THE ART OF GIVING – JUMANA ABU-HANNOUD
I always have to remind myself and to remind you as well, that the purpose of life is not just to be happy. The purpose of life is to be honorable, compassionate, and to make a difference in whatever way you can. Jumana Abu-Hannoud is such a person who makes me believe that the whole package can be there, that you can truly get what you want in life out of helping others. She worked as a public information officer for UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees and later as the managing director of SOS Children’s Villages International in the Gulf area. It is my pleasure to meet someone as charged as her and do a segment with her.
When Jumana was a little girl, she was mostly inspired by the role models around her, and her family was a group of perfectionists – the best in whatever they did. She was raised in an atmosphere centered on giving; and early on, her mother pushed her to be a career woman and to take control of her own life.
Jumana always knew she wanted to venture into the field of nonprofit work and give something back because these values were ingrained in her as she grew up to do things on an epic proportion. In today’s segment, she introduces us to SOS, a global organization that operates in 134 countries around the world. Their passion and drive are simple: they take care of abandoned children, orphans, or anyone in between and provide a loving home for every child. They work on the fundamental belief that every child has the right to develop a relationship of trust with someone who cares deeply for them…and that is truly the most altruistic work.
However, that’s not all for Jumana, who is also a founding partner of Reach Mentoring, the first non-profit organization dedicated to female mentoring and professional development in the Middle East. For Jumana, mentoring is just a marvelous tool for growth. Having access to mentors in a safe environment based on mutual respect and high ethics are all in their core beliefs. Mentors in Reach are both men and women, growing and developing through helping others by mentoring, listening to, and guiding them throughout whatever they are going through.
Additionally, Jumana is a co-founder and committee member of 30 Percent GCC Chapter, a collaborative platform for businesses and individuals to accelerate. 30 a percent is a voluntary group of business leaders that get together to affect change on the gender equity and representation of women on the board.
It is quite obvious that Jumana has climbed the ladder to the top in her professional career. On the personal side, Jumana is married with two beautiful children, and she has clearly struck this wonderful balance. However, what does Jumana have to say about that? “The balance is not really there, it is more of a fit than balance,” says Jumana. Moreover, ladies, if you have seen my previous segments, then this will not be the first time you heard a successful woman say that! According to her, you should find what fits for your life, and you often learn it the hard way. We always try to do things perfectly, and we have so much to prove, we are plagued with guilt and perfectionism that we actually burn ourselves out.
However, sometimes you just have to slow down, breathe, and remember to seek help when you need it; and I am here to remind you that being vulnerable is actually a ‘Strength.’ When we have learnt a lesson, it is our role to give it back and help others benefit from it.
Last but not least, I asked Jumana what advice she would give to working moms or just women who are out there trying to accomplish their goals and achieve something and trust me, it was like she took the words right out of my mouth!
Be true to yourself and do what you love.
Don’t be afraid of failing. It is how you learn.
Be a catalyst for someone else’s success and growth.
I think Jumana summed it up perfectly with these simple but meaningful three sentences. Watch the video, and I am sure you will feel just as inspired and understand what ‘Giving’ is all about.
I sincerely hope her words lingered with you and meant something. What’s the most important piece of advice you have learned? Let me know in the comments.
Love and Health,