“You Choose What You Want to Be”

Hayat Ali Al Hammadi is a graduate of the Department of Finance, where she holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She is also a graduate of a high diploma in Accounting and she got Government Innovation Diploma. In addition to her work as an accountant, Hayat is a volunteer in the UAE Youth Foundation and the UAE Red Crescent Society. Hayat is also the director (Platform 2071) one of the initiatives of the Fujairah Social and Cultural Society. On the social level, she is the mother of three children and spends her free time reading books.

Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!

A: I am from UAE, the country that has both leaders and people who want to be number one. I live in Fujairah, the emirate which has the most beautiful mountain nature. Usually, I start my day preparing the kids for school and going to work. After coming back we study and then we might go for a ride before going to bed as seeing the mountains feels good. Besides of my volunteering work.

Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?

A: As a human being some times I see the world full of opportunities and sometimes I feel the opposite, full of problems and challenges. It is normal but the idea is to be optimistic as much as you can for our own sake.

A better world is when each one of us accepts the fact that we all have a role to play so to have a better world and we can do small and big things to be there. Now the scope of doing that is not the issue... it is how you will play your role.

Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?

A: I think there are two main challenges. Firstly, failure and mistakes acceptance. As all of us seek perfection in everything we do even in raising our kids without realising "the perfect" does not exist. Which stops us from trying. Secondly, mental health, this point is lead by the first point, which is the most important factor of a happy life.

Q: As a woman what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?

A: 1. Seeking for perfection... For me it was either it is the whole way or no way. But I have learned that I should start and keep improving in the way, which happened to be the best practice for achieving goals.

2. Feeling strange or different. So I started to look for similar people who have the same hobbies. So I joined a reading club. And I want to surround my self with role models who become what they wished to be... That's why I joined this programme.

Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?

  • It is good to talk to someone
  • You need advice or consultation
  • You need a proof that someone had gone through the worse and made it, so why don't u?!

Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?

A: Sometimes, when you desperately want to change where you are or whom you are with but life does not allow you. Don't... just change the way of thinking. Ask yourself how you can get the best benefit from this awful situation. Until you get a better place to be in.

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: Noone came to my mind. Only Mell Robens from the US.

Q: What are some of the challenges that women in your country face and what efforts are made towards gender equality?

A: Women working hours and studying kids. As a woman, I believe I have a hard time to balance between work, studying kids and taking care home. I don't feel I'm spending enough of quality time with them.

We have people responsible for gender equality.

Q: Athena40 is the first ever global selection of the top 40 women forward thinkers, commentators, activists, authors, academics, entrepreneurs, executives, innovators. Can you think of a truly innovative and forward-thinking woman from your country that you wish to nominate for the Athena40 global list?

A: Muna Al Merri from Dubai Media Office

Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!

A: ﺗﺠﺮي اﻟﺮﯾﺎح ﻛﻤﺎ ﺗﺠﺮي ﺳﻔﯿﻨﺘﻨﺎ .. ﻧﺤﻦ اﻟﺮﯾﺎح و ﻧﺤﻦ اﻟﺒﺤﺮ و اﻟﺴﻔﻦ

Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.

A:  You choose what you want to be.