Serving Society with Grace

To some people the greatest meaning in life lies in giving back to society and taking care of the needy. They take out time from their busy schedule to contribute substantially to the betterment of the people around. One such person is Ms Amira Ismail, President of Rotary Club, Sulmaniya, who is also a Senior Manager, Head of Merchant Services & Sales, CrediMax. BTW speaks to the enterprising lady to understand her mission and philosophy of life.

Tell us briefly about yourself: where were you born and raised, any special childhood memory?

I was born and raised in Cairo. I come from a family with military background that taught me precision and patience. As a child and as the youngest I was the most spoilt and that never took no for an answer.

What has been your educational and professional background?

I hold a BSc in English literature and a higher diploma in Management from the Chartered Management Institute CMI- UK and I am also an Oxford Alumni upon the completion of the several management programs from University of Oxford.- Said Business School.

Ms Amira Ismail

Was social work always a calling for you? Tell us how and when you got initiated into this.

First and foremost is about making a difference, every person counts!

Social work or community service in precise gives us a chance to give back to our society. It strengthens the community as well as bring people together. Most important it unites people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal.

Being President of the Rotary Club of Sulmaniya does speak volumes about your dedicated work. Please tell us about the achievements of the Rotary Club under your leadership.

To foster and promote the idea of service throughout society The Rotary Club of Sulmaniya has been undertaking many different projects year in year out since its inception in the early 70’s to help the needy and the underprivileged groups across many sectors in Bahrain. Our main theme for this year is ‘Beat Diabetes’ where a walkathon was conducted to create awareness of this disease and in collaboration with Gulf Diabetic Centre we will be responsible for the treatment of 300 cases. In addition to our ongoing projects like Back to School where bags were donated to the Sanabil Orphanage, The Green House Project we were proud to be associated with such a project which brings together educational and social activities under one place allowing kids of three special needs societies Down syndrome- Blind Society and Al Rahma Centre to experience the planting and later on the harvesting of vegetables. In collaboration with Royal Charity Organization we held the Storytelling event. These are some of the many projects that we are doing this year involving many members of the club.

Which personality do you related more to: the individual or the social worker?

Honestly I think they both go together: The more we give, the happier we feel. Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity and that what makes you an individual.

What are the basic needs of the underprivileged people of Bahrain?

Mainly to be welcomed into the community as they are part of our society. Community development isn’t a quick fix. It’s hard work and it takes time. Our goal is to make them feel as they are part of our society and that their lives do matter. Service above self and that’s the direction we are on.

How can an individual contribute to society beyond his professional work?

It brings you out as a human first of all.

“One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” – Gordon Hinckle

The main benefit of charity work for the vast majority of people comes in the form of added fulfilment. Many careers pay a hefty wedge of cash, but it’s unlikely that employees go home at night feeling that they’ve made a positive impact on the world around them. Working within a charity should provide you with just that feeling – and that’s a boost that should have you bouncing to work in the morning.

Any memorable incident as a social worker?

Honestly I have several, however my favorite has to be planting with the kids of the special needs this year when we had the experience to plant and harvest as well as participate in the Farmer’s Market where they sell their harvest and feel as if we all accomplished something.

What do you aim to accomplish in the next 5 years?

Dedication in my social work as well as my professional work and most important my family life. There is always room for improvement and I believe in order to improve and become a better human you must give and always have a positive attitude and most important is to ‘ trust yourself’.

What is your message to the youth of Bahrain?

You are the backbone of national economy and are the strengths of tomorrow. You can always make a difference. You can volunteer your time and services to groups to support their efforts in making a difference in the world or your community and become better
human beings.