Thursday, January 18

Finding Your Career Escape!

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Inspiring Stories From Self-Starters Who Broke the Norm and Transformed!

Don’t pick up a job with a great vacation time…Pick a career that doesn’t need escaping from!

“What if the thing you are doing today would HAVE to be the thing you do for the rest of your life?” Did that question turn your face gloomy or bright? Well, these days it’s not as easy to just jump out of the ship and follow your dream; especially if your current situation is allowing you to keep a roof over your head, food in your fridge, and health care coverage! But being prisoned in the same routine, letting go of your passions, and jailing your talents is just heart wrecking. So make sure to choose a career path that does make you HAPPY! Career change is not a sprint – it is a marathon! But it’s worth running through. It’s easy to follow, but great people don’t follow; they LEAD… So let’s meet some young self-starters who broke the norm, pursued their passion, and paved their way to sparkle in some new-fangled careers…

Salsa Sassy World – Ric Banks

Salsa has become a trending social dance that keeps booming by the day. After a decade of dancing Salsa, Ric Banks _an entrepreneur, choreographer and leading Latin dancer_ decided to turn his passion for this type of dance into a full-time career. His dedication helped him open his own studio “Ric Banks Dance and Fitness Studio” in Jumeirah Village Circle, where he teaches Salsa on a daily basis. “Our life has become a routine in Dubai,” Ric stated, “we go to work, come back home, have dinner and go to bed straight after without making any effort to release the negative vibes we unwillingly consume throughout the day.” Interacting with a larger community of Salsa dancers has created a “Salsa Family,” as Ric Banks calls it. For him Latin dance is a passion that has developed in years and turned into a flourishing business.

Go-Go Carpooling – Ibrahim Mokhtar

Since an early age, Mokhtar has been in the business field taking every opportunity to generate profits by focusing on people’s demands. At the age of 13, he was introduced to the nightlife industry, and shortly after, he started launching his own events at the age of 14. “On a night out, I noticed one of the finest clubs in town completely empty due to the launch of new night venue. I jumped onto the opportunity to talk to the owner and convinced him to give me a trial event! A week prior my trial event, I sold out every single table with a maximum capacity of the club on a weekday. My attempt of securing a 3 months deal turned into a 6 months contract,” tells Mokhtar about his journey. His latest project in Egypt was launching Go-Go Car, an intercity travel carpooling platform that helps commuters without cars find convenient, comfortable and more affordable transportation while traveling across cities in Egypt. It also helps commuters with cars meet new people and cover their travel expenses. “I don’t think I could ever see myself sitting in an office every day from 9-5 stuck in trying to climb a corporate ladder. I came across this quote when I was young ‘build your own dreams before someone hires you to build theirs’ and I’ve stuck by it ever since.” Mokhtar believes that “being an entrepreneur is all about finding a problem and solving it, or jumping on an opportunity that rises and learning the technicalities of it.” So his advice to start-ups is to find a problem and figure out how to solve it, and make sure it’s something they’re passionate about!

The Super Stars’ Agent – Abdel Sahrane

In January 2017, Abdel Sahrane _ an experienced talent and celebrity manager_ launched The Agent ME, a platform that represents a number of the region’s most celebrated faces engaging them at events as emcees, moderators and keynote speakers, and as influencers in the social media sphere. “Dubai has incredibly become a growing center of entertainment with its impressive infrastructure and events dedicated to the industry such as Dubai Film Festival, Comic Con, Dubai Opera, etc. Celebrities, such the Kardashians, Mariah Carey, Lindsay Lohan and Jessie J, are falling in love with the city and I had the pleasure to work with Jessie J just a month after the launch of The Agent” says Abdel Sahrane, the half-Spanish, half-Moroccan polyglot founder who speaks 5 languages and handles the careers of famous TV presenters Dina & Omar Butti, Amy Kitchingman, Hassan AlSheikh, Zeina Soufan, and others. Abdel Sahrane is a passionate traveler with a dedication to learn and immerse himself in different cultures, and he made contribution to massive events featuring huge celebrities like Nancy Ajram and Myriam Fares, Jessie J, Jidenna, Isabelli Fontana and others. “Our main goal is to empower brands in Dubai and in the Middle East with The Agent’s pool of stars and talents”, he says passionately.

Mahatat Contemporary ArtHeba el cheikh and Astrid Thews

Through contemporary art practices, Mahatat _a Cairo-based social and cultural enterprise founded in 2011_ seeks to transform public spaces, create opportunities for art exposure and offer learning experiences to artists, practitioners and entrepreneurs. It all started when 5 friends passionate about art, Astrid Thews, Heba El Cheikh, Mayada Said, Marie Girod and Myriam Makhoul, were disappointed that art galleries lacked audience and expressive art wasn’t easily accessible to everyone, so they decided to bring the art to people instead of the people to art! They envisioned a society in which contemporary art is an accessible and visible part of everyday life and in public spaces. “We faced and are still facing lots of difficulties as here in Egypt we don’t have the democracy, the legal opportunity or a supporting government that allows a social enterprise to perform expressive art in public without authorized papers, which is a messy  unsystematic hassle every time.” Admitted Heba El Cheikh; the Cultural manager who studied French, translation and journalism, and has a Master’s degree in Art Management. Even though, Heba did not give up on her dream advising those approaching challenging careers to have “a clear vision and a mission and to have the flexibility to respond to the external world and adapt”, she also urged, “when starting your own project pick who to work with, make sure you pick like-minded people as it’s hard to find resilient ones”.



Now we got in a one-to-one with 2 inspiring start-ups who had the passion, persistence and tenacity to find their career getaways and turn them into a full-time escape… and here they are telling us more about their inspiring stories!!





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