Born in Egypt, I have started mentoring and coaching others since I was a teenager. I have worked within developmental initiatives, and created programmes, to support individuals and groups to grow, and to live fully. As I started coaching individuals from several countries, I realised that, while everyone is unique, the social context has a deep impact on the individual’s development and choices. I studied the phenomenon of oppression, how it becomes internalised, and how it denies a person or a group their humanity. I learned about approaches that aim to help individuals liberate themselves, from fields like education, psychotherapy, theatre, social work, and others, and developed the framework of coaching for emancipation (CFE) as part of my PhD in human development.
As a coach, I believe in my coachees, I trust them, and I dare to say I love them, because many of them are living proof of hope. Despite all odds, they find meaning in their lives, and embark on journeys to find what society has once wasted, their human gene. I think coaching can offer great support to anyone’s journey. You would still have to direct your ship, but there would be someone holding a light, helping you to see the path, and avoid rocks.
Coaching is fundamentally dialogical, so there is a lot of talking involved, but we may also perform exercises, work with emotions, play, draw, meditate, watch movies or whatever it takes to help you achieve the most out of each session.
CFE starts with your stories, from your lived experience. We work together to understand these stories and understand how they can be transformed. Usually within this process we uncover many assumptions and beliefs that are directing your story in certain ways. We examine these beliefs critically, keep what is valid, and fix what is not. Often what you think is only a small factor in your story, compared to how society thinks and behaves, so we often need to look beyond what seems to be the original boundaries of your experience. Sometimes it is also necessary to stop looking at one’s life, stop being your own centre of gravity, and to break from your reality, to explore the amazing richness of life. But as ideas, narratives and beliefs are only relevant when they are linked to actions, we also make sure that you are always involved in action. You act to change your story, and learn from your actions to inform your beliefs.
- PhD in Human Development – 2014 – Oxford Brookes University, UK
- MSc in Industrial Engineering – 2003 – American University in Cairo, Egypt
- Six Sigma Black Belt – American Society for Quality (ASQ)
- Director of Programmes – Sky – United Kingdom, since 2008
- Honorary Research Associate – Oxford Brookes University, Business School
- Currently authoring: “Coaching for Social Change” for the Sage Handbook of Coaching