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Life Coach Lama Younis Advocates Empowerment

“You were born unique and you should continue your life journey being unique,” exclaims the animated young entrepreneur sitting across the table from me, addressing the region’s females from her office in Dubai’s Knowledge Village. “As a Saudi woman I found it incredibly challenging to get to where I am today. I wish for women out there to follow what they really want to be, what they really, truly, passionately believe in. “Don’t just follow the crowd. I find it sad that you see so many women trying to do cupcakes. One person does it, and then 10,000 women want to do it too, just to be on Instagram!” she continues. “I’m not a fashion designer, but I love shopping for clothes. I’m not a baker, but I love eating cakes. I’m not an artist, but I love the history and story behind each piece. I’m a forensic psychologist and criminologist and I love what I do.” The woman issuing this rallying cry for women across the MENA to pursue their unique destinies is Lama Younis, founder of the Hissah Enrichment Centre, and advocate for personal and societal improvement. An academic high achiever who recently entered the world of entrepreneurship, Younis is vocal in her belief that individuals, families and communities can be transformed through empowerment, and has put her money firmly where her mouth is. Hissah – named in honour of Younis’s mother – was launched in December 2013 with the aim of enriching interpersonal skills, developing personal empowerment, and improving social relationships on personal and professional levels for adults, youths, and children. And while Younis’s particular area of interest is the understanding, education, and prevention of child abuse in the region, the Hissah Enrichment Centre caters for a much wider array of needs.Offering services such as anger management, child protection training, coaching and life success skills, understanding personality, handling conflict, understanding culture formation and impact, and much, much more, Hissah is open to just about anybody and everybody, including individuals, couples, companies, governments or groups. “We try to do so much here,” says Younis as she runs through the numerous aspects of the business. “There’s psychology services for children, and family and work life; personal assessments; workshops from people who fly in from Harvard, London and Canada; classes on stress management, leadership, life social skills, career advice. “We cover a lot of ground!” Admitting she would never try to kid customers into thinking she is capable of covering all of this ground herself, Younis is quick to praise the team she has assembled at the centre, each of whom offer a different and specific expertise. “I’m simply not accredited to do everything myself,” she says. “A lot of people in Dubai seem to sell themselves as being able to do it all, but it’s not right to do this. All of us at the centre do different things, so our clients get expert attention when they come to us.” Speaking like a born businesswoman, it is easy to forget that Younis has spent the majority of her life immersed in academic study.

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