Atheer bin Shaker is 26 years old and has a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Media from Zayed University. She is a Leadership & Self Actualization student in Cornell University in New York and is the Senior Presenter and Producer at Al Oula Radio. Atheer is also a volunteer at Noor Dubai Foundation.
- Why did you choose what you ended up doing?
I felt like I wanted to be a part of a change towards the better in our society. I’m good at communicating with others, so I thought media is a field that I might be good at.
- How did your path ultimately lead to what you currently do?
By chance. I thought I was stuck in a job that made me miserable, until I realized it was up to me to turn my life around, and I chose to be in the field of media.
- What challenges did you face?
At first I was lost, I didn’t know which direction to take when it came to the media coverage I wanted to be part of. So, I tried everything I could; crime, adventure, humanitarian work, etc. What stayed with me was that I want to make people feel happy and think more positively. And so, I switched from TV to radio. I currently work in Al Oula. Our main focus is preserving our Emirati heritage dating back 7,000 years ago, in addition to being the voice of the youth. Basically, what I do is create a link between past and present, and work towards the future.
- What mistakes did you learn the most from?
Listening to the nasty thangs people had to say. “What makes you think people will change?” “Why aren’t you working for fame?” “You can’t do that… you will never succeed”, etc. These types of remarks and questions only made me sink deeper into my bubble. One day though, after a talk with my dad, may he rest in peace, all of my worries were gone from one simple question my dad said to me: “Why do you care about what others think? Believe in what you do, and move forward.”
- What personality traits do you believe helped you get to where you are?
Being open minded, at least I think so. I try my very best not to judge ever. And being social.
- Why do you love what you do?
When someone tells me: “Thank you, I never realized this certain thing until you said it”. That means the world to me.
- What is your vision for the future?
My vision is to hopefully be an inspirational speaker, specializing in self-actualization. We’ve got so much potential in ourselves; we just have to know the keys.
- Tell us a little background about your journey, unexpected twists, and how you dealt with adversity.
I think my journey had a lot of unexpected twists. I went to ZU by chance, just because my best friends went there. I then discovered a love for media that I didn’t know I had. After working as an event planner for about 2 years, I went on to work for the news for 4 years, jumped off a plane, was hugging a lion while I spoke to the camera, and travelled to places I never knew existed for humanitarian reports that changed my life. I later suddenly found myself being called upon by another goal, that involved being a part of preserving our beautiful country’s history, and so here I am, learning about my home and spreading the word through newfound knowledge, spreading the positive word in process.
- Advice for other women
Be kind to yourself, be kind to one another. Don’t be mean to yourself, and treat yourself as kindly as you would a person you love so deeply.
- Insight through your experience.
Try first, never judge. And listen, listen, truly listen, before you speak (I’m still working on that).
Sidiqa is 25 years old and is half-Emirati and half-Pakistani. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the American University of Sharjah and a Master’s degree in Conflict Prevention, Sustainable Peace, and Security from the University of Durham in the UK. Sidiqa owns and manages the boutique-café concept store “Spontiphoria” in Wasl Square, Jumeirah.