and potential mentors in the UAE development scene.

As for me, I took with me a whole lot of learning, the best of which was Dr. Aisha Bilkhair’s final advice to the youth.

“ Formulate your own opinion and base it on a belief… base it on your love and passion for the improvement of our nation… do not base it on what others want you to do or on what others think is right for you.”

Problems You Face Shall Pass With Patience

Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)

Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)

Column: Hidden Promises
Alia is an AUS student double majoring in International Studies and English literature. She is also the author of Alatash fictional novel. Her main goal is to make a change and empower the youth. Her column is meant to help the younger generations deal with tough situations. It was given that title as hidden promises is what us teenagers often believe; false promises.
Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Article in brief: Patience… Patience is one of the most important virtues out there, but sadly not all possess it.

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@maryam_zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@maryam_zainal)

We live in a day and age where things happen very fast; and I get that but in certain situations, a little patience will take you a long way. You can’t expect your nightmare to end without being shaken out of it or for your ordeals to pass in a fraction of a second!

Robert H. Schuller once said, “Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” This quote is definitely one of my favorites because it tells us so much in a few words and it basically symbolizes the value of patience.

It truly pays off to be patient and to hold on while drama is being thrown at you, because at the end of the day you’ll be rewarded. Not only does it feel good to wait, but it also makes you a better person. It teaches you how to keep your nerves intact and it also makes you a nicer person.

Never feel like you’re being punished and always keep in mind that whatever hardship you may face is either a test or a lesson. People will hurt you, they will destroy every last ounce of good manners in you but all you should do is be the bigger person and smile.

Don’t bother with comebacks or treating them the same way for two reasons: the first one is that it’ll only make you feel better for a little while and it will surly come back to haunt you later on, and the second reason is that the concept of “An eye for an eye” eventually makes the whole world blind.

Our world is already full of burning flames derived from hatred and vengeance. This emotional blindness is killing us slowly without us even realizing it. So instead of causing even more damage, you should strive to treat others the way you want to be treated.

Revenge doesn’t do any good and it won’t take you anywhere. The best form of revenge is to kill people with kindness. This way, no one gets hurt. Instead, there’s a possibility that both parties will learn a valuable lesson.

So why waste a beautiful smile over some dilemma that will eventually end? Cry, let it all out, don’t be disheartened and never lose faith that things will ultimately turn out great. Never put yourself down over a certain situation and always recite “This too shall pass”.

Interview with Khaled Bin Hamad

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Interview in brief: Khaled Bin Hamad (KBH) is a manga artist, IPad artist, art specialist, and the author of Nasser’s Secrets comic book. He was also a columnist in Sail eMagazine. Join us as our editor in chief interviews him to get to know more about his journey and his new endeavors.

Sail eMagazine: Tell us a little about your old career.

KBH: I started working in IT department, but it was something that I really hated. Getting in IT was more of a society choice more than my choice. My job was so technical; I worked as the “Maximo” System Administrator for Finance and Purchasing. But then I moved into Sales and Marketing because I knew at some point I wanted to do my Masters in Marketing.

Sail eMagazine: Why did you choose Japan to study your masters in?

KBH: I believe life always comes to a full circle in the end. Japan was always a place I wanted to go to at some point in my life and spend at least a year there, but I didn’t plan for it. One day, I heard that the Japanese embassy are offering scholarships for post grads studies in Japan so I went to ask about it and was told that the final deadline was only 3 days away. I immediately started running around to get all the paper work done and filled the forms and everything else. So I applied and went to the interview. After finishing, the interviewer looked at me and said you are so lucky, because one hour before you submit the person we already chose cancelled! Everything happens for a reason. When stuff like that happens again and again you have to believe in something bigger than yourself planned for you.

Sail eMagazine: When did you start thinking about writing the comic?

KBH: I was always an artist before, I used to sketch oil paintings and such stuff, but back then I never saw it as a career, it had a dead end. But then when Freej by Mohammed Saeed Hareb came out, it kind of broke a lot of rules. Somehow, doing an animation became cool again. There is a potential to turn it into something bigger. So when I went to Japan, I knew I wanted to take additional classes in Japanese, animation, character design, storyboarding and so on.

Sail eMagazine: How did you pick up on manga?

KBH: What brought me back was actually one manga titled Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue. It’s such a beautiful and crazy story with a brilliant artwork! Every page is just a piece of art. And some of the sketches in Nasser’s Secret are actually inspired from it. I never thought that kind of art can be in manga, you can’t not be inspired by it.

Results of Google search on Vagabond's artwork

Results of Google search on Vagabond’s artwork

Sail eMagazine: You came back after spending three years in Japan. What did you have in mind to do once you’re back?

KBH: I had Nasser’s Secrets as an idea in my mind. So I wrote a script and submitted it to some media production companies. They didn’t reply quickly; about a year or something later one of them took it up and is now collaborating with me to develop it to something bigger and expanding it in a new direction. I’ll be able to share more updates once it becomes more concrete.

Sail eMagazine: Is Nasser’s Secrets planned to be in English or Arabic?

KBH: I’m hoping for both. I don’t want to market it here only. It’s an international story with an Emirati culture. The story has some parts about telepathy, telekinesis and stuff like that. Some of the characters have been learning those powers. So the book will show the steps they followed to learn. I was thinking how would my mom react if I did something like that, like telepathy, telekinesis? The first thing she’ll think of is the devil. So one of the characters is so good at telekinesis that he can move things around without touching them and only through his mind. In one of the scenes, he’d be sleeping and he feels he’s suffocating, so he wakes up to see his mum doing bukhoor (burning scents) on top of his head to get the devil out of him

It’s stuff like that and how will the average Emirati react to certain things. I’m still at the phase now where I’m writing the whole characters profile and all that stuff.

Sail eMagazine: Do you believe in the processizing of book writing?

KBH: Absolutely. The book looks great in your mind but how can people know what’s in your mind? When it comes to a story; it’s all about the characters, and their interactions. They should actually be more interesting. They should not be all heroic and perfect. They should actually have flaws. We like the flaws in people. It allows us to relate to them.

Sail eMagazine: You said you were mentored by Mohamad Al Astad and Jalal Luqman, how so?

KBH: Jalal is more of a sempai – which is Japanese for honorable mentor-. He’s a mentor and I learnt so much from Jalal.

Sail eMagazine: How did the mentoring start?

KBH: I met him in one of my scuba diving sessions. I had no idea who he was at the time. But I got to know him there, we started talking and we got along really well. We became friends since then, and now, every time that I have something I want to ask when it comes to art, he always helps me.

Sail eMagazine: What about Mohamad Al Astad?

KBH: He was my teacher when it comes to art. I heard about him when I first got into art, he was and still is one of the best. I went to his office and we talked about art and he offered I come try out their drawing workshops at anytime, and I did. He was such a great teacher. One time he got me a fish. An actual fish of the ugly ones not the pretty ones, and he made me draw it up! He has an attention to details and smaller things. He lets you go with your imagination. I’m grateful for what he did, and I’m proud to have learned from him.

Sail eMagazine: Did you start your new company yet?

KBH: Yes, we are now licensed and in the construction phase, building up the office and so on. The company is named “Moving Reflection” Productions. You have to see the logo to understand what I mean.

Moving Reflection Productions' Logo

Moving Reflection Productions’ Logo

Sail eMagazine: Any advice you’d like to pass on to our readers?

KBH: When people are at a certain level, they always want you to stay the same as they are. There are few people, the close friends, who want you to be better than them. People will always drag you down. So you have to at some point trim the fat. Sadly, it’s painful and annoying but you’d be better off aligning yourself with people who believe in your worth rather than with people who are against you and will keep pushing you down.

I Just Want to Do More Than Exist

Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa)

Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa)

Column: Joie de Vivre, Ex-Column: Sense and Sustainability
Haif Zamzam is a bon viveur who just can’t get enough of life. Her inflexibility for the norm coupled with her constant hunt for a challenge pushed her to the private sector where she is a professional in a top-tier consulting firm. Haif has an MBA from INSEAD and a Bachelors degree from the AUS. Through her column, Joie de Vivre, French for “Joy of Living,” Haif hopes to show how living with your head in the clouds is highly underrated.
Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa)

Latest posts by Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Joie de Vivre is French for “the joy of living.”  It refers to the little things in life that make each and every one of us feel alive.  Whether it is sharing lunch with your grandparents, catching up with friends, the beauty of a silent evening at home or a relaxing day by the beach to clear your head; whatever makes you happy is your joie de vivre.  So be happy.  

Article in brief: This article only scratches the surface of the fear, confusion, anxiety and hope that is associated with trying to do more than what is expected out of you.  

Artwork by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

Artwork by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

Sitting in my one-bedroom apartment in a little town outside of Paris that I called home last year, I began to think about what it was I wanted to get out of my year abroad.  Was it just an MBA? Was it just a personal development experience? Was it just an opportunity to meet people from all over the world that seemed to be after the same thing I was? Was it all of the above? or was it something more?

From the minute our class set foot on campus, we were bombarded with questions about what it was we wanted to do post-graduation.  We were asked to already start updating our CV and make it industry-appropriate.  We were pushed into mass networking sessions where you were told that markets were tough but companies were still recruiting top-tier talent.  We were overwhelmed by all the noise and all the talk about the future that seemed so far away.  Besides, each and every one of us had gotten in to one of the top business schools of the world; so getting a job on the other end was bound to be a piece of cake.

Four months passed and we realized just how wrong we were to assume that we had all the time in the world.  The class that graduated before were no longer coming to the same dinners and weekend trips as we were; they were slowly being replaced by a brand new class of MBA candidates who worried about how they were going to balance their workload, their social life and of course, their sanity.

I tried to take some time every month to sit and reflect on the classes, the experiences, and the overall opportunity I found myself in.  I began to think about what I wanted to do when I came back home.  I found myself filled with fear that my life would go back to what it was before and the entire MBA experience was going to be a “tick-in-the-box.”  I forced myself to structure my thinking and to look at the various opportunities that, quite literally, came knocking.  I couldn’t think of a particular field I wanted to be in, so I started thinking of the kind of person I wanted to be.  I came across an image as I surfed the web and the many blogs I follow and a quote stuck with me.

“The only thing I really wish to do with my life is to inspire someone.  I want to touch someone’s life so much that they can genuinely say that if they have never met me they wouldn’t be the person they are today.  I want to save someone: save them from this cold, dark and lonely world.  I wish to be someone’s hero, someone that people look up to.  I only wish to make a change, even if it’s a small one.

I just want to do more than exist.”

                  – Anonymous

That’s exactly what I wanted to be, minus the melodramatic bits of course.  I wanted to do more than simply exist.  I wanted to push myself and then push myself some more.  I wanted to set goals that seem very far-fetched and then strive to achieve them.  That was the exact moment when I realized that life was so much more beautiful when you take a leap outside your comfort zone.  This was where I wasn’t afraid of failing, because, as cliché as it may seem, I turned every potential failure into a learning opportunity which helped me keep my head above water.  Months later, I decided to stay on the outside of my (and sometimes even my parents’) comfort zone, because until I find people who are looking for a hero, I’ll be my own.

Stop Labeling Others

Alwid Lootah (@AlwidLootah)

Column: Lost in Reverie
Alwid is a young lady who aims to become the change she wants to see in this world by spreading positivity and leading youth towards the road of unlimited possibilities. She recently founded her own website through which she aims to become the voice of youth and share unrecognized talents. Her column “Lost in reverie” is a place where she allows her thoughts and emotions to flow and a place where she can hopefully create a change.

Latest posts by Alwid Lootah (@AlwidLootah) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Article in brief: The key to prevent gossip or judgments from getting to you is to create a barrier of self-belief. 

Artwork by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

Artwork by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

People always say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but we all judge at times, don’t we? We judge people according to their appearances, the way they speak or even the way they walk. What some people don’t realize is that the false judgments they make and the comments they say based upon those judgments can have an extreme impact on a person’s life.

In this world, everything is labeled; people have become so obsessed with labeling things to the point that they’ve started labeling people as well. Tall, short, fat, thin, smart and dumb are a few examples of the labels we use for people.

Humans like to call names, point fingers, and judge. The thing about humans is that we weren’t created to be perfect. In fact, it was the perfect one who created us and the way we were created was the best way in the eyes of the creator.

Comments people make about others or just plain gossip can really affect a person’s self-confidence. So why do they do that? From experience I have learned that most of that hatred that is directed towards a person comes from an enemy called jealousy.

In Islam, we were taught by our Prophet Mohammed PBUH to love for other people what we love for ourselves; in other words, treat others the way we want to be treated. Stop the jealously because it causes hatred and the moment you start hating you’ll find a black cloud surrounding you. Instead, thank Allah for what you have and pray that he grants your wishes.

Blocking the negative voices around you takes strength and I believe that the first step to thicker skin is self-belief; once you believe in yourself, you create a barrier that prevents you from getting affected by what people around you say.

Believe that being different only means that you’re special and that what people label as a “flaw” is actually what makes you who you are. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on becoming a better person, it means that every person is special just the way they are.

You should always start with yourself. Start by learning how to hold your tongue from speaking badly about others and don’t speak until you know what you’re about to say wont hurt anyone’s feelings. Start with yourself and the others around you will be affected positively.

Focus more on improving yourself and less on improving others; this way, you’ll care less about what others say and more about what you think about yourself. It really doesn’t matter what people think as long as you know that you are the best version of yourself.

There is always someone who will disagree with you. People will not always believe in the same things you believe in or appreciate who you are. The key is accepting that there will always be someone opposing you but that should not let you down because everyone has different opinions and tastes.

Take what people say into consideration but don’t let it get to you. We are not perfect; none of us are and we make mistakes. Use what people say to your benefit and always look at the positive side of things. They will always talk the talk but it’s up to you whether you’ll let it crush your confidence or build you up to become a stronger person.

Emotional Suppression

Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

Budoor takes a unique look at the world around her. She applies a sense of the mystical to everyday happenstance and turns it on its head. The result is her column: “Mental Pondering”.
With a background in communications, her passion for writing is driven by the need to voice her thoughts. Budoor also hold an eMBA in innovation and Entrepreneurship, other than writing, her interests include reading and traveling.
Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

Latest posts by Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Article in brief: The theory says humans need to vent and express their emotions, however how true is that statement and what are the consequences of keeping everything bottled up?

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@maryam_zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@maryam_zainal)

Suppressing emotions is a common method people unconsciously use to control their thoughts and emotions. Although ‘Emotion Regulation’ is important, suppressing emotions may cause more harm than good.

There can be many reasons for Emotional Suppression, the most common ones are the need to push problems away and not think about them, the overwhelming feeling a situation causes and the urge to make uncomfortable feelings go away. Other reasons can also include the desire to move on and get over something.

Anger is probably the only emotion necessary to hold at the time the situation is happening. However, once one has calmed down, it is important to let the emotions related to that incident out.

Emotions are a type of energy; positive emotions give positive energy whereas negative emotions give negative energy. When emotions are suppressed, the negative energy stays in the system and eventually gets pushed out in a different way causing either mental or physical damage.

Some studies have shown a link between Emotional Suppression and diseases like heart problems and cancer. Other studies have linked it to stiffness in joints, weakness, fatigue, aggression and anxiety. Another study has also shown that the more someone tries to not think or ignore an emotion or thought, the more it will occupy their minds.

Keeping things bottled up doesn’t only affect one person. It takes the brain 100 milliseconds for it to react to an emotion while it takes 600 milliseconds for the thinking brain to register that reaction which means by the time the message reaches a person’s thinking brain, the emotion has already taken over and has shown a reaction.

When choosing to suppress a feeling, it is important to understand the effects it may have and find ways to help cope with the negative impact. Relaxation, meditation, yoga, massages, exercise and change in life style are different methods used to manage emotions. However, these methods take time to master.

Psychologists have all agreed that the best way to react to a negative emotion is by talking about it. Whether the conversation is with a professional like a psychiatrist, a friend, or a support group, the key is to talk about it. Keeping it bottled up may not only cause harm to a person’s physical and mental health, but can also lead to more suppressed emotions which may eventually explode and harm relationships.

When it comes to Emotional Suppression the rule of thumb is: it is only useful to suppress an emotion when in the middle of a situation to minimize damage. Once the situation is over, it is important to push the negative feelings out.

Note from writer: Next month’s issue will discuss the characteristics of the person who someone could turn to when wanting to vent and some tips and tricks on how to best express your feelings.


  • Suppressing: to keep in or repress
  • Emotion: an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced.


Reflecting on Changes in My Life

Dubai Abulhoul (@DubaiAbulhoul)

Dubai is an Emirati girl with a passion for all things art. Her number one passion was to find a place between Emarati artists and filmmakers , and her dream turned into reality in 2008 , when she was officially named as the Middle East’s Youngest Director at the age of 11.

Latest posts by Dubai Abulhoul (@DubaiAbulhoul) (see all)

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Article in Brief: The author takes us through different changes in her life and how they were perceived across her life.

Artwork by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

Artwork by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

In the very early phases of our lives, ‘change’ is a term that applies to things like classes, friends, or family. Change has been a part of every person’s life, but I noticed that its definition changes as time passes. To me, the earliest form of change was using a pen instead of a pencil for the first time in fourth grade. At this point it sounds silly, but looking back, that incident was a new stepping-stone in my journey.

In the past few years at school, change was a theme that continuously echoed throughout my literature classes. We read and recited poems about change and its impact on people all over the world. Teachers constantly placed challenges in our academic road to fully prepare us for the changes that will be coming towards us. During our senior year, we started having a preview of life’s coming attractions, or shall I say ‘changes’.

Last year, our biggest concern was our SAT scores, even though I personally didn’t wait on the edge of my seat for the results.  Being the reckless youth that we are, we laughed the moment the bell rang and we exited the classroom. We joked about how unsuccessful we’d be because of our less than mediocre transcripts and every teacher would roll their eyes at our naïve thoughts. We knew change was coming and that was the problem. Change was always something that resided in the future and it seems like the future came a little too quick.

Voltaire once said, ‘Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in our lifeboats.’ We stand here today, waiting for tomorrow, and all that it has in store for us. For as long as I could remember, I’ve always waited for the ‘next phase’ of my life to finally study something I am passionate about. I’ve let go of the place I’ve known and lived in for the past fourteen years, running head on towards the next chapter of my story. I don’t know where I’ll be in four years, or any year after that and that makes it all the more exciting. I don’t know where the road will take me at the end, but I definitely know where it starts. After all, we’re having a pretty good time in our life boats.