I met Carole many years ago before we both became mothers. Her stillness, clarity and grounded approach to leadership inspire me. We don’t normally associate the word “grounded” with an entrepreneur and yet this is what Carole showed me. Her courage inspired me to break out of my shell and create a life for myself instead of trying to jam my creativity into a box.
Q: Where were you born and how has your hometown shaped you?
I was born in the heart of beauty and struggle, Beirut, Lebanon. Growing up there was a profound lesson in the essence of humanity and family. Beirut nurtured me with the closeness and warmth of family and gifted me with a diversity of cultures and languages, learning Arabic, English, and French fluently. This colourful exposure didn’t just end with languages; it extended to travelling, as Europe was a near neighbour. However, the most impactful lesson was unveiled through the lens of civil war. Living the first decade of my life and even beyond in the middle of conflict was a raw and revealing exploration of human nature, stripping away facades and exposing true selves.
Q: What are some of the best places you lived and why?
Beirut has been my steadfast home for the first substantial chapters of my life, enveloping me in its unique blend of culture and history for 32 years. However, my heart found another rhythm in the energetic vibes of San Francisco during my numerous travels. The Bay Area infused my spirit with its vibrant diversity, colourful sun, and enriching interactions with a variety of awe-inspiring individuals.
San Francisco felt like a time machine, propelling me into a future filled with expansive knowledge and accelerated learning. It became a cyclical journey of filling my intellectual reservoirs to the brim in San Francisco’s stimulating environment, and then flowing back to Beirut to nurture my roots with the newfound wisdom and perspectives. This rhythmic exchange between the two cities became a dance of growth, learning, and sharing, enhancing my personal and professional journey.
Q: Which films, music, books or people have influenced you?
So many movies, music tracks, books, and people have inspired me so far in my life journey. I’ll go ahead and name the ones that first come to mind,
Movies: I’m not one who frequently watches movies, maybe two or three a year at most, driven by a compelling topic or theme. Here are some that have lingered in my mind over time:
- ‘Monsters, Inc.’
- ‘The Matrix’
- ‘Lord of the Rings’
- ‘Spirited Away’
I’m typically drawn to various genres, with a particular fondness for electronic melodic trance and dance, notably works by Armin Van Buuren. There was a time when Diana Krall’s work resonated with me deeply. An album that captivated me was ‘Mundo’ by Ruben Blades, with its remarkable recording quality. And then, there are times a single song becomes an obsession, like recently ‘Used to Silence’ by ATTLAS & Jodie Knight, which has been on constant repeat for the past few months now!
I lean more towards audiobooks rather than traditional reading. There are several that I find myself revisiting, including:
• ‘The Desire Map’ by Danielle LaPorte
• ‘Dare to Lead’ by Brene Brown
• ‘The Atlas of the Heart’ by Brene Brown
• ‘Mothering Our Boys’ by Maggie Dent
Influential people in my life have been like pivotal pit stops, each marking a unique stage in my journey. Reflecting back, I see an evolving tapestry of influence, from individuals like Ramit Sethi, Sharon Pearson, Joe Pane, Taki Moore, Lewis Howes, Brene Brown, Christina Lopes, Teal Swan, Barbara O’Neil, and Dawn Cady, each bringing distinct wisdom and perspective to my pathway.
Q: Who are some of the professionals you look up to in your field?
My perspective on this has transformed over time. I now view professional admiration not as a vertical hierarchy but as a horizontal exchange of wisdom and experiences. Because if I were to ‘look up’ it also means that I will ‘look down’. Over time, I have come to realise that everyone regardless of their stage in their journey, holds valuable insights and lessons from which we can all learn. In other words, rather than subscribing to comparison or the notion of “looking up” to someone, I embrace the idea of mutual learning and growth. We are all travellers on unique paths, and there is a wealth of knowledge in each journey. Like I shared before many people have influenced me over time and I’m sure that there will be many more to come.
Q: What’s been your most recent discovery? Food, activity, clothing, brand, life hack, etc…
Recently, I’ve immersed myself in learning the HandPan, an instrument I discovered many years ago and finally gifted myself last Christmas!
Unlike my childhood experience of learning the piano strictly by the book, the HandPan has been a journey of free exploration. With no handbook or guide, I’ve been teaching myself, navigating its percussive and melodic realms with spontaneity and joy. It’s been a refreshing and exciting adventure, a new musical chapter filled with creativity and discovery. I’ve just found out there’s a HandPan festival in Sydney. It’s packed with workshops and all about the HandPan. Looks like 2024 is the year to check it out and up my game!