This new section is about honoring women for who they are and what they do. It is dedicated to featuring amazing women from all around the globe who deserve to be recognized and thanked for the role they play to make the world a better place, in their own special way.
For my previous post, I was lucky enough to get to know Lanna Zakaria and introduce her to you!
Today, and for my third inspiration for this section, I would like you to meet Israa Thiab. So join me as we learn more about Israa, her opinions, personality, goals, struggles and dreams. And together, let’s get inspired by her story!
Who is Israa Thiab?
The first word I would describe myself with when asked this question is I’m a rebel. A rebel against unjustified and controlling social norms, which have no roots in reason. I do not follow the rules without questioning their logical merits. And as cliché as this will sound I’m a rebel who wants to make this world a better place through reason.
‘Israa Thiab is a very interesting, lovable and opinionated woman. It is a pleasure to know her and have conversations with her.’
What do you do in life?
Well, job wise, I’m the sustainability manager for PepsiCo Jordan, but passion wise I write.
I fight oppression through the written word. I stand against injustice imposed on people, animals and the planet, I voice my opinions to provoke deep, self-reflecting thoughts with the hopes of achieving progress for myself, individuals in my life, and the global community as whole.
What hardships have you faced and overcome throughout the years? And how?
The one hardship I’ve constantly faced is the one of being an empowered woman living within the constraints of a patriarchal paradigm. I’ve dealt with this barrier using a mix of social and emotional tools including reasonable debate, empathy and sometimes denial. On this last note I have to say that denial is not always a good technique to apply especially when it becomes a hurdle to real growth. However, sometimes we need it in order to function properly throughout a hardship, bearing in mind that it is only one step made forward and it has to be followed by self-reflection and growth.
As a woman, what are the hardships you face living in the Middle East?
Not to state the obvious, but the Middle Eastern culture is largely patriarchal. It views a woman as inferior and in need of male custodianship at every phase of her life. This is grossly disempowering for women and it makes it rather difficult for us to come fully unto our light and our power.
What are you most passionate about?
Social justice for sure, whether for the environment or for disenfranchised people of all races, faiths and genders.
What do you dream of accomplishing and how are you working towards it?
I want to become a story teller. I want to inspire people at the grassroots level to realize the power that lies within them. Furthermore, I want to inspire them to think, to doubt, to criticize and become their own mirrors. Why? Because I strongly believe that real progress cannot be attained without critical reflection. I have humbly managed to do that through my social media accounts where I constantly share stories, thoughts and opinions publicly through the written word or frequent live streaming on my Facebook account. (You can see one of her videos on our Facebook page!)
What are your hobbies and interests?
Written word activism, storytelling and public speaking for the most part. However, I also enjoy all forms of artistic expression of emotion. I like to dance and I like to cook. I wish I was able to play a musical instrument but I can’t considering I’m tone deaf! However, I still enjoy the wonders which music of all genres has to offer.
Who inspires you the most in life?
Other empowered women who have the capacity to move ahead with empathy despite the hardships imposed on them by patriarchy, I’m inspired by women like Malala Yousafzai who was able to show a great deal of grace despite the fear and the pain she was exposed to.
Thank you Israa Thiab for being part of our journey to inspire women around the world!
Be sure to come back soon for another feature and don’t hesitate to recommend the women who inspire you the most!