Lema is a Jordanian architect and urban planner working and living in Amman. Having lived in three different countries throughout her life; Saudi Arabia, Jordan and USA, Lema learned how to adapt and blend smoothly in any new environment or culture which is reflected in her wide range of expertise and interests. As Lema continues to explore and learn, her ultimate goal is to be able to design and execute a project that would be of a benefit to society and she is always in search for new ideas and concepts that can fulfil her goal. Lema Jaber's mentor is Nicky Amos.
Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!
A: Jordan is a small country but is relatively well known globally. It is very modern and traditional at the same time due to the style of architecture and the way it is planned. I grew up in Saudi Arabia and came back to Jordan to study at the university. I have lived in the USA for three years when I did my masters degree and now I am back in Amman living and working here.
Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?
A: The world today is just like it’s always been, very wild and beautiful. The only difference is that we have social media that tells us about all the tiny details that happen around the world which make us see many cruel things and think that the world now is worse than in the past. Of course the wars that are spread around are not acceptable, but still, it is part of the genuine conflict between human beings. The concept of a better world cannot be absolute; it must be compared to something as it will not develop ultimately to reach a level where it is the "Good World". Since the world is constantly changing, and humans who share this world have different interests it cannot be good to all at the same time. Hence, it is a good world that is sometimes high and sometimes lows depending on the viewer.
Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?
A: Our society is very conservative, and by that, I don't mean religion or specifically Islam. The conservative issue is reflected in the way people share their opinions about any subject in any case; it's always preferred to say what "should" be said or what people accept to hear. Such an attitude cripples a person's growth and development because you are not allowed to think outside the box therefore not allowed to act differently.
Q: As a woman what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?
A: I must admit that I did not really struggle to get what I want because I have open-minded parents who always gave me freedom of speech. However, for example on a work level, it is difficult for me to reach any position or even to get higher salary due to the fact that I am a woman. It is not stated or documented anywhere but it can be observed when I am not allowed to attend certain meetings because I am a female, or when my opinion is not taken into consideration because I am a female. But we get used to it in our societies that we think it is normal.
Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?
A: It is good to share my career objectives with someone who does not really know me because this person will not judge me and will be honest about his/her opinion about me. Also, the fact that the mentor is not from the same country/culture is an advantage because sometimes we lack knowledge of how things are done differently in the other part of the world especially being from the Middle East.
Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?
A: I learned that the present is what we need to live, not the past and not the future.
Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!
A: Rbie Zureikat the mastermind behind an initiative called: Zikra (meaning memory in Arabic).
Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!
A: Do not sit half-lovers, do not endorse the half-friends, do not read to the half-talented
Do not live half a life, and do not die half ... Do not choose half a solution, and do not stand in the middle of the truth ... Do not dream half a dream, not half a hope
If it is silent, then I will stop until the end. If you speak, speak until the end. Do not be silent to speak, and do not speak to shut up.
If you are satisfied with your satisfaction, do not make half satisfaction ... If you refused to express your rejection because half of the refusal to accept
Half is a life did not live, a word did not say, a smile postponed, a love did not reach him, a friendship did not know.
The half is what makes you stranger to the nearest people to you, which makes the nearest people strangers to you
The half is to arrive and to call, to work and not to work, to be absent and to attend
The half is you when you are not ... Because you did not know who you are, the half is that you do not know who you are
And you love not your other half ... You are in another place at the same time !! ...
Half a drink will not tell you thirst, half a meal will not satisfy your hunger, half a road will not get you anywhere, and half the idea will not give you a result...
The half is the moment of your inability and you are not helpless because you are not half a human being... You are a human ... Found to live life, not to live half a life !!!
Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.
A: You can actually follow your dream and set a plan to make it real.