The brave and determined woman Shaikha Al Shaiba is an inspiration for anyone who knows her. The popular businesswoman is vice president – head of executive office and corporate management at Investrade Company. Her aim to participate in the in the challenging Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain, is a true motivation for other disabled athletes to believe in themselves.
Shaikha Al Shaiba’s right arm got amputated when she was only 18 months old. Her growing up years weren’t easy as she had to deal not only with her physical conditions, but also had to face unreasonable rejection and taunts from childhood until adulthood.
Shaikha Al Shaiba came out of this realm like a Phoenix. A change in her point of view helped her to find her passion for life. She found out that accepting and loving herself makes her life easier and happier.
Her change brought a new role model to the Kingdom. Bahrain This Week is truly inspired to sit with the amazing lady Shaikha Al Shaiba
Quoting from your previous interview, “Disability is not when you have a missing part of your body, it’s when you stop and limit yourself. You must accept yourself, love yourself and believe in yourself and your abilities. Stay positive and stay happy.” Our question is, did you have this positive feeling from the beginning or acquired it on the course of life?
Of course, it wouldn’t be easy at the beginning, I lost my arm when I was almost 18months, and it was difficult to adjust and adapt during my childhood. I did acquire it on the course of life otherwise I would never learn and overcome the challenges I have been through. I realized that it’s either you step up or you will stay wherever you are forever.
You overcame a physical challenge to achieve your passionate goal. Have you ever felt that you could have achieved more if there wasn’t a physical restriction?
No, I am grateful for all the gifts I have been given from God.
You are an inspiration for many! Have you ever felt a pressure that you have
to always remain positive and cheerful for them?
No pressure at all, that’s part of my personality
It’s often said that ‘it’s easy to ignore taunts, but painful to accept sympathies.’ What’s your view on that?
Well it’s never painful when I myself have accepted the fact. I don’t have an arm and I believe it’s how you carry yourself, which will reflect on how people will look at you and think.
How did you initiate into athletics?
I used to always participate when I was in school in short distance running, jumping hurdles and swimming.
What were the challenges that you targeted to overcome?
I mainly targeted to change people’s view that I am trying to do this to prove that I have no disability, which is not the case at all.
Who were your greatest supporters in athletics?
H.H. Sh. Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa was my number one supporter! Also, my family and friends.
What’s next in athletics for you?
Inshallah, to achieve a better timing in Ironman Bahrain this year and to race
Family & Career
Tell us about your family.
I have 3 brothers and 1 sister.
Tell us about your career.
I have a full-time job, I have been working in the banking sector for the past 13years. I now work as a Vice President – Public Relations and Marketing in one of the Investment Companies in the Kingdom
How do you successfully manage both while pursuing your passion?
There are a lot of scarifying that I must do while not giving up on my social life.
What are your fondest dreams still to be achieved?
To race in some parts of Europe & US, raise the Kingdom’s flag and show the world that it’s a mindset that can make a person to achieve their goals.
What has inspired you the most?
The moment, I decided to turn the negatives into positives and determined that I won’t shy away from who I am.
What is your greatest fear (if you have any)?
My greatest fear is that I might injure my hand because of the day to day life style and exercise.
Is there any success secret that you would like to exclusively share for our readers?
Life is great! Enjoy it and turn your negatives into positives, there is always a good in a bad situation, but we must decide to see it.