Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Interview with Entrepreneur, Psychologist & Afkarech Founder, Mariam Alammadi

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1- Hello Mariam, can you please tell us a bit about you?
I am a psychologist based in Bahrain. I completed my education in Europe and moved to the Middle East seven years ago. Being both Bahraini and Irish has given me great insights into different cultures and societies. I have had an interest in psychology and from the age of thirteen, I decided I wanted to be a psychologist. I felt upset by the stigma associated with mental illness. I am a committee member of the Middle Eastern Psychological Association, Board Member of Women’s Care Crisis International, Founder of Afkarech, Founder of Child Foundation Center and Awarded by Smart Health Awards 2018 as one of the top fifty individuals working in health sector in the GCC region.

2- What are your focus areas and why?

My focus areas are definitely in the realm of women empowerment and psychology. They are my two passions in life. There is a famous saying “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”. However, I have found that when you are passionate about what you do it is the contrary you put your blood, sweat, and tears in it. I am extremely proud of the work I have put into these two areas.

3-How do you describe Afkarech in few words?
Afkarech is a female network & think tank and is the first of its kind in Bahrain. We are bringing women together to share ideas and support each other in a safe environment. We recently got short-listed as one of the best Voluntary Project in Bahrain by the H.H. Shaikh Issa Bin Ali Al Khalifa Award.

4- Where do you think your work is making an impact?

Afkarech is making the most difference in the lives of our members. They have made social connections, business connections, found encouragement, found acceptance, found motivation, brainstormed ideas and become actively involved in charities.

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5- How do you build up a creative spirit, do you believe we were born with it or we developed it?
I think developed more creativity after university and realizing that I have ideas that work and people listen too! Seeing my ideas coming to fruition is truly humbling. I am thankful to be raised by an amazing mother who taught me women have no limitations and was supportive in all my endeavors. Similarly, I am thankful to my father for his encouragement to set up my own practice and follow in his footsteps as an entrepreneur.

6- Tell us about your style?
I am very vision orientated and have a democratic leadership style in regards to my business and my organizations. Learning to delegate is a new skill to me honestly as previously I thought I could do it all myself but now as an employer, I want to create a culture in which I do not undermine others and stifle their creativity. Nourishing talent is important to me – I want to give others the confidence to carry out their dreams and be a part of that journey.

7- Do you think your mindset has anything to do with success?

It has been well documented in my childhood that I can be extremely stubborn at times and I think that has been really helpful to me. I believe “where there is a will there is a way” and I have always seen that to be true. If you really want something you keep going after it and one day you will succeed.

8- If you could turn the time, what would you love to change?
If I could turn back time I would tell my younger self there is a plan you just have to be patient and all the pieces of the puzzles are falling in place. Often, we feel like we have to be “overnight successes” when the success takes hard and consistent work over a long-time frame.

9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
I am most excited about the future of Afkarech and seeing where this amazing female network and think tank will go. The members make it everything it has become and I am so grateful to them. They are a group of intelligent, conscientious, supportive and courageous women!

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10- The last word or final thoughts?

I would just like to say thank you for allowing me to use this platform to talk about my passions in life and I have one final thought for young girls that may be reading this if I may. The world is yours to determine success in your own terms and never let anyone tell you what to be.

You can also use LinkedIn and Facebook to connect and to know more about Afkarech.

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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