Dubai: Bringing about change in individuals' lives is what keeps Hala Ahmad Kazim, an Emirati, going.
And she tries to bring about positive change through her company ‘journey through change' she established recently.
Through her company Hala counsels, cooks, discusses books and travels abroad on hiking trips to prove that Emirati women do not like to live in a ‘bubble'.
The multi-faceted Hala is striving to set an example for all women to do what they love — know themselves and live a meaningful and colourful life.
As you step into her compound, located in Nadd Al Hamar, you immediately feel a sort of peace and warmth. When you walk past the garden and into her living room, one cannot miss the touch Hala possesses.
Artworks made by her also decorate parts of the hall and the hallway and pictures of her family members, including pictures of her five sons, her grandson and her husband, adorn the walls.
Hala's company, established in 2010, aims to change individuals and their personalities. The company comprises a book club, a cooking club, a fitness club and coaching classes to handle problems. Hala also organises trips for Emirati women who love to explore. Her company is a member of the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises. About the idea of establishing such a company, Hala said: "In the past three years, before I established this company, I was lost and did not know what I wanted to do exactly. Then one day, I realised that one thing I truly love is helping people."
Hala said she got the trait [the love to help people] from her mother.
"The book club members meet and discuss a certain book we have read or we will read. This club is important, especially that as a nation, we do not read much, although the first revelation of the Holy Quran started with the word ‘read'," she said.
"I love cooking. As part of the cooking club, we have made groups to teach them cooking. The women in this club have the choice to choose what they want to learn based on menus I have prepared," she said.
The adventure club organises trips for Emirati women only. The trips are usually outside the country.
"We go on exploring the country as we hike and learn more about the place and the people. The aim behind these trips is to detach yourself from your family, surroundings and country for a while and find more meaning to a trip and learn rather than just visit the country as a normal tourist," Hala said.
She said in September last year, she took five women on a hiking expedition in Austria. The next trip will be in June this year to southern France.
Hala's belief in changing people's lives has even led her to adopt a son.
"I had a dream to change a person's life and that is why I adopted this child. I wish I could do more. My adopted son is a blessing in my life and I feel he is doing me a favour," she said. Hala has been an artist for 20 years and has even exhibited her work at Harrods. "My main thing is coaching. I have done lots of courses in coaching, but I believe life's experiences are the biggest degrees you can have," Hala said.
"I do not tell people what to do when I counsel them because I believe the answer is always within them, but sometimes they need help to get it out by organising thoughts and thinking aloud with the right person," Hala says.
She also believes that by coaching, she does not only help the ones who need it, but also herself. "I always say it is a two-way coaching. Working with so many people forms you. Sometimes, I do get emotional [listening to people's issues], but one has to learn the skill to detach."
She said, as a person who went through a lot of experiences in her life, the one advice she would like to give youngsters is: "Go after your passion, reach out to people and be yourself, which is difficult since there are always many restrictions, but do it."
A modern woman of substance
Hala Ahmad Kazim, 45, an Emirati who had lived five years in the United States. She completed her high school there and got Diploma in English from Toledo Ohio University. She then took coaching courses in London and Dubai. She describes herself as a wife, mother, a grandmother, an artist and founder of ‘Journey through Change'.
To get in touch with Hala for any of her clubs visit www.halakazim.com or www.journeythroughchange.com