Meet Super Sohaila, an inspiring Arab working mother who fearlessly conquered all obstacles in her path and emerged triumphant in the bustling city of Dubai. With unwavering determination, she faced adversity head-on and never let anything deter her from achieving her dreams. Balancing the responsibilities of motherhood and a demanding career, Sohaila proved that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. Her remarkable journey serves as a beacon of hope for all, demonstrating that resilience and passion can lead to remarkable achievements. In a world full of challenges, Sohaila’s story reminds us that strength and determination can pave the way to success in the vibrant and competitive landscape of Dubai.
Arab Working Mother Overcomes Adversity
|Name||Sohaila Mohamed Ahmed Nasr|
|Job Role||Handling Government Relations|
|Family||Mother of three children|
|Challenges||– Raising a child with autism|
|– Surviving a serious accident|
|– Coping with father’s death|
|– Mother’s illness|
|Notable Recognition||Taqdeer Award (through Eros Group)|
|Early Life in UAE||Arrived in UAE 40 years ago|
|Settled in Sharjah with family|
|Education||Graduated in Law from Al Mansoura University, Egypt|
|Balancing Act||Juggling work and family life|
|Support System||Assistance from specialists and dedicated teachers|
|Love for UAE||Considers UAE her home and feels safe and happy|
|Advice for Families||Treat autistic children like any other family member|
|Encourage them to have a happy, normal life|
|Appreciate their achievements|
|Positive Outlook||Remains optimistic despite challenges|
|Bonding with Children||Proud of her children’s love and care for each other|
Women often find themselves balancing multiple roles simultaneously throughout their lives. Besides their careers, they carry the weight of numerous other responsibilities and endure continuous scrutiny, judgment, and criticism. Any shortcomings in any aspect of their lives are unfairly attributed to their presumed preoccupation with other obligations.
Regrettably, ordinary women who excel in managing challenging circumstances both at home and work rarely receive the recognition they deserve. Despite organizations increasingly prioritizing employee welfare, these remarkable women often remain unsung heroes, silently thriving in their various roles. Their dedication and resilience often go unnoticed, overshadowed by societal expectations and stereotypes. It is time to celebrate and acknowledge these unsung champions who defy odds and excel in every aspect of their lives.
Meet the Incredible ‘Super Sohaila’: A Woman of Strength and Resilience
Meet Sohaila Mohamed Ahmed Nasr (45), a remarkable mother of three and a Senior Executive handling Government Relations at Eros Group. Throughout her life, she has faced numerous challenges with extraordinary resilience and determination, all while maintaining a calm and composed demeanor. When her eldest son, Malek (15), was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of three, Sohaila took on unique responsibilities, providing him with specialized care and unwavering support.
Despite enduring a terrible accident while 8-months pregnant with her second child, Mohammed, Sohaila remained strong in the face of physical and emotional hardships. Tragically, she also had to cope with the loss of her father and her mother’s illness.
Amidst raising her children in Sharjah, Sohaila displayed exceptional dedication to her professional duties at Eros House in Al Barsha, Dubai. Her commitment to work did not go unnoticed, and her inspiring story contributed to Eros receiving the prestigious Taqdeer Award, recognizing their exceptional working standards. Sohaila’s colleagues view her as a true Superwoman, having endured and achieved so much.
Arriving in the UAE: Sohaila’s Journey to Dubai’s Shores
Sohaila’s journey began four decades ago when she, along with her brother and two sisters, arrived in the UAE. Their mother was Egyptian, and their father was Palestinian. The excitement of their first day in the country was palpable as they marveled at the “big bridges” on their way home from the airport, a sight unfamiliar to them, having come from Egypt where such grand structures were scarce.
Her early memories of Egypt were hazy, as she was just five years old when they moved to the UAE. For Sohaila, practically her entire life has been rooted in this country that became her home.
Her father, Mohamed Ahmed Nasr, found employment at Al Habtoor Motors, and the family settled down in Sharjah. Back then, Sharjah was a far cry from its current bustling state, with vast empty spaces akin to a desert between houses.
Sohaila attended Al Israa school in Sharjah’s Bu Tina area. During those days, the vicinity consisted of only three or four buildings. The school was conveniently close to their home, allowing the children to walk to and fro. On their way, they would play in the sandy areas, savoring the simple joys of childhood.
Settling Down: Sohaila’s Home in the UAE
Sohaila has found complete belonging in the UAE, cherishing her life in this country. Even though she holds an Egyptian passport, she feels this is her true home. Previously, she had a Palestinian passport, highlighting her deep connections to both her Egyptian and Palestinian heritage. While she occasionally visits Egypt for vacations, her heart remains in the UAE, and she feels happier returning to her adopted homeland.
Her life’s journey has been intertwined with the UAE. From her education and marriage to raising her children and building a career, every significant milestone has taken place within its borders. The UAE holds a special place in her heart, enriched by friendships and a sense of community.
Reflecting on her son, Sohaila speaks with pride about his growth and progress. Though he is autistic, his development has been remarkable, and he now appears indistinguishable from others in his interactions and speech. Only if she were to inform people about his condition would they be aware of the difference. His ability to take care of himself and his belongings is a source of joy and satisfaction for Sohaila.
The thought of living anywhere else is unfathomable for Sohaila. She is passionate about the UAE and all that it offers. In her eyes, Dubai, in particular, is a safe haven, attracting people from around the globe seeking security and comfort. She values the peaceful environment and the way it nurtures respect for elders and family values. Sohaila envisions her children growing up with these important principles, and this is one of the many reasons she loves and embraces life in the UAE.
Accomplished Law Graduate Embarks on New Chapter
After completing her high school education, Sohaila pursued a degree in law from Al Mansoura University in Egypt, graduating in 2002. However, as time went on, she grew disheartened with the legal profession.
Upon returning to the UAE after her studies, Sohaila embarked on a job search and eventually found employment at another firm for a year before joining Eros.
Initially, she worked as a coordinator at the service center in Eros for approximately 8 years. However, life took an unexpected turn when she had an accident, leading her to take on the responsibility of caring for her children. To support her during this challenging time, the company offered her a transfer to the Human Resources department.
Sohaila had a natural affinity with children, but managing her various roles was no easy task. During the early years, she hired a babysitter to look after her child while she was at work. She would often make calls from the office to ensure everything was running smoothly and her child was well taken care of. Striking a balance between her job and her children’s well-being was of utmost importance to her.
Above All, a Proud and Loving Mother
Sohaila takes immense pride in the remarkable progress her son Malek has made.
“People wouldn’t even realize he is autistic when they see him now. His communication skills have improved so much that unless I share it with them, they wouldn’t know the difference. Malek has become quite independent and can take care of many things on his own. Of course, I still make sure he gets his food in the right quantity, but he’s come a long way,” she said with a sense of accomplishment.
Sohaila’s life has revolved around the UAE, where she received her education, got married, had children, and built her career. However, it was not an easy journey, especially when they discovered Malek’s autism. Back then, awareness about autism was limited, and the family had to navigate through various consultations with specialists, visits to centers, and seek the assistance of dedicated teachers. Fortunately, special schools were available, and they enrolled Malek in a newly opened one, investing not only emotionally but also professionally and economically. The support from her organization played a vital role during this challenging period.
The initial diagnosis of autism left Sohaila shocked and shattered. The condition was relatively unknown 10-12 years ago, and she grappled with many questions and uncertainties. However, her determination to understand and support Malek led her to learn more about autism, even though she knew it wouldn’t be an easy journey. She believed in her ability to teach Malek how to cope with the challenges he faced.
Sohaila’s unwavering patience and tireless efforts have yielded significant results, as Malek’s progress stands as a testament to her dedication as a loving and caring mother.
Unwavering and Firm Support: Sohaila’s Dedication to Her Son’s Progress
“He’s made tremendous progress in learning how to treat people, and he particularly enjoys engaging with those who treat him kindly. Nonetheless, expressing himself can still be challenging at times, which is a typical aspect of his autism,” Sohaila remarked.
Kassim Talib, the Government Relations Manager at Eros Group and also Sohaila’s boss, wholeheartedly acknowledges the remarkable transformation in Malek.
“Comparing who he was before to who he is now, there’s a tremendous difference, and it’s all thanks to Sohaila’s exceptional management and the unwavering support of our owner. The fees for these specialized institutions are quite high, exceeding Dh 30,000 annually,” Kassim stated.
“Despite facing various hardships, you will always find her with a smile in the morning and evening. Sohaila has worked relentlessly to better herself,” Kassim added, praising her dedication and resilience.
Unique, Not Different: Celebrating Individuality with Sohaila and Malek
Sohaila offers valuable advice to families with autistic children, encouraging them to come forward and seek help, ensuring a happy and fulfilling life for their loved ones.
The doctor’s initial advice resonated deeply with her: “Let them have a happy, normal life. Don’t treat him differently.” Ever since, she has diligently followed this guidance.
Sohaila believes in maintaining fairness and consistency among all her children. Just as she reprimands her other children for misbehavior, she does the same with Malek. However, she equally celebrates and appreciates his accomplishments, fostering an environment of support and encouragement.
Seeing her children care for one another fills Sohaila with immense pride and sometimes brings tears to her eyes. Witnessing their growth, both physically and emotionally, she cherishes those moments when they play together and go out as a united family. Observing their happiness and compassion for each other brings her profound joy and contentment.