A leader cares…

As I was cleaning my home desk, I found a piece of paper with scribbles on it. The scribbles were about a topic that is often on my mind “Leadership”. This is what my scribbles said, with some edits. A leader cares, about the project, the company, the costs, the cause and the team. A leader cares, about the empowerment of the team members to own their tasks, about making sure that nothing falls through the cracks. A leader takes risks but also carefully analyses the risks that they are taking. A leader trusts the team but also cares enough to make formal reviews when needed. A leader can see into the individuality of each team member and can intuitively marry up the tasks by passion and interest. A leader who is more considered about their ego than his team is a reason for concern and questioning if that he/she is truly a leader.

What are the main traits for a leader in your opinion?


Indonesia: Service, Beauty and Learning


Last year I went on my first service trip. After volunteering with Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), I registered to go on a volunteer trip to Indonesia. On my first meeting with the group of volunteered I was amazed at the diversity of the group: gender, nationality, age, interest, religion, culture… all of it. Just the nationalities alone can give you an idea. We were a group of 25 people and we had members from Egypt, Palestine, Sudan, England, India, Fiji, Lebanon, France, Malaysia, Yemen, Syria, Greece and Qatar. That is 13 different nationalities in a group of 25 people! And they were a lovely group of people. Now, a year later after the trip, we still keep in contact and made some very good friendships.

We went through one month of weekly preparations for the trip. We were going to a school that was re-built in 2007 after the tsunami that hit Asia in 2005. The school was rebuilt and renovated by Qatar Foundation and ROTA. Our group was went to work with middle school kids on topics that were chosen by the school. The topics were: English, Computer Skills, Music, Sports, Environment, and Life Skills. Although I am a techie, I chose to be in the Music group as there was high interest in the Computer group, and I have interest in music myself. We flew from Doha, Qatar to Jakarta, Indonesia and then took a domestic flight to Jogjakarta where we stayed. Every morning we went on a one hour bus drive to the school. The school teachers, students and administrators treated us with big smiles and utmost generosity and politeness. It was easy to communicate not because we spoke the same language but because they are very smart and they can use sign language very efficiently :). Some of the students speak good English. One of them actually spoke very fluently. She was not in my class, she was a year younger. I asked her once, what do you want to be when you grow up, and she said a lecturer at the university. I have no doubt that this girl can achieve her dream because she has the stamina, the drive, and the . However, I wonder if life will get in the way and she will find that she needs to give up her dream to deal with life’s realities. On the last day of school, she was crying to see us leave. The kids think of us as super heroes who can change their lives. What they don’t know, is that they have changed ours. This was from the press release about the trip http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/211755-rota-volunteers-take-part-in-reflection-event.html:

“This was my first volunteer experience with Rota and I already look forward to more volunteer activities. The trip organisation was great and the team was amazing. The best part was getting to know the people and the culture of Indonesia and to work with the students. As much as we hope to have made an impact, they have certainly touched our lives and our hearts. I can still see their smiles, their tears and hear their little voices and big dreams. This was truly a memorable experience”

Our memory, this weird weird thing…

Isn’t it weird how our brains function? Why do we remember some things and forget others? Today, I remembered a song that I had not listened to since I was eight years old. I recall that my sister used to like it and that, at that time, I used to hate it. Because in my eight year old brain, “it was boring”. However, today my brain decided that it was craving to listen to that song. I kept humming the tune and and making up the lyrics that I could not remember except for the signature sentence “Yes I love you”. It is a beautiful song that have had on repeat all day today…. but what made me remember it? that I still do not know. Enjoy the song :)