She has chosen to serve humanity through the fields of education and social work. Having worked dedicatedly in these fields for the last two decades, Dr. Lina Lewis, Headmistress of Al Wisam School and the President of the Rotary Club of Adliya, shares with BTW her valuable insights and experiences as a visionary and social worker.
Tell us briefly about yourself: where you were born and raised, any special childhood memory?
I would describe myself as a visionary and an educator with more than 20 years of experience. I’ve been happily married for 24 years and blessed with three wonderful children. I was born in Lebanon but raised as a global citizen, with a wide exposure of various cultures. This enabled me to receive my school education in various countries, where I studied in UK, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and received my A levels in Malta!
What has been your educational and professional background?
I am a PhD holder in Biochemistry from the University of Wales, Cardiff. I have obtained the certificate of International school leadership from the Institute Training Center for International School Leadership from the US.
Was social work always a calling for you? Tell us how and when you got initiated into this.
From a very young age, I had many exemplary personas around me; my mother always served as my main role model and made me well aware of the needs of people around me and motivated me to think of how I can make the world a better place for myself and those around me.
Being the Headmistress of a school and the President of the Rotary Club of Adliya does speak volumes about your dedicated work. Please tell us about the achievements of your school and the Rotary Club under your able leadership.
Over the past few years, serving as a school leader in Bahrain and abroad has shaped my character and personality in ways that I never anticipated. I was privileged to work with teams of educators who were primarily dedicated to raising their students’ academic achievement. At Al Wisam, the team has worked collaboratively and tirelessly to achieve International Accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, MSA. The school is also at a satisfactory rating with QQA (with mostly good to outstanding standards), which is a transformational achievement that many have repeatedly praised. We are currently working towards moving from ‘good to great’ in order to ensure that the academic level of the school is outstanding.
Additionally, as President of the Rotary Club of Adliya, we work as a team of professional volunteers who carry the main goal of serving the community. The club echoes the rotary notion of ‘Service above self’. The collective leadership and expertise of our members help us tackle challenges, locally and globally. We are united by common values and the vision for a prosperous and positive future as we sharpen our focus with targeted specific causes that will reach communities that are in dire need.
Which Dr. Lina Lewis do you relate more to: the Headmistress or the social worker?
Fundamentally, both roles overlap. As a leader in educating young minds, it is important to ensure that the students are aware of their surroundings, prepared to be global citizens who care for their future and future of others. Similarly as the president of a club that’s main goal is to better the future for generations to come and to add a sense of humanity and humility to our communities, both go hand in hand
and ultimately have supported one another in various ways.
What are the basic needs of the underprivileged people of Bahrain?
RCA tackles community needs with emphasis on the youth. The Model United Nations Project which ran for 17 years, to RYLA and career guidance for students are just some targeted examples. Rotary supports many families in need during different phases of their lives. During Ramadan, Rotary campaigns are held to support families with additional necessities. Ultimately, wherever we are needed, we are ready to help.
How can an individual contribute to society beyond his professional work?
I always believed that contributing to the society should begin at home. Recycling, saving water and electricity, protecting the environment we live in is paramount to saving our planet. Caring for & reaching out to people in need and performing acts of kindness in any capacity, can change the world we live in.
Any memorable incident as a social worker?
I was honored to lead an MUN, a few years ago, and the feeling of fulfillment and a sense of achievement as you witness the student debate, lobby, merge and delegate like international adults is indeed memorable.
What do you aim to accomplish in the next 5 years?
I aim to raise the academic standards of students in the school as head of school and improve the quality of life of communities around me as a Rotarian.
What is your message to the youth of Bahrain?
The three C’s of life! You must make a Choice to take a Chance to Change your life. Education is the key!