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Interviews with outstanding people, women and talents in the Middle East. Hearing their perspectives on life and learning from their personal stories is the core of our open talks. We want to connect hearts and build cultural bridges between the Middle East and Europe. Read more on safatalents.com

SafaTalents Building Bridges - Europe & Middle East

    • Gesellschaft und Kultur
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Interviews with outstanding people, women and talents in the Middle East. Hearing their perspectives on life and learning from their personal stories is the core of our open talks. We want to connect hearts and build cultural bridges between the Middle East and Europe. Read more on safatalents.com

    Inclusive spaces and belonging

    Inclusive spaces and belonging

    Podcast Rebar: Inclusive spaces and belonging

    Rebar Salahaddin Abdallah lives with his wife in Sulaimaniya, the second biggest city in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. When he was born, the Kurdish people in the region were still being prosecuted under the Saddam Hussein regime. Rebar was one of the kids who survived the Exodus of one million people to the mountains of Iran and Turkey. He experienced as a child all the hardships Kurdish people were exposed to in Iraq. The relieve only came in 2006 with the new constitution for Iraq which included the official autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan.

    People are recognizing themselves as Kurdish people because of the culture, history and the language which is shared between all whether they are living in Iraq, Syria, Turkey or Iran. So it is not divided, only on the maps, it is divided on imaginary lines.Rebar Salahaddin Abdallah

    Rebar accomplished his Bachelor Degree in architectural design at Erbil University. Back in Sulaimaniya, he worked for an NGO and started showing foreigners the heritage and historical sites of the area. He enrolled in a Masters Program between Brandenburg, Alexandria and Erbil studying models of social healing in post-conflict areas.

    As an architect, I usually design physical structures, but as an heritage advocator, we are trying to preserve the heritage monuments and cultural significance from demolishing and from vanishing in the area. And through this, we have a bigger object, which is the social cohesion and community development.Rebar Salahaddin Abdallah

    Rebar became an expert on the city of Sulaimaniya. He conducts research on the open public spaces in the city. For him, social inclusion is one of the major problems in the area. Rebar identifies it even as one of the top reasons for the mass emigration of young people.

    One of the reasons of mass emigration that we have right now is is the problem of not having an inclusive space for all the people. Poverty is not the reason. Besides social injustice and lack of job opportunity, there is no set of rules respecting the individuality of one being in the city. Your dignity as Kurdish inside Sulaimaniya is under threat by the very own government, by the very own community.Rebar Salahaddin Abdallah

    As a countermeasure, Rebar runs a series of workshops with local people. This is only the start of a participative process for more inclusion. He is still hopeful that a solution is possible.

    I am not a nationalist. But living here means some kind of spiritual connection between me and the land. I feel the authenticity of the area and the people. But it needs a certain kind of solution and medication that we are trying to find. So I cannot leave this area so easily.Rebar Salahaddin Abdallah

    Listen to Joanne Bajjali from Lebanon. She speaks about heritage and the power to create a feeling of national unity for children in post-conflict areas.

    • 36 Min.
    Tourism builds bridges

    Tourism builds bridges

    Podcast Amur: Tourism builds bridges

    Amur knows the different worlds - in East and West - and he loves them all. He grew up in the Omani mountains far away from modern life. When he was 13 years old, he met foreigners who were camping near his village. Back then he was an Arab boy who had no idea of the Western world except from old stories.

    I observed them from a distance and after some time I felt brave enough to get close but I couldn't understand them. Now, I speak Italian, English and some German and I know that you need a common language to cross the bridge.Amur Al Rawahi, Arab Adventures

    This short encounter determined his professional education and later he founded Arab Adventures. Amur wants people from outside to get to know the real Oman and the beauty of its nature and cultural heritage. He takes them to remote places in the desert, the mountains or along the long coastal stretches of Oman. There, he initiates meetings between locals and tourists.

    His passion is building bridges and learning from each other. That's why he travels to Europe every summer to learn and understand the languages, modern life and traditions of the Europeans.

    Amur loves the desert where he spends a lot of time - like the beduins. Amidst millions of sand grains he finds his inner truth. He feels happy in this vastness and stillness. Amur takes his clients into the dunes far away from our online availability and responsibilities ...

    Every night we sit together at the fireplace , we share our stories from all over the world in the middle of the desert. We become very close and we take this message with us: we are all the same and we should live like one family!Amur AlRawahi, Arab Adventures


    Find out more about the situation in Oman before the pandemic in February 2020.

    Naji speaks about the wisdom and old traditions of Oman in contrast to modern day life.

    • 38 Min.
    Tribal, Urban and Kaleidoscopic

    Tribal, Urban and Kaleidoscopic

    Podcast Reem: Tribal, urban, kaleidoskopic

    Reem AlSuwaid is a fashion designer and the founder of rym.clothing. Reem and her business is now based in Muscat, Oman but the idea came to her when she was still in Paris. Reem was working as a graphics designer when she realized she wanted to build something new - something on her own.

    Living in Paris and being exposed to the European culture taught me a lot about myself and it strengthened me as a personality. I decided to create my own project but most importantly for me, I also crafted my own life style.Reem AlSuwaid, rym.clothing

    As always, Reem was sketching patterns and after a while, she started posting her designs on instagram. That's how Reem created her own brand and that's how she started her own business. She had to learn building and running a fashion design business step by step. Now, Reem is proud to say that she loves both, being an entrepreneur and business woman as well as a creator and fashion designer.

    Reem's designs stand out. They have been described as urban, tribal and caleidoskopic because of their multitude of colors. Some people even describe them as psychedelic but they definitely show islamic influences at the same time. For Reem however, it is most important how her designs make one feel and appear.

    Accessory makes you feel strongly about yourself. This is what I want! It underlines your identity and gives you a boost of confidence.Reem AlSuwaid, rym.clothing


    Listen to the first episode of the Oman Podcast Series and read Maha's Talent Profile.

    Find out more about Oman at the time of the interview in February 2020.

    • 30 Min.
    Volunteering Talent

    Volunteering Talent


    Abeer عبير


    And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge.And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,And all work is empty save when there is love;Gibran Khalil Gibran, from "The Prophet"

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    Podcast Abeer: Volunteering Talent

    Abeer Al Mujaini is the founder and leader of Psychology of Youth, a website and information platform in Arabic language to promote mental health in Oman. Abeer grew up in Europe and Oman. She studied psychology in Scotland and then returned to Oman for work. She found herself in a difficult situation professionally since psychology was still not well known as a science. Consequently, there were only a few professionals in Oman where she could learn and grow. She was lucky and after one year of voluntary work, Abeer found a job as a child psychologist at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital where she diagnoses especially children with autism and experiences of abuse. Because of the small number of psychologists in Oman, Abeer felt the need to start building a network and working on professional standards for psychology. Together with a team of now 40, she built a volunteering organisation with the goal of forming a professional association for psychologists in Oman. Besides all her work, she did her Master's degree and aspires to do a Doctoral program in the future.

    Some publications about the volunteering organisation Mental Health - Youth in English: Times of Oman Oman Observer49% of the Omani population are under the age of 18, similar to other Arab countries. More and more, research acknowledges this fact and tries to find out about the mental health status of this growing and maturing part of the Muslim population.


    Abeer's outstanding Competencies

    Deep thinking and taking on different perspectivesAbeer likes thinking into things. She does not only think through certain topics but even goes beyond that. Abeer has the ability to connect topics with philosophical and religious ideas. One example she gave me was the way how she thinks about volunteering work. For her, helping others is not enough. Instead, she demands doing good but also in a sustainable way so that people pray for you afterwards. Most importantly, whatever one does should continue to give - like a well. Everything Abeer does, she measures against her principles. This puts the ladder high up for her own and other's achievements. Abeer has clearly challenged herself understanding the Quran in a deeper way and she seeks to apply the prophet's life lessons to her own. Nothing she does, comes across superficially.

    Hard-working and motivated champion Abeer is a hard worker and she has the stami...

    • 36 Min.
    Wisdom from the village

    Wisdom from the village

    Podcast Naji: Wisdom from the village

    Naji is a master of story telling. He speaks and teaches Arabic, German and English and he writes poems in all three languages. This reflects his deep understanding of cultures and he gives amazing insights into Arabic traditions and old norms and how they transform into modern life in Oman.

    this is very special in Omani society, we don't ask about your religion, language, colour, we just respect you because you are a human being - you are people like usNaji AlShuhaimi

    Naji grew up in a village and moved to Muscat, the capital city where he teaches in a school. He tells stories about his childhood in a village and his experiences living in a multicultural environment in Muscat's newly built suburbs. When he is in Muscat, he misses the traditional life of the tribes with its wide social networks in the village where everybody knows each other and people take care of each other. Something we have lost in Europe.

    Naji also shares his dream which is very different from teaching languages. He talks about his impressive Omani beard, its meaning for him and the lion story. Naji loves travelling to Germany, that's were he found white life, street numbers, modern teaching methods and his newly found love for the nature. Now, he tries to convince his students to take good care of the nature as their old fathers did.

    Traditional teaching will not help develop talents. Sultan Qaboos (bin Said) started this 50 years ago, it is time to change our schools and teaching methods!Naji AlShuhaimi


    Listen to the first episode of the Oman Podcast Series and read Maha's Talent Profile.

    Find out more about Oman at the time of the interview in February 2020.

    • 35 Min.
    Curly Talent

    Curly Talent

    Maha AlKharusi is the founder and protagonist of curl.heritage, a platform on instagram to promote natural curly hair in Arab countries. She started working in an international bank in Muscat, her home town in Oman. She was lucky and determined enough to create her own job as a sustainability champion. On top of that, Maha loves thinking and writing for change in our societies. She got involved in international organisations and in 2020, she became the leader of the Muscat hub of the Global Shapers. In this role, she supervises a team of volunteers who create and run change projects for their local community.

    • 37 Min.


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